Smash Company Splash Image

January 17th, 2019

In Philosophy

1 Comment

When will the era of CyberPunk end?

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

People complaining about is the first sign of something ending.

Interesting:

This was science fiction perfectly tuned for the Reagan-Thatcher era. Its connection with punk music and subcultures is, of course, contingent. (Who knows what might have happened if Bethke decided to call his story Techno-Hipster.) Yet the clichéd punk imperative to “Do It Yourself” is in fact perfect for a kind of fiction whose ethos is that you have to survive in a world where unstoppable megacorporations control every aspect of everyday life. The best you might hope for is to carve out a temporary autonomous zone of freedom before you—like the hero of Bethke’s short story—are caught by parental authority and sent away to a re-education camp. At its root, then, cyberpunk is arguably a kind of fiction unable to imagine a future very different from its present.

…All of these strategies can produce terrific stories. But none seems capable of generating the sort of excitement cyberpunk once did, and none has done much better than cyberpunk at the job of imagining genuinely different human futures. We are still, in many ways, living in the world Reagan and Thatcher built—a neoliberal world of growing precarity, corporate dominance, divestment from the welfare state, and social atomization. In this sort of world, the reliance on narratives that feature hacker protagonists charged with solving insurmountable problems individually can seem all too familiar. In the absence of any sense of collective action, absent the understanding that history isn’t made by individuals but by social movements and groups working in tandem, it’s easy to see why some writers, editors, and critics have failed to think very far beyond the horizon cyberpunk helped define. If the best you can do is worm your way through gleaming arcologies you played little part in building—if your answer to dystopia is to develop some new anti-authoritarian style, attitude, or ethos—you might as well give up the game, don your mirrorshades, and admit you’re still doing cyberpunk (close to four decades later).

But if this is your choice, if you’re writing science fiction that decides on its attitude toward the future in advance of doing the work of imagining that future, you’re not heeding the most ambitious calling of the genre. You’ve substituted the hunt for a cool new market niche for the work of telling compelling stories that help us think rigorously about how we might make a better world, or at the very least better understand where our world might be heading. If, instead, you retain the hope of writing fiction that confronts readers with new ways of thinking about their relationship to the future—our future—you may need to drop the -punk suffix.

Source



Check out my book:





RECENT COMMENTS

February 20, 2019 10:41 am

From Just An Observer on Don't waste your life on Twitter

"A couple of my favorite bloggers started doing twitter. Instead of permanent additions to knowledge, there is..."

February 20, 2019 3:24 am

From Brennan on Did sleep paralysis start the Salem Witch Trials?

"If you have occasional sleep paralysis, you can take steps at home to control this disorder. Start by making s..."

February 19, 2019 11:09 am

From Ryan Earp on Why I prefer dynamic-typing over static-typing: the speed of adapting to change

"If static typing lead to greater programmer productivity (via a reduction in bugs) then corporate Americ..."

February 3, 2019 2:32 pm

From ruurd on Argument about attraction and sexuality and trans

"wait wait wut? what's the liberals doing here?..."

January 18, 2019 10:22 am

From Justin McGuire on When will the era of CyberPunk end?

"The reason cyberpunk doesn't die is because it all came true. From Noah Smith on twitter: "The cool thing a..."

December 16, 2018 9:06 am

From lawrence on Yair Lapid: What does it say about us that Israel has become the only democracy in the world in which Jews don’t have freedom of religion?

"Cat Mara, thank you for catching that. I've fixed it now. (The URL was a "v" by mistake. Looks like I was tryi..."

December 12, 2018 7:50 pm

From lawrence on Object Oriented Programming is an expensive disaster which must end

"Jussi Nurminen, thank you for writing. I believe you are correct, in the sense that Python 2.x had all the bas..."

December 12, 2018 5:13 am

From Jussi Nurminen on Object Oriented Programming is an expensive disaster which must end

"Hello! I've lately became a bit more suspicious of OO designs (including my own), so I read your original 2014..."

December 4, 2018 9:22 am

From lawrence on Docker is the dangerous gamble which we will regret

"GK, thank you for writing, but I don't understand what you mean when you write: "However, at that point you..."

December 4, 2018 7:14 am

From GK on Docker is the dangerous gamble which we will regret

"A development VM is a fine choice, provided that it comes with tools that make it just as easy to run commands..."

November 30, 2018 7:04 pm

From lawrence on Docker is the dangerous gamble which we will regret

"GK, thank you for writing. About this part: "That thing is writing portable shell scripts. The moment you n..."

November 30, 2018 1:41 pm

From GK on Docker is the dangerous gamble which we will regret

"The fat binaries article was nice, but full blown fat binaries are not really necessary. Whats needed is that ..."

November 27, 2018 1:13 am

From lawrence on Object Oriented Programming is an expensive disaster which must end

"Andres Moreno, thank you for writing. Among other points to be said, I'll say I'm almost heart broken about Py..."

November 26, 2018 9:11 pm

From Andres Moreno on Object Oriented Programming is an expensive disaster which must end

"I am stunned! Why did it take so long to show that the Emperor has no clothes? I got bit by the Lisp bug early..."

1 COMMENT

January 18, 2019
10:22 am

By Justin McGuire

The reason cyberpunk doesn’t die is because it all came true. From Noah Smith on twitter:

“The cool thing about cyberpunk coming true is that we got ALL the cyberpunk futures.

“China: universal surveillance and social control

“America: cool gadgets and staggering inequality

“Russia: shadowy plots, covert ops, and assasins

“Japan: Japan”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>