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 books:





RECENT COMMENTS

June 24, 2019 3:49 am

From RASHMI GUPTA on Why are large companies so difficult to rescue (regarding bad internal technology)

"History and Trust..wonderfully summarized..."

June 10, 2019 8:21 pm

From Sean Hull on Nils Meyer: there are advantages to containers, but fairly easy to get wrong

"Some great points. Especially the one about storage systems. A lot of micro services encourages breaking up ..."

June 1, 2019 11:26 am

From Chris on The winners of globalization will now fight it out in the political sphere

"That explains exactly what happened here in the Australian election. The polls were drastically wrong. This ex..."

May 31, 2019 7:22 am

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

"Having been developing software in both functional and OO languages for 30+ years, this is all about education..."

May 31, 2019 5:45 am

From HC on Billions were wasted on Hadoop startups, and the same will eventually be true of Docker

"This seems like a weird Docker hatchet piece. You're taking one piece of news about Hadoop and then weirdly re..."

April 14, 2019 4:34 pm

From lawrence on Abuse on Wikipedia

"Just An Observer, please post the link if you find it...."

April 14, 2019 12:28 pm

From Just An Observer on Abuse on Wikipedia

"Well, wouldn't you know, the slagging of Katy Bouman who is the algorithm designer for the black hole image is..."

April 11, 2019 4:30 pm

From Just An Observer on Abuse on Wikipedia

"In a similar vein, yesterday a woman scientist wrote about how Wikipedia articles about woman scientists are o..."

March 30, 2019 5:31 pm

From lawrence on Don't waste your life on Twitter

"Orbay, with any type of creative endeavor, I think you'll find 90% of the output is mediocre. That is true for..."

March 30, 2019 4:51 am

From Orbay on Don't waste your life on Twitter

"I agree, but you consider a great game a great achievement, not money from wasting other people's lives? I..."

March 21, 2019 10:38 pm

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

"Thank you for this post. This sums up what I have been feeling for years now with OOP in such a great way. I..."

March 13, 2019 1:58 pm

From ball on Facebook activated my dormant account and it won't let me deactivate it

"Same shit here. I regret ever making a spraybook account..."

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..."

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>