Imagining the Future of Technology
Cyberpunk technology is the antithesis of traditional computer science. It is a huge topic and has been researched and written about extensively by online critics. With a counter culture aesthetic dominated by anti-corporate, anti-establishment themes, it’s a genre that is contentious for those who are more hopeful for the future.
Cyberpunk technology is characterized by being pessimistic, heavily influenced by technology, paranoid, technologically-inclined, aggressive, ecologically negative, post-apocalyptic, utopian, futuristic, rebellious, anti-authoritarian, cyber-religious, anti-corporate, anti-consumerist, and utopian. It is important to remember that we’re not talking about science fiction here – we’re talking about computer and information technologies. Many people’s conception of cyberpunk technology is a black-and-white look at a future with no signs of progress, where technology is feared and controlled by a handful of powerful corporations.
Cyberpunk technology typically includes variations on familiar things we have in our every day, such as:
- computers, telecommunications
- information technology,
- security systems
- video games,
- computers, and electronic mail, as well as
This technology is usually presented in a manner that is further ahead than our own technology but is often close enough to our own as to be familiar to audiences. It is an often satirical look at the future of human and technological evolution. The idea is a dystopian one – everything should be controlled by governments and corporations. For instance, television screens are mostly for entertainment purposes only, and the internet is monitored by a few corporations.
Corporations of the Future
Technocrats want to get control of the internet, telecommunication networks, computers, and telecommunications. In their view, the reality of technology has evolved beyond the limits of the tangible world. Also, technology can be used for the best of us, but it’s too much for the others. The books, movies, and novels mentioned above exemplify cyberpunk technology.
So what exactly is cyberpunk technology? Cyberpunk technology is the world-view and values of a certain group of people who take technology very seriously. For many it is just a look as to where the future may go and where things may wind up. However for others it is something that is to be prepared for, a kind of singularity that they believe is the next step for human society.
Cyberpunk fiction is usually a specific subgenre of science fiction that includes a great many novels, movies, and other forms of media. In essence, cyberpunk fiction portrays a dystopian future, a state of affairs that would hopefully never exist in reality. With that framework creatures in the medium can explore various topics and themes that may be too transgressive in a normal work of fiction.
I believe there are many shades of gray in cyberpunk’s world – and it is why I consider myself optimistic, at least in the world’s world. With the invention of the Internet, the World Wide Web, and e-commerce, we now have access to almost any information imaginable, so anyone can have his or her wish granted at any time, in this world.
These changes are what drives people to look for a more dystopian future. It’s great to see these folks willing to go against the trend of the status quo and take the bold step into a more serious and pessimistic outlook of technology – something that I agree with wholeheartedly.
It’s also nice to see people who are willing to break through the lies and sneers of big corporations and get to the core of how things really work, which I consider a good thing as well. However, unfortunately, the majority of cyberpunk technologies don’t conform to my optimistic world view.
Much of the genre isn’t about saving the world or preventing some big catastrophe. They’re smaller scale stories about people trying to save themselves, or maybe just one other person.
One of the most frustrating things about cyberpunk technology is that almost everyone gets it wrong. Many people’s definitions of the term “cyberpunk” are ludicrous. When you ask someone what they think it means, most people will tell you that it refers to a computer “punk,” which I am reminded of almost every day of my life. The concept is so vague that it has been used as an insult, though, so it’s important to get your definitions right.
If you have never read cyberpunk literature, it’s time to do so. Most of it is totally entertaining, while others are funny, or definitely non-fanservice. At the same time,it’s vital to realize that there is a difference between what we say, and what is real. in cyberpunk culture, anything can be labeled cyberpunk – from computer games to hard-core internet porn.