pAUL yoUngqUist Information is not taken into the human organism so much as it is created from the strong association of external and internal perceptions. These associations are called knowledge, insight, belief, understanding, belligerence, pig-headedness, stupidity. --Samuel R. Delany (1984) The cyberpunks got there first, and in their hip, dystopian way created a vision of the world to come (which has come) in which information sets the terms for life. William Gibson gave us the word "cyberspace" and with it a vocabulary to describe a global culture in which transnational corporate capitalism rules with a digital grip the negligible lives of the post human masses. So persuasive was this vision that Fredric Jameson labeled cyberpunk "the literature of late capitalism" (1990, 329), largely for the verve and precision with which it describes what another acute observer calls "the Informatics of Domination" (Haraway 1990, 161). The same year as Gibson's publication of Neuromancer (1984), the book that put cyberpunk on the map, another novel appeared, similarly obsessed with the coming culture of information, Samuel R. Delany's Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand (1984). Set centuries and not decades in the future, it explores what that culture might
symploke – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Oct 23, 2009
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