Stop pretending cyberspace exists – Salon.com # Traction, at bloody last

Some ideas make you dumber the moment you learn of them. One of those ideas is the concept of “cyberspace.” The term was coined by William Gibson in his novel “Neuromancer” and defined as “a graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system …” As a metaphor that borrows imagery from geography, cyberspace is no different in kind from, say, John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier. But while nobody thinks that governments are invading Kennedy’s New Frontier, or commercializing Kennedy’s New Frontier, techno-anarchists on the right or left are constantly complaining that “cyberspace” is being “colonized” by government, business or both.

That’s what makes it necessary to state what ought to be obvious: There is no such place as cyberspace. It is not a parallel universe, coexisting with our world but in a different dimension. It is just a bad metaphor that has outlived its usefulness. Using the imagery of a fictitious country makes it harder to have rational arguments about government regulation or commercial exploitation of modern information and communications technologies.

continues at: Stop pretending cyberspace exists – Salon.com.

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One thought on “Stop pretending cyberspace exists – Salon.com # Traction, at bloody last

  1. alecm Post author

    ps: the article links through to Daniel Castro’s piece, about which I am unconvinced, for a bunch of reasons, which maybe I shall explain later.

    Not least of which is that he “Rejects Do Not Track”

    Reply

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