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What is Cyberpunk?
Transcript of What is Cyberpunk?
Cyberpunk is a science fiction genre that is dark and cynical in tone
Cyberpunk comes from a fusion of the terms 'cybernetic' and 'punk'
Meaning of the word 'cyberpunk' could be something like 'machine/computer rebel movement'.
Punk was an anarchistic youth movement which terrorized the world in the 1970's and early 1980’s.
They are Living out on the edge of an alienating system, are the criminals, outcasts, visionaries and misfits. Cyberpunk literature focuses on these people, and often on how they turn the system's technological tools to their own ends.
Cybernetics is the science of control and communication between machines and organisms.
In cyberpunk environment, there are usually powerful elites, be they oppressive governments, paternalistic multinational corporations or fundamentalist religions, who dominate the lives of the mass population.
These regimes are aided and distorted by artificial intelligence, electronic media and information technology, resulting in an unusually subdued citizenry.
History of Cyberpunk
1. Thirty year old movement
2. Philip K Dick published the basis for blade Runner in 1968.
3. Origins from Generation X, Post Modernism, and British punk movements.
4. Telephone considered by many as the first virtual reality.
5. Video game characters like Mario brothers said to 'live' in virtual reality.
6. Scientists rush to create VR and biofeedback interfaces for computers.
7. Hackers in Germany arrested for using Internet to access and transport information to committee for state security.
8. Secret Service raids, delaying the printing of GURPS Cyberpunk game ( GURPS Cyberpunk is a toolkit for playing games set in a near-future dystopia)
9. Self-proclaimed "cyberpunks" face off against US government's efforts to control encryption technologies.
10. Sperm Donation as precursor to Genetic Engineering.
11. Software Piracy
It is a truly intelligent computer program with its own thoughts and ideals and may even possess emotional simulation.
It can learn from its experiences and thus may improve its skill levels or even learn new skills.
An AI can forget skills as a result of taking damage to its program volume.
AI's are regulated by the Turing Registry, which is an international concern with its headquarters. It monitors AI's and ensures that they do not break the law.
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2. Artificial Life
Or "A-life" - melds computing and biology by building software models of the brain, and seeing if those models can learn and adapt their behavior as we can.
may someday force us to rewrite the definition of "life" to include noncarbon-based materials, further blurring the distinctions between artificial and natural.
3. Cyberspace, or the Matrix
Cyberspace is the illusion of a location generated by computers.
In cyber culture, the Internet and other networks that flow into it are altogether called "the matrix."
The idea of "the matrix in the matrix movie is that the people are not aware that they are connected and a part of a matrix.
In William Gibson's science-fiction novel, Necromancer,"
The hero, Case, "jacks in" to the matrix by microchips implanted behind their ears, decks, goggle, electrodes, anything that can link their brain to cyberspace for 24/7 entertainment.
In Gibson’s view, the computer will bring us a flood of information and satisfaction, but to such an extent that the human race will no longer be recognizable as humanity.
is a being with both organic and mechanical parts.
The idea is that, in the future, we may have more
artificial body parts
The logical conclusion is that one might become a brain in a wholly artificial body.
And the step after that is to replace your meat brain by a computer brain
Machines doing things for us
centers on self-sufficient machines of some functionality operating at the
An area of concern is
the effect that industrial-scale manufacturing and use of nanomaterial would have on human health and the environment.
direct interface between human brain and computer.
allows any illusions to be inputted to human nervous system without need of any virtual glasses or data-gloves for accessing the cyberspace.
8. Neural Interface
9. Ubiquitous Computing
(Ubicomp) is a concept where computing is made to appear everywhere and anywhere.
A user interacts with the computer, in many different forms, including laptop , tablets, terminals and phones.
10. Virtual Reality
VR is a fully- absorbing, interactive experience of an alternate reality through the use of a computer in which a person perceives a synthetic environment and interacts with simulated objects in that environment as if they were real.
It's also a communications medium, and, ultimately, an artistic tool.
Categories Of cyberpunk groups
, represents the best kind of cyberpunk
, who attempt to break into computer systems
, attempts to break into telephone systems
who attempt to break codes
Online world leads to"loss of distinction between real and artificial" on which philosophical and existential conflicts about
can arise, such as questions on the nature of identity and
"What Measure Is a Non-Human?"
Themes and ideas
A utopian world = As peace as it can get.
Example, the world of star trek movie
Is a world that represents worst case scenario;undesirable way of living
where people are dehumanized and addicted to technology or something unreal
3.Manga and Anime
has broken down completely – an extension of the present day
5. Political organisation has fragmented
6. Technology serves the rich and is denied the poor
Fusion of man and machine
9. Story focuses on the underground
Ubiquitous Access to information
Cyberpunk visuals and style
looks at the near future.
a single dominating color that permeates the film.
the harsh glare of
yellow sodium lightning
represents most importantly conflict
both flashback scenes and overshadowed death being presented by
a milder but over saturated green
give the film a disturbingly organic feel showing that this world is alive, but decaying, eating itself alive from the inside.
society and social impact
The question is raised as to whether intelligence comparable to humans should give them comparable legal and moral standing.
There is a subculture called cybergoth that has elements of cyberpunk in it which has dark clothing with a contrast of vibrant color, present in hair as well.
Some real life places have been described as cyberpunk in Japan, Berlin, Germany, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
Berlins sony centre ->
1. "Attack anything that tries to hide information from the masses"(hacker ethic)
2. Rebel against harmful or oppressive authority.
3. Anarchy preferred.
4. Striving for a moral and spiritual peace.
5. Striving for "freedom" as either personal dependence or independence from/on technology.
“We are not violent by nature; we believe that people have the right to know what is going on. When you deprive us of that right, then we sink underground, a place where we are hidden and able to spring up and say what we have to say. We are not radicals, punks, or criminals. We are the voice. Do not shut us out."
Corporate control over society
Hacker (computer security) seeks and exploits weaknesses in a computer system or computer network
Hacker (hobbyist), makes innovative customizations or combinations of retail electronic and computer equipment
Hacker (programmer subculture), combines excellence, cleverness and exploration in performed activities
A cracker (also known as a black hat hacker) whose purpose is to bypass internet security or gain access to software without paying through social engineering, whereby cracker contacts employees at a company and tricks them into giving passwords and other information.
may steal credit card numbers, leave viruses, destroy files or collect personal information to sell.
reverse engineer software and modify it for their own amusement.
Phreaking may refer to the use of various audio frequencies to manipulate a phone system.
The typical phreak is usually equipped with a specially-made "box" designed to "fool" the network in some way.
A "black box" allows you to make free calls from a home phone;
a red box" to make free calls on a pay phone;
"blue box" provides complete control over the telephone system.
A cypherpunk is any activist advocating use of strong cryptography as a route to social and political change.
The basic ideas are in this quote from "A Cypherpunk's Manifesto"
"Privacy is necessary for an open society in the electronic age. ...
We cannot expect governments, corporations, or other large, faceless organizations to grant us privacy...
We must defend our own privacy if we expect to have any. ...
Cypherpunks write code. We know that someone has to write software to defend privacy, and ... we're going to write it. "
"Virtual Reality won't merely replace TV. It will eat it alive."
-Arthur C Clarke