Guest Post: The Pursuit of CyberpunknessPosted by Psychochild
Here’s a guest post by guest writer Scrivener talking about cyberpunk’s place in our current world. He echoes some of the points I’ve written about, how the old concept of cyberpunk has become our reality. He also makes an great call to action in the last paragraph, and I’d also love to hear your thoughts to his question.
We picture cyberpunk in our minds. We picture it in visuals and concepts, aesthetically and emotionally. We’re drawn to a future that is filled with the dystopian rhythm born from a world exploring its unknown, advancing, adolescent self. We’re drawn to the slick style of the (usually) technologically savvy inhabitants, the seamless or invasive fusion of man with machine in all aspects of life, and the bleak concepts and intriguing ideas only a cyberpunked world can provide. We catch glimpses of these elements and concepts ever-creeping upon our modern time, always feeling like a cyberpunk future is just around the corner — “achievable” (as written by Sinnyo).
But still, sadly, it is unheard of or ignored by most of the people I encounter. And is it any wonder? Cyberpunk seems, at least to this writer, neither prevalent nor popular in public atmospheres and open conversation. Despite the enthusiastic wealth of cyber’d culture that we may run into in online communities, my small talk with a friendly neighbor generally doesn’t cover the latest innovations in everyday man-machine interfacing, the concept of the Singularity, or the fact that his daughter hasn’t taken well to her recent artificial pancreas or vision-improving implants. We’re ripped from our little oh-so-near fantasy into a world that can often seem dull, lifeless, or ignorant by comparison. What can we do to counter this?
As it turns out, most folk we meet on a daily basis turn out to be just as thoughtful, aware, intelligent, and most likely as skeptical of our own sentience as we are of theirs. Therefore it would seem like the problem with the world, as far as not openly recognizing the cyberpunk culture as a movement of people and ideas, is with us. In the big picture, we’re doing surprisingly little to communicate to the general public — to express ourselves. I’ll hypothesize that this may be a major factor not only in limiting the spread of ideas and cultural identity, but in reducing our own sense of the achievability of cyberpunk for our personal lives.
I’m not going to make a stand on a pulpit about how we might, as a whole, better share ourselves with the world (though that would be a fantastic article, hint hint), but I would like to hear about a few ways that you enrich your own life, and communicate your ideological liberty, in the pursuit of cyberpunkness.
(Personally, my favorite step toward this goal so far has been the purchase of a couple goodies at Memetic Tees — you ought to check that guy out. Great conversation starters! He also takes suggestions for future items.)