…or at least as bowel-voidingly terrifying as people might think.
Prof David S. Wall from the University of Leeds has published a paper – Cybercrime and the Culture of Fear: Social science fiction(s) and the production of knowledge about cybercrime – which has been profiled on IO9 that claims that:
Cyberpunk effectively defined cybercrime as a harmful activity that takes place in virtual environments and made the ‘hi-tech low-life’ hacker narrative a norm in the entertainment industry. It is interesting to note at this point, that whilst social theorists were adopting the Barlovian model of cyberspace, it was the Gibsonian model that shaped the public imagination through the visual media.
Of “the Barlovian model of cyberspace,” to save you the trouble of Googling, after the IO9 article there is an extract from a lecture on Media and Cyberculture, which says that Barlovian refers to John Perry Barlow, the Grateful Dead lyricist, and one of the founders of the EFF. He declares in A Declaration on the Independence of Cyberspace :
“We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth, We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence of conformity. In our world, whatever human mind may create can be reproduced and distributed infinitely at no cost. We must declare our virtual selves immune to your sovereignty, even as we continue to consent to your rule over our bodies. We will spread ourselves across the Planet so that no one can arrest our thoughts. We will create a civilization of the Mind in cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before”
Which is interesting, to say the least. Check out Professor Wall’s paper in full here (I doubt I could write a better profile than the one at IO9).
And if that was not enough, you too can immerse yourself in the reality of being a successful cyberpunk novelist and Zeitgeist-definer by listening to William Gibson’s playlist.