Technoscience / Ecomateriality / Literature
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Reading Response

September 8th, 2014 | Posted by Norma De Jesus in Uncategorized

Despite the DIVE being a little bit less than what I expected, I gained more appreciation for virtual reality, programming, and how the human brain works to deceive our perception. The six-screened cube provided us an immersive experience that engaged the senses of sight and sound. Had the DIVE engaged additional senses such as touch and smell, the experience, apart from being completely different, would’ve made us feel 100% part of the cybernetic experience. Perhaps in the near future, technology will develop a virtual reality so immersive it will be difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. These types of overarching themes are portrayed in William Gibson’s novel Neuromancer. The setting of the story gives us context of the type of virtual atmosphere Gibson wanted to convey. “Synonymous with implants, nerve-splicing, and micro bionics, Chiba was a magnet for the Sprawl’s techno-criminal subcultures” (Gibson, pg.3) The book portrays proper various examples of virtual reality. From Molly being swiped free of her memory in an attempt to forget her past, to Case attempting to utilize technology to fix his damaged nervous system, the type of ways the author involves technology shows us that this novel offers a different type of reality than the one we are used to. A story about a computer hacker who loses his job for stealing from his employer, Neuromancer develops the ideas of augmented realities and alongside, coins the term “cyberspace.” This word in particular takes us back to how the brain and cybernetics combine forces to offer humans a false sense of reality. “Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts . . . A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the non-space of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding….” (Gibson, pg. 38). These words that are mentioned in a “kid’s show” when Case and Molly are flipping through the channels show us what Gibson thought of the idea of this new term. This notion can bring us to question whether our own reality could possibly be cyberspace itself. Perhaps, we could be mere computation data, working together to create the reality we live in. Or perhaps our origins are deeply rooted in a software program being infinitely developed in the vast darkness of outer space.

Work Cited:
Gibson, William. Neuromancer. New York: Ace, 1984. Print.

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