Otakuman’s cyberpunk rant

[–]otakumanBrain Hacker 2 points 5 days ago

Something doesn’t require being sci-fi, or even futuristic to be cyberpunk.

is something I would like to read your thoughts about in detail.

Sure. In the last few years, the world has seen quite a few cyberpunk events (not necessarily in order):

With the Patriot Act, America went full Big Brother. Dissenters were shut down, those who disagreed with attacking Iraq were called traitors.

The security theater happening in airports made the TSA quite abusive, in detriment of the citizenship while doing nothing to actually fight terrorism.

Meanwhile, the NSA starts the greatest spy operation in the country, spying everyone without their knowledge.

The group that called itself “Anonymous” becomes famous for exposing the cult of Scientology, which we could as well call a for-profit institution masquerading as religion. (quite similar to Bob L. Rife’s church in Snow Crash). Anonymous takes the Guy Fawkes mask from a comic book made movie, and turns it into an icon of rebellion. The mask is no longer associated to Guy Fawkes or the V for Vendetta movie, but with “Anonymous”.

The RIAA and MPAA fight against Napster, engaging in a legal war

The Bittorrent protocol appears, and takes the world by storm. You no longer need to connect to a node in the network to download your .mp3 files, you’re swarming and downloading from everyone at the same time

The Pirate Bay opens, popularizing the protocol.

The EFF keeps fighting against DRM, which is an intrusive form of copy protection.

The DMCA gets signed into law, to the dismay of many. Now breaking copy protection, even for legal purposes, becomes illegal.

Social news networks appear, and news start getting delivered by the people, which is good. On the other hand, the internet is becoming more centralized, traffic conglomerating into a few sites: Google, Facebook, Blogger, Twitter

Russian mobsters start distributing spam

The “unbreakable” copy protection in DVD players gets broken, a security key gets published in the internet. Mass censorship happens, sparking a Streissand effect. The key becomes published in T-shirts, mugs, even in color-coded flags. 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 XX (where XX > DF and XX < C1)

Bionic limbs become actually usable

Companies do price fixing on memories, flat panel monitors

Shills start invading social sites.

Chinese gold farmers play in internet games for real money.

MMORPG user dies in a cybercafe after not sleeping for three consecutive days

The internet becomes more and more dangerous: Phishing attacks target people, fooling them into visiting banking websites copycats

The FBI hacks into TOR, dismantles pedophile rings

Terrorist groups use the internet to spread their message

Drones become a thing

The FBI vs. Apple case draws nationwide attention

Users submit their videos denouncing crime and corruption over the internet

The Arab Spring is supported by twitter, governments start censoring the internet when they realize its potential.

Did I mention Edward Snowden and Wikileaks?

Celebgate happens. Fappers rejoice all around the world.

3D printing becomes mainstream.

China starts making credit rating based on support of government

The internet of things gets pitched

Hackers demonstrate the vulnerabilities of the internet of things

Cubans distribute snapshots of internet pages over USB drives

The famous “Stingray” device used by the FBI to act as man-in-the-middle between cellphones and cell towers is exposed over the internet

See, when you realize how technology shapes society around it, Gibson’s words become a prophecy:

Night City was like a deranged experiment in social Darwinism, designed by a bored researcher who kept one thumb permanently on the fast-forward button.

Is this not what is happening to society right now?


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