Information was meant to be free

Cyberpunk History

Phone Phreaks, BBS, Warez, and Cult of the Dead Cow

  • A Cyberpunk Manifesto: 20 Years Later – Neon Dystopia

    It was Valentine’s Day in 1997. Many of us were already cemented in our love of cyberpunk and cyber-culture was in full swing. Then came A Cyberpunk Manifesto by Kristiyan Kirchev. I was only just discovering the genre at this time and reading this document during my format…

  • A Cyberpunk Manifesto By Christian As. Kirtchev

    We are the ELECTRONIC MINDS, a group of free-minded rebels. Cyberpunks. We live in Cyberspace, we are everywhere, we know no boundaries. This is our manifest. The Cyberpunks’ manifest.

    1/ We are those, the Different. Technological rats, swimming in the ocean of information.

  • A very short history of Cyberpunk

    Neuromancer made a big splash not because it was the “first” cyberpunk novel, but rather, because it perfectly captured the Zeitgeist of anxiety and wonder that prevailed at the dawning of the present era of globalized economics, digital telecommunications, and exponential technological progress –things which we now take for granted but which, in the early 1980s were still new and frightening. For example, Gibson’s novels exhibit a fascination with the “Japanification” of Western culture –then a major concern, but now a forgotten and laughable anxiety. This is also visible in the futuristic Los Angeles of Scott’s Blade Runner.

  • History of Cyberpunk

    …The free human mind, creating the future, brings us to the new age - the Cyber Age. The inventing of the electricity and the telephone marks the beginning of the rise of the mankind. Broadcasting of sounds and images changed the human life forever…

    With every new invention, the world - a child of the new age - was growing. Mankind saw millions of new opportunities. The Computer was the biggest invention of the human race ever made after the discovery of electricity. This invention of the seething intelligence became the most used one in daily life… This new invention opened a door to a new dimension - the cyberworlds also known as Virtual Reality. The computer-synthesized worlds were the brand new technology, taking more and more victims… After those events the world could never be the same again…

  • What is cyberpunk? - We present a brief history of the near future

    a woman doing her makeup as the camera slowly pulls out to reveal she’s missing the bottom half of her face, a gaping cybernetic maw in its place. A cable jacked directly into a businessman’s skull, sparking and smoking as it fries his brain. An elevator the size of an apartment, crawling up the side of a high-rise towards the sky.

    These are just some of the fragmented vignettes studio CD Projekt Red put on display in Cyberpunk 2077’s debut trailer earlier this year. As an introduction to Night City, it promised one of the most distinctive game settings since Rapture or City 17 — but not much of its neon-soaked imagery is original. And that’s by design.

  • Cyberpunk - mit media in transition project

    The cyberpunk movement in American science fiction first took shape in the early 1980s in the fiction of such figures as Bruce Sterling, William Gibson, Rudy Rucker, Pat Cadigan, and James Patrick Kelly. However different in other respects, these writers were preoccupied by the changing place of media in American society, especially in the wake of the initial phases of the “digital revolution.”

    In his introduction to Mirrorshades, an anthology which helped to map the parameters of the cyberpunk movement, Bruce Sterling argues that cyberpunk reflects a new perspective on technology, not only among science fiction writers, but among consumers. For Sterling cyberpunk imagines an “overlapping of worlds that were formally separate: the realm of high tech and the modern pop underground.”

    Cyberpunk’s protagonists are hackers, rockers, and other cultural rebels, clinging to a cult of individualism in a culture characterized by corporate control and mass conformity. These protagonists are adept at appropriating the materials of popular culture and making them speak to alternative needs and interests; they also know how to tap into the vast digital database to access information about corporations and their secret conspiracies, or to spread resistant messages despite powerful mechanisms of top-down control.

  • What is cyberpunk? - We present a brief history of the near future
  • The History of Cyberpunk - Exploring the history of Cyberpunk through literary works and film
  • Cyberpunk Information Database

    Cyberpunk Information Database - The Definitive Cyberpunk Information Collection by The Cyberpunk Project.

  • Digital: A Love Story; Nostalgia, Irony and Cyberpunk

    Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be. Originally coined in 1688 by a medical student investigating the tendency of Swiss mercenaries to become homesick to the point of physical incapacity, nostalgia soon changed from being a curable physical ailment to being an unassuageable psychological condition, a sickness of the soul.

    This shift was the result of nostalgia being partly decoupled from the concept of homesickness. Homesickness can be cured by allowing the sufferer to return home, but nostalgia came to signify a longing not for a particular place but for a by-gone age forever out of reach… short of someone inventing time travel. However, despite becoming de-pathologised, nostalgia never quite managed to shed the negative connotations of its medical origins and the late 20th Century’s decision to turn nostalgia from a condition into a marketing strategy did little for its respectability in certain circles.

  • Cyberpunk Librarian - High tech, low budget
  • Mondo 2000 - Mondo 2000 The original magazine of cyberculture returns. Watch out for your overcoats!
  • In the beginning was the command line (1999) [pdf] By Neal Stephenson - Hacker News

    About twenty years ago Jobs and Wozniak, the founders of Apple, came up with the very strange idea of selling information processing machines for use in the home. The business took off, and its founders made a lot of money and received the credit they deserved for being daring visionaries. But around the same time, Bill Gates and Paul Allen came up with an idea even stranger and more fantastical: selling computer operating systems. This was much weirder than the idea of Jobs and Wozniak. A computer at least had some sort of physical reality to it. It came in a box, you could open it up and plug it in and watch lights blink. An operating system had no tangible incarnation at all. It arrived on a disk, of course, but the disk was, in effect, nothing more than the box that the OS came in. The product itself was a very long string of ones and zeroes that, when properly installed and coddled, gave you the ability to manipulate other very long strings of ones and zeroes. Even those few who actually understood what a computer operating system was were apt to think of it as a fantastically arcane engineering prodigy, like a breeder reactor or a U-2 spy plane, and not something that could ever be (in the parlance of high-tech) “productized.”

    Yet now the company that Gates and Allen founded is selling operating systems like Gillette sells razor blades. New releases of operating systems are launched as if they were Hollywood blockbusters, with celebrity endorsements, talk show appearances, and world tours. The market for them is vast enough that people worry about whether it has been monopolized by one company. Even the least technically-minded people in our society now have at least a hazy idea of what operating systems do; what is more, they have strong opinions about their relative merits. It is commonly understood, even by technically unsophisticated computer users, that if you have a piece of software that works on your Macintosh, and you move it over onto a Windows machine, it will not run. That this would, in fact, be a laughable and idiotic mistake, like nailing horseshoes to the tires of a Buick.

Cyberpunk Books

Cyberpunk and Cyberculture: Science Fiction and the Work of William Gibson. ^^^ Really excellent literary review!

  • https://www.athabascau.ca/courses/engl/491/cyberpunk_history.pdf

    Neuromancer made a big splash not because it was the “first” cyberpunk novel, but rather, because it perfectly captured the Zeitgeist of anxiety and wonder that prevailed at the dawning of the present era of globalized economics, digital telecommunications, and exponential technological progress –things which we now take for granted but which, in the early 1980s were still new and frightening. For example, Gibson’s novels exhibit a fascination with the “Japanification” of Western culture –then a major concern, but now a forgotten and laughable anxiety. This is also visible in the futuristic Los Angeles of Scott’s Blade Runner.

  • Cyberpunk Reading List
    • Neuromancer, William Gibson 1984
    • Count Zero, William Gibson 1986
    • Metrophage, Richard Kadrey 1988
    • Wetware, Rudy Rucker 1988
    • Mona Lisa Overdrive, William Gibson 1989
    • Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson 1992
    • Freeware, Rudy Rucker 1997
    • Realware, Rudy Rucker 2000
    • Jennifer Government, Max Barry 2003
    • The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi 2009
  • Must Read Cyberpunk Books

    Cyberpunk book readers navigate sprawling neon cities populated by hackers, gangsters, outcasts, and femmes fatales.

  • Did Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash predict the world of today?

    That’s what a number of venture capitalists and futurists told the Wall Street Journal recently. They cite Stephenson’s classic novel as a harbinger of many current staples, from World of Warcraft to Google’s search capabilities.

  • Snow Crash Revisited: Grokking a Satire of Mimesis

    The other day, I found myself in an intense conversation about the potential of shared virtual reality with a senior engineer at one of the largest tech companies in Silicon Valley. I say a “conversation,” but if I were to be more frank, I would have to admit that for long stretches I was on the receiving end of a rant. My interlocutor’s argument was impassioned, utterly contrarian, and possibly correct. One thing he said in passing struck me as hyperbolic but nonetheless apt: “Never trust an engineer who isn’t fond of Snow Crash.”

The Phone Phreaks and ‘Computer Hacking’

BBS

  • This is the Modem World: The sinister side of the ’80s BBS
  • A 1985 Essay from a Bulletin Board System Admin Eerily Foretold Our Future

    From privacy to the dark web, this obscure essay has it all.

  • Today in cyberpunk history: First BBS goes online.

    Those of you who never experienced the days of the “command line” or “DOS prompt” may not realize the impact that the bulletin board system, or BBS, has on today’s Internet. The archive site textfiles.com seeks to preserve those heady, monochrome, dial-up days for old-timers to relive and for the curious to see what the net was like before GUIs.

  • A Brief History Of cyberpunk.live - cyberpunk.live was a Rogers Community 22 television show that ran from 1994 to 1996 and covered hte burgeoning Internet and BBS scene in Ottawa

    In the summer of 1994, Ottawa screenwriter and standup comedian Rick Kaulbars came up with the idea of a call-in television show about the rapidly growing Internet and the locally popular BBS scene. A BBS user himself, Rick recognized that the growing availability of communications and computing technology to the general public would revolutionize the way in which people interacted, worked, and played. He was not the first to understand that the birth of the “information highway” (as it was popularly dubbed in those days) was going to be a major social development. But he did realize this would lead to an increasing demand amongst new and experienced users for information and news about this evolving phenomenon.

  • Anatoly Shashkin💾 (@dosnostalgic)

    Do you remember the days of Bulletin Board Systems? No matter what ur answer is, u should watch BBS: The Documentary https://t.co/27uPksSVRi

Anarchist Cookbook


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HISTORY
Early Internet Hacker