Are we in cyberspace now? Gibson is celebrated as the coiner of the word “cyberspace”: it has sometimes seemed that his imagined version of the world of networked computing, conceived in the early 1980s when using the Internet was a rare and specialized pursuit and the World Wide Web had not yet been invented, has come to pass—or is about to. He himself, as you’ll see in the non-fiction essays you are assigned, is far more reserved. Certainly Gibson would not embrace Gernsback’s slogan: “extravagant fiction today…cold fact tomorrow.” And yet… Consider the representation of computing and the digital domain in “Burning Chrome.” Write a paragraph in which you choose a specific feature of life with computers as represented in the story. What seems familiar or unfamiliar about it? What does Gibson emphasize?
Be careful, as you prepare to discuss “Burning Chrome” in class on Monday, not to assume that everyone has access to or experiences the digital in the same way, in 1982 or 2013. Use this as an occasional to reflect critically on your own cyberspatial experience: what seems smooth and what seems rough? where did you learn to do the things you can do? —But for purposes of blogging, focus on writing an analytical paragraph about Gibson’s text.
Go 4 it.