NEUROMANCER


We read and discussed Neuromancer by William Gibson
Everyone seemed to have missed 30 pages somewhere.... or read it a while ago... or not at all...
Rastas were jen's favorite.

cybernetics

Cyberspace

The dislocation becomes profound - there is less and less to hold onto as you progress through the work. The physicality or loss of it was significant to all there is no place, after reading for a while, to construct images in the mind. Just keep reading and eventually things start to make sense but not necessarily as an alternate reality or even definable space in our reality, cyberspace.
In Gibson's construction of cyberspace we are not presented with total disembodiment - flatline in cyberspace and you die in the physical world, although you could become a construct and live forever(?). The simstim, Case exists through Molly, is a simulated physicality achieved through technology. Before Case begins again to jack in, he travels in the physical world of bars, derms, lack of money and Linda, the clearest representation of a stratified economy.
Written in the 80's, (1984, to be exact, ironical?) Reagan era, money. It was always there but there was a limit to your value supply depending your placement in the stratification of this construct. There is no middle class in this world, only the physciality of the bars and the world of being jacked in. They are not completely separated, Molly as the body and Case, cerebral, as the brains, still need both. Molly was not completely the braun. There was still the echo of a traditional marriage relationship. Contrasts with the dependent, desperate Linda.
pornographic? can't remember where this came from - anyone else?

Molly


Much of our discussion revolved around Molly....
Cyborg - how does she fit in Haraway's cyborg construct? or does she?
rachel and jen thought it would be great to have molly's razor blades and eyes. meredith had them installed this weekend as a test case for some strange school in A2 called SI or something like that. Tom was disconcerted by the fact that we actually wanted razor blades for/in our bodies.
Molly had a defined function and purpose. She was given a job to do and she did it, another distinction between Molly and Linda. This suggested a very clear definition of her role in the world. Seemed it was her choice to do this job.
Other thoughts on the economy of cyberspace?

Technology

The deck seemed somewhat like a Power/notebook, Sega or Nintendo. We are in effect heading for being jacked in all the time. The lack of a 'homebase' sits precarious in the coming century. If we can access everything we need, being jacked in, then what is the point of having homes. The sleeping coffins are another indication of this displacement. In the movie Until the End of the World, wim wenders, depicts sleeping quarters in much the same way they are described by Gibson. A pretty frightening thought or are we heading that direction already. Seems the breakdown, the more money you have the farther away from the city you can live, work, have a social life, is pointing in this direction. Once you leave the realm of working in a physical place, we are no longer a physical labor/production oriented society, you also leave a social construct. That's okay though, you can go to a virtual cafe and interact with a lot of other people in the Internet Cafes... one near you soon! You never actually have to come in physical contact with much of anyone. (except the UPS guy who will deliver all the products you order online right to your door, and they're cute anyway)
Have we reached a point where we put so much emphasis on physical appearance, that communicating without visual contact is a way we try to present our 'real' selves.
Technological advances in altering the human body.
Where are we going? How long until we begin to alter our physical beings for more than health and beauty? Have we already gotten there? Silicon breasts, replacing organs that fail, chemical warfare (what is wrong with those soldiers who came back from Desert Storm and how will it effect their children?)
Bigger Better Faster More! Bionic Women and Men
(although eventually they will be obsolete, just kidding) of the future.

Religion and Spirituality of Cyberspace?

Rastas, obviously still hanging out smokin'. What about the rest of the religions? Did they beome cultures or did technology become the spiritual leader?
The spiritual infusion of Wintermute and Neuromancer. ....

This book was the first cyberpunk book, began this thought of cyberspace as a space. Much of the technology used in this book is ambiguous and the realization of it in the world today is unnerving?
Gibson seems to indicate in many of his other writings that there is a lot at stake in the eyes. Eyes are the holders of the souls or something like that, not really sure exactly ...

Miscellaneous- some things just can't be classified....

  • "pissed off that we read this book, obtuse in a way, doesn't hit you over the head"
  • "one person, one song" 3Jane
  • "glorifying it [cyberspace]?"
  • Neuromancer as a hero novel. Molly as the antithesis of everything human.
  • Ice and sunshine and warmth and counterelectronics ....
  • embodiments of ideas made the neuromancer, ideas as concrete, what is valuable... humans as resources. and their ideas even more valuable. there is no valuye in the physical body, unless you are molly.

and on that note....



back to meredith's statement