Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chp. 1 and 4

6/13-strate 1, 4, 10

William Gibson originally coined cyberspace in 1984. It was used as a science fiction scenario where people can directly connect their nervous systems to a global computer, otherwise known as a virtual reality. Furthermore, Rosanne Stone suggests a different view of cyberspace. She said that it could only exist through social interaction with “communal agreement” between all parties. I also agree with Stone that in order for cyberspace to exist, both sides need to be involved. Since cyberspace functions as a substitute for public spaces, it impacts privacy and social interaction. A great example the book provides is the one of computer programmer David Alsberg. After he passed away not only did is family and friends come together in the physical world, but his online friends came together to form an online wake to mourn his passing. This shows the impact cyberspace has on people’s communication and social life. The friendships formed through these mediums seem to be just as valuable as face-to-face relationships. Chapter four as well as class discussion, shows the issues of metaphors in relation to cyberspace. I found it interesting that the book suggests that the “information  super highway” is a negative prediction of the Internet because, it suggests that information may not be free in the future. The metaphor is understood that way, but cyberspace is supposed to be a place where both user and viewer are in agreement and give feedback to one another. As a result this metaphor is not used that often to give people an idea of what cyberspace is actually about. Moreover I found the digital divide discussed in chapter ten to be very interesting. The statistics taken in 2000 said that 304 million people were online. Even though that’s a huge number, it is compared to the 6.1 billion people in the world. As a result, it is important to remember that everyone is not part of this virtual reality known as cyberspace and may never become part of this reality.

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