THE CYBERPUNK PEOPLE by Gordon Meyer & Jim Thomas
"The future masters of technology
will have to be lighthearted and intelligent.
The machine easily masters the grim and the dumb."
-- Marshall McLuhan, 1969
Some groups associate themselves with
literature/scifi and call themselves cyberpunks, or, are associated
with cyberpunk and called cyberpunks.
The main classifications of cyberpunks are:
- Persons who are skilled or talented with most aspects of
computers, software, electronics, and technology, and can do
things with them that seem "magical". For hackers,
technology is not just a hobby but a way of life.
- Sometimes called as "dark-side hackers". People who use their
computing skills when breaking security on computer systems,
for illicit gain or simply for the
pleasure of exercising their skills. These are
the real-world analogues of the "console cowboys" of Cyberpunk
fiction. There's also software crackers, who open programs
without paying, make patches, and change serial numbers.
- Telecom crackers. They do a similar thing with the telecom
system, coming up with ways to circumvent phone companies'
calling charges and doing clever things with the phone network.
Telephones are a phreaks primary interest. Many expand their
knowledge to satellite and wireless radio communications.
Scanners and counter surveillance devices, cellular phones and
pagers are commonly used to maintain contact with the Internet
and comrades around the world.
- Masters of cryptography. Individuals who believe that the
government is out to invade the privacy of everybody on the
planet. The cypherpunk's central goal is to out-smart the
system, and a good way to do this is through cryptography and
cryptosystems. They believe widespread use of extremely
hard-to-break coding schemes will create "regions of privacy"
that "The System" cannot invade.
- People who live in the Net and master it. Surfing, chatting,
ircing, pinging, tracing, ftp:ing, fingering...
- Alienated computer nerds, mainly in Japan, fixated on
manga/anime art, Net, and computer games - an obsession that in
one case led to a string of horrific murders.
- These are the folks who use synthesized and sampled music,
computer-generated psychedelic ("cyberdelic") art, and designer
drugs to create massive all-night dance parties and love-fests
in empty warehouses.
- Transhumans and
- People who attempt to exploit technology to increase human
potential and life expectancy.
- Zippies, or cyber-hippies.
But, as the definitions say, cyberpunk is (intrinsically) undefinable and
anyone claiming to be a "cyberpunk" may be laughed off any cyberculture
community. It's also often so, that people who "should" be cyberpunks
according to some definitions, don't consider so, or haven't realized it.
Essays about Cyberpunks in General
[ Top ]
- Timothy Leary's essay about cyberpunks.
- Analysis of
- Analysis of a subculture group called cyberpunks, by Robert Weir.
- Nerds with an Attitude
- Are cyberpunks creative visionaries or merely nerds with an attitude?
By Candee Wilde and David Weldon.
- A Postmodernist Interpretation
of the Computer Underground
- A sociological analysis of the computer underground. Takes a look at the
members and actions of the computer underground.
An essay by Gordon Meyer and Jim Thomas.