Cyberpunk and Post-Cyberpunk
Cyber is now an intrinsic part of our lives in ways that build off of, parallel, and contradict what was imagined in the early days of the genre. Looking up the etymology of the word cyberpunk I found this gem: “Cyber is such a perfect prefix. Because nobody has any idea what it means, it can be grafted onto any old word to make it seem new, cool — and therefore strange, spooky. [New York magazine, Dec. 23, 1996]” We do seem to be past that point. Snapchat (or whatever else I’m missing) may be the realm of the cool kids (emphasis on kids) but “cyber” is no longer new, cool, or spooky any more than television is.
On the other hand cyber is not over, and certainly not fixed into a static form. Technology, including virtual technology, is still evolving, and with it our social structures. We design new interfaces to meet our interactional needs, and the way we interact changes to adapt to those interfaces. The unforeseen rise and fall of various internet-based behemoths has shown us that the future of cyberspace is almost as uncertain as it was before cyberspace existed. If anything, shifts and quirks—mutations, if you will—in that evolution are happening ever faster, as the underlying infrastructure—both technical and in terms of early adopters—expands. We still have room and license to imagine wondrous, disastrous, fascinating future forms of the cyberworld.
So if we are not post-cyber but no longer pre-cyber, what do we do about the punk part? It’s even harder to give that up, because to be honest that’s what appealed to me in the aesthetic I was talking about earlier. It’s not a coincidence that ___punk has caught on, attaching itself to numerous subgenres. “Punk” suggests (because it has drifted far from its original meaning) characters with an edge, both in the sense of being hard and in the sense of being a little ahead of the game. Punk is both rebellion and cool knowingness, anger and action. There’s an intimation of young outsiders using their combination of grit and technical skills to battle against the overwhelming balance of a society ranged against them.
/art and entertainment/music/music genres/punk (0.540963)
/technology and computing (0.452504)
/art and entertainment/books and literature/science fiction (0.415249)
New York magazine (0.918040 (neutral:0.000000)), various internet-based behemoths (0.896343 (negative:-0.737921)), fascinating future forms (0.876485 (positive:0.446485)), Post-Cyberpunk Cyber (0.774766 (positive:0.638829)), hand cyber (0.732266 (negative:-0.430158)), word cyberpunk (0.729148 (positive:0.837155)), perfect prefix (0.722745 (positive:0.746435)), cool kids (0.720851 (positive:0.284890)), interactional needs (0.703147 (positive:0.298532)), unforeseen rise (0.693750 (negative:-0.737921)), old word (0.690302 (negative:-0.377254)), numerous subgenres (0.675917 (neutral:0.000000)), static form (0.675670 (negative:-0.268951)), social structures (0.675169 (neutral:0.000000)), overwhelming balance (0.671927 (neutral:0.000000)), new interfaces (0.668003 (positive:0.298532)), virtual technology (0.667417 (neutral:0.000000)), young outsiders (0.665015 (neutral:0.000000)), early adopters—expands (0.656108 (neutral:0.000000)), technical skills (0.646954 (neutral:0.000000)), cyberspace (0.504220 (negative:-0.737921)), sense (0.486334 (negative:-0.389379)), contradict (0.480721 (neutral:0.000000)), cyberworld (0.467348 (positive:0.446485)), coincidence (0.463298 (neutral:0.000000)), etymology (0.463076 (positive:0.837155)), grit (0.457930 (neutral:0.000000)), shifts (0.457535 (negative:-0.201271)), gem (0.455925 (positive:0.837155))
Cyberpunk (0.964572): dbpedia | freebase
Punk subculture (0.945953): dbpedia | freebase | yago
William Gibson (0.764374): website | dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Cyberspace (0.644338): dbpedia | freebase
Future (0.605045): dbpedia | freebase
Cyberculture (0.582132): dbpedia | freebase
Lupe Fiasco\'s The Cool (0.560700): dbpedia | freebase | yago
New York City (0.556884): geo | website | dbpedia | freebase | yago | geonames