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Cyberspace

"Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts...A graphical representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the non-space of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding..." -William Gibson, "Neuromancer"

Here is another one:

"Cyberspace is the 'place' where a telephone conversation appears to occur. Not inside your actual phone, the plastic device on your desk. Not inside the other person's phone, in some other city. The place between the phones. The indefinite place out there, where the two of you, human beings, actually meet and communicate."
Bruce Sterling [The Hacker Crackdown]
This quote comes from the interesting pages of Principia Cybernetica where there is more worth reading on cybernetics and many of the concepts related to the experience of cyberspace.

Gibson's definition is important because he made up the word. Stirlings is nice and simple.

Read this from Herbert Mashall McLuhan, it sounds like he knew of cyberspace way back in the sixties:

Now that we live in an electronic environment of information coded not just in visual but in other sensory modes, it's natural that we now have new perceptions that destroy the monopoly and priority of visual space, making this older space look as bizarre as a medieval coat of arms over a chemistry lab.

More links to McLuhan related material on the Psybernet McLuhan Page.

Another definition:

At its fundamental level, cyberspace is a map that is maintained between a regular spatial topology and an irregular network topology. The continuity of cyberspace implies nothing about the internetwork upon which it exists. Cyberspace is complete abstraction, divorced at every point from concrete representation.
This one is from Cyberspace Mark D. Pesce ([email protected]), Peter Kennard ([email protected]), Anthony S. Parisi ([email protected])

Cyberspace is like any other space ... for example we have: Atlas of Cyberspaces

"This is an atlas of maps and graphic representations of the geographies of the new electronic territories of the Internet, the World-Wide Web and other emerging Cyberspaces. "

... However there are new aspects to the geography!

"Some of the maps you will see in the Atlas of Cyberspaces will appear familiar, using the cartographic conventions of real-world maps, however, many of the maps are much more abstract representations of electronic spaces, using new metrics and grids. The atlas comprises eleven pages, covering different types of cybermaps. "
And, as with spaces and places in the real world there are architects of cyberspace.

Cyberspace Links


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Created 1994, Updated: Sunday, October 17, 1999