History Of The Future

419 views
376 views

Published on

Published in: Technology, Education
0 Comments
2 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
419
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
11
Comments
0
Likes
2
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

History Of The Future

  1. 1. History of the Future 11: Cyberpunk and the 1980s
  2. 2. This Session <ul><li>Overview of 1980s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on elements found in Gibson & Card </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New trends in the future </li></ul><ul><li>Framing of “Cyberpunk” movement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Including earlier depictions of computer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Real-world developments in technology </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. The 1980s <ul><li>Global Politics dominated by Cold War </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Early 80s – intensification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Late 80s – collapse of USSR </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Domestic politics shift </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conservative revival gains pace </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Growing social inequality (yuppies) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Brashness & materialism in pop culture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong reaction in “alternative” media </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lots of new consumer technology </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Reagan Years <ul><li>“ Morning in America” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Feel-good appeal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Budget shifts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social programs cut </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Military programs grow; high-tech buildup </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Large tax cut (“supply-side economics”) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recession follows </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Rustbelt” industries crumble </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cold War revives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Promise to defeat “Evil Empire” </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Strategic Defense Initiative <ul><li>Pitched to Reagan as magic shield </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Did he believe? We may never know. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Science fiction authors help to promote </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ben Bova (editor of Omni) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Jerry Pournell (author, computer columnist) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>also Edward Teller (hydrogen bomb physicist) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Massive plans </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lasers, killer satellites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Massive software, network challenges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Few independent scientists support </li></ul></ul><ul><li>America spends many billions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Soviets start to get worried </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Nuclear War Re-emerges <ul><li>Arms-race intensifies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nuclear Cruise Missiles based in Europe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trident submarines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Missiles more accurate, more warheads </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Anti-nuclear movement grows </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Large demonstrations common </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Theme common in popular culture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Missile Command video game </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wargames film (1983) </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Rightwing SF <ul><li>Enjoys something of a revival </li></ul><ul><ul><li>General mood, Star Wars movie may help </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many stories of survivalist or libertarian bent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fervently pro-technology, pro-space travel, anti-government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Generally militarist </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Specialized sub-genre </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Baen Books – publisher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Writers: Jerry Pournelle, David Drake, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Rise of Japan <ul><li>Will computers follow TVs? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>5 th Generation Project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>breakthroughs in artificial intelligence sought </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advances feared in software, processors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Japanese pursue “software factory” approach </li></ul></ul><ul><li>They have all the coolest electronics </li></ul><ul><li>Japanese pop culture becomes dweeb-cool </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Very futuristic – comics, videos </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cartoonish fashion, clothes </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Japan: The Pop Group Synth-pop, Asian-influenced futurism meets Tokyo chic
  10. 10. Shifts in Pop Culture <ul><li>Music and fashion subcultures fragment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Punks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Post-Punk (including “New Romantics”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many others -- Heavy Metal, Rap, Techno </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New entertainment forms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MTV arrives in early-80s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Atari and home videogames in late-70s </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Escapism is common thread </li></ul>A “Haircut” Band
  11. 11. The Future Changes Slowly <ul><li>Many suspicious of Glasnost, is it just PR? </li></ul><ul><li>Genuine progress in arms control late 80s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cruise missiles eliminated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Treaties to reduce warhead levels </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nobody predicts sudden collapse of Soviet union </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CIA or science fiction writers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1980s future suddenly looks very dated </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. New Trends in the Future <ul><li>Virtual Reality (new term circa 1982) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Immersion in simulated world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Key theme of cyberpunk fiction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Idea spreads rapidly into mainstream culture </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Genetic Engineering </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recombinant DNA is new technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Though cloning often appeared in 70s </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nanotechnology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creation of machines at molecular level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creeps as theme at end of 80s </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Cyberpunk: The Idea <ul><li>Term coined in by Bruce Bethke </li></ul><ul><ul><li>punk part reflects streetwise attitude </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tone tends to be dark, cynical </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Virtual Reality as central idea </li></ul><ul><li>Other themes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alteration of human bodies, genes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Popular culture, media power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Critical of corporate power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often romantic, rebellious </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Cyberpunk: The Movement <ul><li>First self-conscious movement since “New Wave” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Neuromancer (1984) is defining statement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gibson & Bruce Sterling are key proponents </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Push to shake-up science fiction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sterling publishes “Cheap Truth” magazine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fame soon spreads beyond genre </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Largely faded as movement by late-80s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Influence remains strong on later work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Neal Stephenson’s Snowcrash (1994) is popular </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Computers in SF <ul><li>Common by mid-1950s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Futuristic technology lags history </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Big, expensive, central computers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Used mostly for mathematics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nobody much predicts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal computer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Microchips, miniaturization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactive graphics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Main extrapolation is artificial intelligence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Often arrives spontaneously </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Cybernetics <ul><li>Coined by Norbert Weiner, 1947 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Popular 1948 book, “Cybernetics” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From Greek – “steersman” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Idea tied to automation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Generalization of feedback, as control principle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Animals, machines – both seek goals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Idea gets tied to Artificial Intelligence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Also “cyber” is popular prefix </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Networking: Real Life <ul><li>First networks military </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SAGE air-defense system in mid-1950s </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Networking research funded in 1960s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ARPANet built for computer science researchers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ties together existing computers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Computer Utility” idea popular in late-60s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pipe computer power into homes, offices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thousands of terminals on one big computer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Never really pans out </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Networking, Reality II <ul><li>Idea of terminal (rather than personal computer) lasts into early 1980s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic attention given to “computer conferencing” from late 70s </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Commercial “videotext” networks of mid-80s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>News, reference material, home shopping and banking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited, controlled by big corporations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All fail in US – slow, expensive, not useful </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Networking: Fiction <ul><li>Little realistic treatment pre-1980 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Much more focus on AI than networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>John Brunner, Shockwave Rider , 1975 invents idea of computer “worm” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Vernor Vinge, “True Names” (1981) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hackers adventures in virtual environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comic-book story; anti-government ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Influential on libertarian new activists of 90s </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. The Information Society <ul><li>1960s: idea of “Knowledge Worker” popular in 1960s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing importance of science, technology, education </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1970s: post-industrial society </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Popular phrase </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Associated with micro revolution, new faith in automation (idea from 50s resurfaces) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1980: Toffler publishes “Third Wave” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Utopian, libertarian, decentralized future </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Very influential </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. The Micro Revolution <ul><li>Integrated Circuit (silicon chip) technology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Used from mid-1960s for computers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Initially just a few components on chip </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rapid Progress </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Densities grow, Moore’s law coined </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RAM chips from 1970 </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. The Microprocessor <ul><li>Intel 4004 is first one </li></ul><ul><li>Intel introduces 8080 microprocessor in 1972 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple but usable “computer on a chip” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forms heart of inexpensive electronic devices </li></ul></ul><ul><li>MIPS offers Altair computer as kit in 1975 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Useless but expandable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal computing takes off among electronics hobbyists </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Home Computers <ul><li>Apple II, 1977 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First mass produced micro </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Purchased for home, school, office </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cheaper home machines follow </li></ul><ul><ul><li>VIC 20, Atari 800, Commodore Amiga, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Actual Use Unclear <ul><li>“ Computer literacy” is main selling point </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Designed to be programmed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BASIC built in </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Talk of “home productivity” applications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Balance checkbook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organize recipes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Videogames become main use! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many converted from arcade </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Hackers <ul><li>Term originally has positive association </li></ul><ul><ul><li>geeky pranksters at MIT </li></ul></ul><ul><li>By mid-1980s means electronic vandals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes credited with superhuman powers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media fascination continues into 1990s </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Problem for science fiction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Actual hacking very boring </li></ul></ul>

×