The Dream of a Cyberpunk
Future?
Presented
by
Zak, Nicola, Jenn & Tae
Introduction
 Cyberpunk is a genre which is distinguished by the technology focus
and futuristic orientations, however it...
The Comic Perspective, Entelechy,
& Dialectical Tension
 The comedic perspective in Neuromancer, and comedy in general
al...
Burke’s Theory of Comedy
 Cyberpunk comedy allows the audience to gain an attitude where
they can reflect on themselves w...
Conclusion of First section
 Neuromancer can be viewed as a cyberpunk comedy with an intended
comedic message. The comedy...
William Gibson & Neuromancer
 He created a lens for examining what he
understoos as the increasingly important
role that ...
Neuromancer
 The first novel to win the science fiction
triple crown
 Because it was one of the first works
of cyberpunk...
Enacting the Comic Frame in
Neuromancer
 In Neuromancer, Gibson takes various items of the current society
and evolves th...
Enacting the Comic Frame
 The idea of a computer that can think for itself and devise an
intricate plan for enhancing its...
Considering sub-cultures…
 The subcultures of today, stretched to their logical end, are
no longer satisfied with piercin...
Dialectical Tension & Critical
Self-Reflection
 Dialectical tension:
tensions that occur when relationship goals conflict...
A critique of current society
 The cyberpunk genre is often set in the future of a futuristic setting
which in contrast t...
As an influential new form of
social criticism
 Neuromancer and cyberpunk fiction in general has been
characterised as an...
Works to raise awareness
 However Neuromancer instead works to bring about raised awareness
about technology through self...
Conclusion
 Burke (1073) assumes that instead of individuals gaining insight on
society they instead gain insight into th...
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  • This journal is an evaluation of William Gibson’s Neuromancer, but looking specifically at the use of comedy within Neuromancer.

    Cyberpunk is a genre which is distinguished by the technology focus and futuristic orientations, however it is set in the not to distant future, which makes it different to other branches of sci-fi.

    This journal asks us to examine the use of comedy in Neuromancer and suggests that comedy can be used to examine current human and social relationships, and make changes to the future.

    This is done through the application of Burke’s theory of ‘comic corrective.’ This theory argues that comedy allows maximum consciousness, as we can observe ourselves and others, and can gain a critical reflection on the path our life is taking. Comedy is used ‘‘deal with wrong doing and thus to repair a hierarchy’’

    Neuromancer was written in 1984 and has been the case study for many works done on the relationship between cyberpunk and comedy, because it has been a vehicle for social and self examination.
  • The comedic perspective in Neuromancer, and comedy in general allows us to look at ourselves and examine situations from a new angle. Comedy often allows people to see the alternative path they could be taking, and see how it could improve their life and relationships.

    Comedy and Cyberpunk therefore go hand in hand, as it allows a critical reflection (through comedy and the futuristic approach) of our relationships, society and the lifestyles that are lead.

    As written in the article “the comic perspective can allow individuals to recognize that the path that they are following may lead to a devastating end, thus encouraging them to shake off their tragic tendencies and actively seek new alternatives”(p. 326)

    The comedic perspective in Neuromancer is not about resigning oneself to a certain way of life, it is meant to allow for a new perspective and path to be taken by an individual or society.

    The comedic perspective in Neuromancer, and comedy in general allows us to look at ourselves and examine situations from a new angle.
    → Comedy and Cyberpunk go hand in hand, as it allows a critical reflection of our relationships, society and the lifestyles that are lead.

    As written in the article:
    “the comic perspective can allow individuals to recognize that
    the path that they are following may lead to a devastating end,
    thus encouraging them to shake off their tragic tendencies
    and actively seek new alternatives”(p. 326)

    The comedic perspective in Neuromancer is not about resigning oneself to a certain way of life, it is meant to allow for a new perspective and path to be taken by an individual or society.
  • Burkes theory of comedic corrective is then addressed in relation to the novel of Neuromancer.
    Cyberpunk comedy allows the audience to gain an attitude where they can reflect on themselves whilst learning about the mistakes they have made, or could make, and thus create the motive to avoid such a pathway in ones life.
    Burke suggests that comedy in cyberpunk shouldn't just effect the individual “He maintained that the ‘‘comic frame of reference also opens up whole new field for social criticism’’ (p. 326)
    We must use cyberpunk comedy to our advantage and use it to change the current technological path that society as a whole is heading down, because it may not be a good path! Burke is suggesting the comedic corrective allows us to escape from the future we are heading into, by recognizing what is wrong and providing the motivation to change.
    Burke however suggests that there is something special about imagining a not to distant future through cyberpunk–and by critiquing society in such a comedic way, it creates the desire for all humans to create a perfect future.
    This leads society to use the term perfect ironically, as we push for perfection without thinking about the consequences, and often they are not what was hoped for.
  • Neuromancer can be viewed as a cyberpunk comedy with an intended comedic message. The comedy is present to allow the audience to critically reflect, not only on themselves, but on society as a whole. This will hopefully mean that in the future technology will be used for a better cause, and we might even be lucky enough to gain perfection in the world! But that is only if we take the step back now and realise that something needs to be done!

    Neuromancer can be viewed as a cyberpunk comedy with an intended comedic message. The comedy is present to allow the audience to critically reflect, not only on themselves, but on society as a whole.

    This will hopefully mean that in the future technology will be used for a better cause, and we might even be lucky enough to gain perfection in the world!

    But that is only if we take the step back now and realise that something needs to be done!
  • In Neuromancer, Gibson takes various items of the current society and evolves them by stretching them casuistically to create his future world.
    recognizable time not so far from the present day
    Neuromancer illustrates how the world might be if the present unchecked fascination with information technology continues to flourish unabated
    the practice of technological enhancement
    Neuromancer is also used to examine the degree to which humans can become part of technology – think matrix!
    In Gibson’s future world the brain becomes not just a biological entity but also a central processing unit for a human computer that can easily be manipulated and altered by invasive, artificial means.
    In Gibson’s construction of the future, narcotics are both incredibly powerful and easily accessible, a black market for information flourishes, cities have rotting cores inhabited by mutants and technologically enhanced punks, weapons have been made more cruel and devastating, privacy must be purchased, and the computer constructed world of cyberspace is more real and vibrant than the human world

  • The idea of a computer that can think for itself and devise an intricate plan for enhancing itself contradicts our understanding of computers as tools that are used by humans.
    The idea of intelligence, or wisdom, is not a concept that tends to be associated with circuits, files, and keyboards. This planned incongruity reverses that The Dream of a Cyberpunk Future? assumption and makes humans the tools of the computer.

    The dialectical tension between the possibilities of powerful computers and artificial intelligence may result in a critical assessment and revaluation of the current trends toward increasingly powerful computer networks.
     
  • Sub-cultures:
     
    the subcultures of today, stretched to their logical end, are no longer satisfied with piercings, plastic surgery, or wildly colored hair but have moved on to more invasive and alarming aesthetic changes. These illustrations encourage the audience to think more critically about contemporary practices such as plastic surgery, tattooing, and other body modifications.
     
  • Dialectical tensions definition- tensions that occur when relationship goals conflict; relationship differences that usually revolve around differences in the desires for connection and autonomy, predictability and novelty, and openness and privacy.
    Dialectical tension in Neuromancer through its implied critique of society helps to infer meaning to the reader as it encourages the audience to reflect on trends within society,

    The cyberpunk genre is often set in the future of a futuristic setting which in contrast to the present prompts a critique of current society, technology and trends in culture.
    Burke (1973) individuals can gain a better understanding of their world through rhetorical constructions of authors or in other words a make believe alternative world.
    Through Neuromancer the audience becomes more aware of current ideas towards technology by reading about a possible future.
    The dialectical tension of Neuromancer allows the reader through a comic perspective to imagine a world that is not predetermined or set.
    Moore (1998) argues by embracing dialectical tension the audience can recognise and resist power dynamics by standing outside of mainstream society and actively seek the possibilities of corrective action.
    Neuromancer and cyberpunk fiction in general has been characterised as an influential new form of social criticism and to an extent can act as a vehicle for social change through promoting self-reflection and critical assessment.
    Neuromancer author William Gibson has been criticised for not making suggestions for changes to the current status quo. Sponster (1992) explains this through ideological grounds “Refusing to propose progressive politics even through its dystopian future opens up considerable space for resistance to the logic of late capitalism”.
    However Neuromancer instead works to bring about raised awareness about technology through self-reflection. Gibson himself states his text “is about the present. It is not about an imagined future. It’s a scary way of coming to terms with the awe and terror inspired in me by the world we live in” (Quoted in Beard 1999, p.5)
    In this regard Gibson deliberately used his novel in this way to raise awareness about the possible implications of technology and society. This method is interesting as it relies on its audience’s ability to pick up on the implied meaning in the text. Failing to do this the reader all together or reaching a different meaning all together renders the message put forward through this method ineffective.
    An example of this is Pengo, a German hacker who was so inspired by Neuromancer he decided to hack into an steal data from the U.S computer networks and sell it to the Russian KGB (Zuckerman, 1991, p.103)
    Burke assumes that instead of individuals gaining insight on society they instead gain insight into themselves and act to change themselves rather than society at large.
    There are many oppositional readings on Neuromancer, recognizing that not everyone will reach the same conclusion towards the future as Gibson intended is important but it is still of note that dialectical tension is a useful rhetorical technique for encouraging individuals to examine and critique current social norms.
  • The cyberpunk genre is often set in the future of a futuristic setting which in contrast to the present prompts a critique of current society, technology and trends in culture.
    Burke (1973) individuals can gain a better understanding of their world through rhetorical constructions of authors or in other words a make believe alternative world.
    Through Neuromancer the audience becomes more aware of current ideas towards technology by reading about a possible future.
    The dialectical tension of Neuromancer allows the reader through a comic perspective to imagine a world that is not predetermined or set.
    Moore (1998) argues by embracing dialectical tension the audience can recognise and resist power dynamics by standing outside of mainstream society and actively seek the possibilities of corrective action.
  • Neuromancer and cyberpunk fiction in general has been characterised as an influential new form of social criticism and to an extent can act as a vehicle for social change through promoting self-reflection and critical assessment.
    Neuromancer author William Gibson has been criticised for not making suggestions for changes to the current status quo. Sponster (1992) explains this through ideological grounds “Refusing to propose progressive politics even through its dystopian future opens up considerable space for resistance to the logic of late capitalism”.
  • However Neuromancer instead works to bring about raised awareness about technology through self-reflection. Gibson himself states his text “is about the present. It is not about an imagined future. It’s a scary way of coming to terms with the awe and terror inspired in me by the world we live in” (Quoted in Beard 1999, p.5)
    In this regard Gibson deliberately used his novel in this way to raise awareness about the possible implications of technology and society. This method is interesting as it relies on its audience’s ability to pick up on the implied meaning in the text. Failing to do this the reader all together or reaching a different meaning all together renders the message put forward through this method ineffective.
    An example of this is Pengo, a German hacker who was so inspired by Neuromancer he decided to hack into an steal data from the U.S computer networks and sell it to the Russian KGB (Zuckerman, 1991, p.103)
  • Burke assumes that instead of individuals gaining insight on society they instead gain insight into themselves and act to change themselves rather than society at large.
    There are many oppositional readings on Neuromancer, recognizing that not everyone will reach the same conclusion towards the future as Gibson intended is important but it is still of note that dialectical tension is a useful rhetorical technique for encouraging individuals to examine and critique current social norms.

  • The dream of a cyberpunk future seminar presentation

    1. 1. The Dream of a Cyberpunk Future? Presented by Zak, Nicola, Jenn & Tae
    2. 2. Introduction  Cyberpunk is a genre which is distinguished by the technology focus and futuristic orientations, however it is set in the not to distant future, which makes it different to other branches of sci-fi.  Neuromancer has been the case study for many works done on the relationship between cyberpunk and comedy, because it has been a vehicle for social and self examination.  This journal article is:  An evaluation of William Gibson’s Neuromancer  looking specifically at the use of comedy within Neuromancer  To suggest that comedy can be used to examine current human and social relationships, and make changes to the future →This is done through the application of Burke’s theory of ‘comic corrective.’
    3. 3. The Comic Perspective, Entelechy, & Dialectical Tension  The comedic perspective in Neuromancer, and comedy in general allows us to look at ourselves and examine situations from a new angle. → Comedy and Cyberpunk go hand in hand, as it allows a critical reflection of our relationships, society and the lifestyles that are lead.  As written in the article: “the comic perspective can allow individuals to recognize that the path that they are following may lead to a devastating end, thus encouraging them to shake off their tragic tendencies and actively seek new alternatives”(p. 326)  The comedic perspective in Neuromancer is not about resigning oneself to a certain way of life, it is meant to allow for a new perspective and path to be taken by an individual or society.
    4. 4. Burke’s Theory of Comedy  Cyberpunk comedy allows the audience to gain an attitude where they can reflect on themselves whilst learning about the mistakes they have made, or could make.  Burke suggests:  comedy in cyberpunk shouldn't just effect the individual. He maintained that ‘‘comic frame of reference also opens up whole new field for social criticism’’ (p. 326).  the comedic corrective allows us to escape from the future we are heading into, by recognizing what is wrong and providing the motivation to change.  there is something special about imagining a not to distant future through cyberpunk–and by critiquing society in such a comedic way, it creates the desire for all humans to create a perfect future.  This leads society to use the term perfect ironically
    5. 5. Conclusion of First section  Neuromancer can be viewed as a cyberpunk comedy with an intended comedic message. The comedy is present to allow the audience to critically reflect, not only on themselves, but on society as a whole.  This will hopefully mean that in the future technology will be used for a better cause, and we might even be lucky enough to gain perfection in the world!  But that is only if we take the step back now and realise that something needs to be done!
    6. 6. William Gibson & Neuromancer  He created a lens for examining what he understoos as the increasingly important role that IT plays in the lives of humans.  His aim as a writer is not so much to provide specific predictions about the future but rather to find a rhetorical context suitable to examine the role of technology in our society.  He is not a high-tech guy excited about the possibility of a technologically structured future but is rather a cultural critic who hopes that his audience will critically examine the world around them.
    7. 7. Neuromancer  The first novel to win the science fiction triple crown  Because it was one of the first works of cyberpunk and breathed new life into science fiction.  He predicted some IT developments in this novel e.g. the emergence of cyberspace, global computer networks, hackers…  It is important to examine the ways in which the dialectical tension within this novel since its ‘fiction’ increasingly become our lived reality.
    8. 8. Enacting the Comic Frame in Neuromancer  In Neuromancer, Gibson takes various items of the current society and evolves them by stretching them casuistically to create his future world which is not so far from the present day.  It illustrates how the world might be if the present unchecked fascination with information technology continues to flourish unabated the practice of technological enhancement.  It is also used to examine the degree to which humans can become part of technology.  E.g. In Gibson’s future world…  The brain becomes not just a biological entity but also a central processing unit for a human  Narcotics are both incredibly powerful and easily accessible  Cities have rotting cores inhabited by mutants and technologically enhanced punks  Weapons have been made more cruel and devastating  Privacy must be purchased  The computer constructed world of cyberspace is more real and vibrant than the human world
    9. 9. Enacting the Comic Frame  The idea of a computer that can think for itself and devise an intricate plan for enhancing itself contradicts our understanding of computers as tools that are used by humans.  The idea of intelligence, or wisdom, is not a concept that tends to be associated with circuits, files, and keyboards. This planned incongruity reverses that The Dream of a Cyberpunk Future? assumption and makes humans the tools of the computer.  The dialectical tension between the possibilities of powerful computers and artificial intelligence may result in a critical assessment and revaluation of the current trends toward increasingly powerful computer networks.
    10. 10. Considering sub-cultures…  The subcultures of today, stretched to their logical end, are no longer satisfied with piercings, plastic surgery, or wildly coloured hair but have moved on to more invasive and alarming aesthetic changes. → These illustrations encourage the audience to think more critically about contemporary practices such as plastic surgery, tattooing, and other body modifications.
    11. 11. Dialectical Tension & Critical Self-Reflection  Dialectical tension: tensions that occur when relationship goals conflict; relationship differences that usually revolve around differences in the desires for connection and autonomy, predictability and novelty, and openness and privacy  Newromancer is an illustrative case where discursive space for social critiquw and a comic perspective are constructed through dialectical tension. →It encourages the audience to reflect on trends within society.
    12. 12. A critique of current society  The cyberpunk genre is often set in the future of a futuristic setting which in contrast to the present prompts a critique of current society, technology and trends in culture.  According to Burke (1973):  individuals can gain a better understanding of their world through rhetorical constructions of authors or in other words a make believe alternative world. → Through Neuromancer the audience becomes more aware of current ideas towards technology by reading about a possible future.  According to Moore (1998):  by embracing dialectical tension the audience can recognise and resist power dynamics by standing outside of mainstream society and actively seek the possibilities of corrective action. →The dialectical tension of Neuromancer allows the reader through a comic perspective to imagine a world that is not predetermined or set.
    13. 13. As an influential new form of social criticism  Neuromancer and cyberpunk fiction in general has been characterised as an influential new form of social criticism and to an extent can act as a vehicle for social change through promoting self- reflection and critical assessment.  William Gibson has been criticised for not making suggestions for changes to the current status quo.  Sponster (1992) explains this through ideological grounds “Refusing to propose progressive politics even through its dystopian future opens up considerable space for resistance to the logic of late capitalism”.
    14. 14. Works to raise awareness  However Neuromancer instead works to bring about raised awareness about technology through self-reflection.  Gibson states his text “is about the present. It is not about an imagined future. It’s a scary way of coming to terms with the awe and terror inspired in me by the world we live in” (Quoted in Beard 1999, p.5)  Gibson deliberately used his novel in this way to raise awareness about the possible implications of technology and society.  This method is interesting as it relies on its audience’s ability to pick up on the implied meaning in the text. e.g. Pengo, a German hacker:  who was so inspired by Neuromancer.  He decided to hack into an steal data from the U.S computer networks and sell it to the Russian KGB (Zuckerman, 1991, p.103)
    15. 15. Conclusion  Burke (1073) assumes that instead of individuals gaining insight on society they instead gain insight into themselves and act to change themselves rather than society at large.  There are many oppositional readings on Neuromancer, recognizing that not everyone will reach the same conclusion towards the future as Gibson intended is important but it is still of note that dialectical tension is a useful rhetorical technique for encouraging individuals to examine and critique current social norms.

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