Sunday, June 7, 2020

The Invention of “Cyberspace”

The term “cyberspace” was coined by the science fiction writer William Gibson in his 1982 short story, “Burning Chrome”—he used the term to refer to the "mass consensual hallucination" in computer networks. But in his 1984 novel Neuromancer, he refined his view of “cyberspace,” and used the term to describe a sort of “matrix,” or a realm of total-immersion virtual reality, created from a worldwide network of billions of computers. Today cyberspace has come to stand for everything related to interconnected computers and the Internet. We use the term “cyberspace” to refer to the virtual space, a mostly borderless digital utopia, in which we enter to access information, accomplish all kinds of tasks, and indulge in mass consensual hallucinations (one of the key attractions of the social media platforms is their ability to provide a variety of hallucinations to their users). With billions people and groups leaving a digital footprint, the cyberspace offers a target rich environment for service providers, spies, and hackers.

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