I am very interested in this, but I'm having a lot of trouble understanding it. What's he trying to say?
Todays market of representations means that we exchange images that are valued by statements without consequence, statements whose only value is the one of attention, something we have learned from the advertising process, which has become the key process of culture. This cultural praxis fails to find a history of the human faces. The faces tried to break the boundaries of word and image, they were processes of conscious creation of speaking images for the feelings that words fail to describe.
edit: of course, what I meant to say was:
While aesthetically confusing on a surface level, the subcurrent of ryhtmic tonality in these disquisitions impacts the reader's thought process in subliminal ways. Hitherto the paragon of collegiate studies, these textual discourses nowadays propagate freely in the super-plebeian fantasy-made-reality cyber-utopia that is the infosphere. The parentally linked-to hypertext is a two-fold example of not only the skillfull mastery of the avant-poetic style, but also the post-print arrangement common in todays socioeconomic conditions.
> Todays market of representations means that we exchange images that are valued by statements without consequence, statements whose only value is the one of attention, something we have learned from the advertising process, which has become the key process of culture.
Our current culture communicates and understands ideas in the form of sound bites. This is because advertisements have become important in shaping our culture.
> This cultural praxis fails to find a history of the human faces. The faces tried to break the boundaries of word and image, they were processes of conscious creation of speaking images for the feelings that words fail to describe.
We are trying to find a new way to communicate but we are failing at it and becoming irrelevant. (I might be losing something in the translation here.)
EdiX's comment "I interpret it as 'kids this days like them lolcats'" is right on target. It captures the angst of the writer bemoaning the loss of culture of our current generation.
On another note, I find this snippet to be strangely ironic. It complains about a failure to redefine the way we communicate. The writer is attempting to precisely define their ideas in language that reminds me of a lawyer trying to write a bulletproof contract. The end result is nearly impenetrable and risks losing the entire message because no one can understand it.
Anyway, I think he's saying that our faces, which allow us to communicate without words (the last sentence of your quote), are now nothing more than static images/advertisements (e.g., profile pictures). Communication on social networks has been reduced to using advertising techniques to gain attention.
When it's the new normal it makes sense that the word is "dead" as a denominator.
Good luck with everything.
So no, I don't have a perfect history, but it's pretty good considering the scale at which I've worked.
Edit: Fwiw, I've only started 3 companies, not including this one. Not that many, considering a 6 year time span.
Your snide comment seems to go totally against the idea that we should fail quickly and often.
Out of curiosity, not knowing anything of the subject of your scorn -- why are these multitudes of start-stops an issue?
Maybe this intern, who's academic path is in-line with the premise of his startup - are just the thing he needs to have this one be the one.
Or are you a friend of his teasing him?
He was an early supporter of my Alky project (see http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1018290 ), who's still apparently bummed that it was killed.
Nothing ever gets shipped from him, nothing failed quickly to begin with. ( I don't just mean Alky, either. )
Stop parroting community tropes.
https://github.com/daeken/RenrakuOS - 2010
https://github.com/daeken/EveInject - 2009
Quote from his blog:
What have you built and what are you building?
Product-wise, I haven't built much; the biggest thing I've built was Alky, which allowed the conversion of Win32 binaries to run natively on OS X and Linux. It was a marginal success, although it ended up failing later for business reasons.
These days, I'm working on a few things:
Renraku: http://daeken.com/renraku-future-os This will eventually be combined with OpenBAMF/IREctive: Reverse-engineering platform and module store (My primary for-profit project right now)
The Emulator's Handbook: A book on building an emulator from start to finish. There's simply nothing there yet, which is a damn shame -- we need to get people involved here.
So far unnamed: A book on reverse-engineering game protocols and emulating them.
In the future, I'd like to be developing and selling Eyetaps and other hardware around Renraku.
This isn't fail-fast, it's ship-nothing. It only bothers me because he keeps attention-whoring for every little idea he gets and ends up disappointing anybody who thought it was cool.
As for EveInject, it had some bugs, but worked beautifully -- in fact, people are shipping code based on it to this day.
If you want to see a dozen failed projects of mine, I can show them to you. I can also show you many successful ones.
To be honest I'm quite impressed with his projects. They're certainly non-trivial and exciting things. Can you show something better?
He didn't see all of them to the end. Who did? Does uploading something to github mean that you have to maintain it up until eternity? There's a lot of "flakes" on github (and HN) in that case....
Before you go naming and shaming, make sure you have at least a good case.
So, just in the interest of full disclosure - what have you shipped/built/released if, by your own words, this is such a big deal?
Just curious if you're some hyper producing hacker ninjastar or if you just have it out for this particular HNer.
If you must know, I'm a software engineer at an early-stage startup in SF.
But, now you're on HN calling a guy out on his projects like some project nazi because you probably think of yourself as really smart, but your more young than smart.
So, it is ok if this guy starts shit and for whatever reason they dont get completed. Keep plugging.
You're statements calling him out defacto call attention to yourself and what you're doing - so I would recommend getting back to work for that startup rather than posting on HN in the middle of the day.
Time to hit the reset button.
The future is so close I can smell it.
However, the prototypes don't seem to have solved the problem of inputting vision field video - there is no camera hidden inside the sunglasses as far as I can tell.
 Steve Mann - Intelligent Image Processing.
Are they as good as or approach EyeTap (Steve Mann)? ~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EyeTap
I wish you the best with this because nobody is commercially doing anything as exciting as Mediated Reality ~ http://eyetap.org/research/eyetap.html
These days cyberpunk seems to be more about transhumanism and posthumanism ala Charles Stross books "Accellerando" & "Singularity Sky".
Cyberpunk (in written SF) died around the time "Vincent Omniaveritas" folded his zine Cheap Truth in 1986 (which you can find an archive of here: http://www.its.caltech.edu/~erich/cheaptruth/ ) ... by 1992, when Bantam Spectra published Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash" it had descended into self-parody (hint: a heroic central character called Hiro Protagonist? Try saying that aloud).
Transhumanism/posthumanism was big in the 1990s -- Vernor Vinge coughed up the hairball that is the singularity in the mid-1980s and Hans Moravec of CMU popularized it and spread the fertile soil for the early 1990s transhumanists, who also hybridized with libertarians and cypherpunks by way of the extropians mailing list circa 1990-95. But again, by the time you get to the late 1990s folks like Ray Kurzweil were bandwagoning on it, and these days that, too, is ancient history.
"Accelerando" was written circa 1998-2003, and "Singularity Sky" -- not its original title, but one dropped on it by the publisher in search of teh sexxy -- in 1996-98. If you're pointing to them as signs of where SF is at, I'll just get my coat -- because SF is dead.
The reason why I wrote what I wrote was that I seem to remember Gibson in an interview himself pointed to some of this stuff as someone who could think further than he could think.
Maybe I misunderstood. Didn't mean to insult your, by the way, great work.
Why, you ask? Because the main conceit of the cyberpunk virtual world is that it's entirely like reality with the exception that it's more fantastic. But an amazon/itunes search with a quick click to buy is infinitely faster and more convenient than jumping in to a virtual world and 'physically' trying to find something.
Alternate reality is the new future, not virtual reality. We already have a perfectly good reality, so we'll just spice it up.
For buying stuff you're right -- just clicking and using an efficient search system is much more efficient. But the market for experiences is another thing.
Many people will disagree with you that we already have a "perfectly good reality". They might desire things they cannot have in life, for example, or want to do things that physics makes impossible in real life (teleportation?). Just imagine the possibilities. As soon as the tech is there, there will be a huge market for it.
And don't forget collaboration over a distance. "telepresence". It's not just for games and fun.
You could interact with people in the virtual environment, build or design something together, brainstorm in new ways (For example, imagine architects designing a building while walking in it in realtime), and take notes digitally. Once you can do everything in the virtual "world", you don't need your hands/eyes free for other things.
(and I'm sure there will be a pop-up HUD interface in which you can do other things if you really want to be distracted like browsing HN during a meeting :).
Alternate reality or Virtual Reality is a simulation of an entirely new universe.
"Compared to that further investigation of our alien present seems actually way more doable and it may be more fun to do because it shakes all sorts of people out of the woodwork that want to talk to me," [Gibson added].
It's not the same dystopian future he envisioned in the 1990s. But his keen eye draws out the darker sides.
I agree that Pattern Recognition is very good. Although I will always have a soft spot for Neuromancer and his related books and stories.
As a long-time neuromancer and Gibson fan, I can say his writing has changed and approached the modern day just as it should. Neuromancer made sense at the time it was published - the net wasn't around, it was a far out concept - lots of room for imagination. If it were only released today, it would just seem like really bad sci-fi because the net exists, now, and it's not quite what Gibson wrote about.
I'd the pattern recognition/spook/zero set are not so much current day as very near-future. They're entirely plausible with current technology, with a few inventions along the way that don't currently exist, but probably could.
PLus they're a good read.
I still see more Rainbows End than Neuromancer in today's internet, but that's hardly surprising; Vinge wrote it considerably later.
Also, browsing pages on Tor and similar networks reminds me a lot of exploring the internet in the early '90s. It's messy, there are lots of abandoned, hastily put together pages. There are weird rants.
The internet that the author misses is still out there. It's just not as close to the surface as it was in the early days of the internet or BBS.
Precisely. I'll add that today that 'underground' is a very small (yet important, if not critical to its future) part of the whole internet whereas in the early days it was most of it; hence the appearance of it being farther from the surface.
No need to reach for Tor, take HN whose volume is certainly much lower than those Facebook streams and various LOLcats, yet it is certainly pivotal to what's actually built on the internet. The next Facebook won't come from its users, it will come from one of you.
Human-Computer interaction as envisioned is at its peak. Dare you tell me that Second Life, World of Warcraft, or Eve Online are not quite akin to the metaverse that was envisioned in Snowcrash. Tell me that those robotic prosthetic limbs are not close to what you see in Gunnm (Battle Angel Alita in the US). All those eyes, ears, and even memory prosthetic devices (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn6574) seen in Ghost in the Shell and Johnny Mnemonic are not dreamt of anymore, they are very real and useful to many (although admittedly they did not reach such levels of advancement, but that's a matter of time). Tell me those efforts to control and monitor everything including the internet "for the safety of everyone and his dog" are not dystopian in many ways, and get a look at how the third and fourth world are manipulating technology in ad-hoc, cheap, creative and dangerous ways to try and follow us in our first-world countries steps.
Of course there is some error correction to apply with regard to what was envisioned before all of that was even remotely possible; it is no wonder that fiction varies from reality.
Cyberpunk lives, for the best and the worst, today.
There was also very little grasp of programming by the cyberpunk writers that I've read. No understanding of the Cyber part of the Punk. That would have increased its ability to stay relevant.
Perhaps the general decline of punk can be attributed to modern parents being much less afraid than parents in the 70s. Cyberpunk isn't really exciting when your parents all have iPhones.
Contrary to this, CHAN-culture (imageboards, fast communication channels) and the ANON-meme (crowd orientated cyber actions) try different ways in waging real mass-based cyberwars, they reach this point by being more punk again, punk as in: deviant subculture that parents are afraid of.
I read this as saying that Anonymous and 4chan (and friends) have reached the point of being punk again, in that sense.
And does that realization make you stop?
Otherwise, the piece is barely legible.