Cyberspace: The realm of pure information, filling like a lake, siphon- ing the jangle of messages transfiguring the physical world, decontami- nating the natural and urban landscapes, redeeming them, saving them from the chain-dragging bulldozers of the paper industry, from the diesel smoke of courier and post office trucks, from jet fuel fumes and clogged airports, from billboards, trashy and pretentious architecture, hour-long freeway commutes, ticket lines, and choked subways . . . from all the inefficiencies, pollutions (chemical and informational), and corruptions attendant to the process of moving information attached to things-from paper to brains-across, over, and under the vast and bumpy surface of the earth rather than letting it fly free in the soft hail of electrons that is cyberspace.Michael Benedikt,"Introduction" to Cyberspace: First Steps. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1991.
This view presents the fantasy of cyberspace saving the world from potential problems of pollution and corruption. Because Cyberspace can seem like a total environment, a "habitat" Benedict calls it, it could replace interactions that happen in the real environment. It shows cyberspace as a salvation. This part of our website discusses digital utopia.
Mitchell espouses this view. In his on-line work City of Bits, he discusses nearly every aspect of society and shows how positive it will turn out to be in cyberspace. Reading City of Bits will show you how beneficial Mitchell believes cyberspace will be. Reading my class' commentary on this piece will show you just how over-inflated this utopian claim is.
Jean Baudrillard, on the other hand, counters this view and believes relying on simulation will bring a dystopia. He is also concerned about what will happen to worker economies when simulations replace real jobs.
Follow these links for more discussion of Utopias.