Lora's Tour

Cyberspace: A new universe, a parallel universe created and sustained by the world's computers and communication lines. A world in which the global traffic of knowledge, secrets, measurements, indicators, entertainments, and alter-human agency takes on form: sights, sounds, presences never seen on the surface of the earth blossoming in a vast electronic night.

Michael Benedikt,"Introduction" to Cyberspace: First Steps. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1991.

This view emphasizes the "space" part of cyberspace. The network is created by telephone and other communication lines tying the information of different computer servers to one another. There is no physical space except for the cables, the hardware, and the viewing screen which is known as the user interface. It is useful, though, to imagine there is a virtual space inside this network because then actions which take place in the real world can be simulated in the computer network. When someone accesses information by using a viewer such as Netscapetm , they can participate in an agreed upon, shared illusion of entering a virtual space. People can talk to each other by entering rooms called chat rooms and even build virtual cities.

In science fiction, specifically that of Gibson and Stephenson, which my class has read, there is the idea that the future will bring a computer network that does seem to have dimensions which one can enter when they are jacked in.

This definition of cyberspace seems generally positive but does not explicitly support a utopian or dystopian view. Rather, it introduces the concepts of architecture and perception that can occur electronically.

Cyberspace Web Hypertext