What and Where is Cyberspace?
Some see cyberspace as
literally a new space or dimension, and see computers and internet
technologies as providing the doorway through which we may access this new
dimension of reality. Still others take the internet to be the noosphere of
Teilhard de Chardin, and see the internet as formally alive and
self-propagating, and perhaps even conscious.
Once again, Im going to
disagree with this. As far as I see it, what makes the web go is the
interpretations that humans give to the variable glowings of the display
devices in front of them. While what I see on the screen may have enormous
value for me, even life-transforming value, if you take away the humans, the
actual effect of the internet drops to near zero - cyberspace vanishes. For the
moment, cyberspace is simply the name for our experience and imagination as we
receive information through connected digital devices.
What happens when we
interact with information and other people using information technologies is
very much the same kind of experience we have when we read a book, see a film,
talk on the telephone, or tell stories around a campfire. Human imagination is
the most prominent activity. What is dramatically different from previous
interaction/communications technologies is the efficiency, reach, speed,
reliability and fidelity.
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| Contributed by: Adrian