Designer foods, cyborgs, virtual sex, virtual reality, hackers, network wars, urban decay, artificial intelligence and ghosts in machines were all part of the speculation surrounding the rise of the internet in the 80s.
Cue the creation of the sub genre cyberpunk, which is the embodiment of these highly contemplated and discussed concepts listed above. From Blade Runner’s replicants and origami unicorns, to Neuromancer’s “consensual hallucination” created by millions of connected computers, there was no shortage of ideas for the future of networked technology.
Jump to our current society and its highly developed interweaving network of nodes, and we see that social media is now this major platform for communication. It allows us to interact with each other at high speeds in a distributed style. We have the introduction of personal computers to thank for this. They allow us to be a connected network, which now appears to be the “organising form of life, including social life.”
Just as Manuel Castells stated in his paper about Why Networks Matter: “We live in a network society, not in an information society or a knowledge society,” making our current networks the Matrix of our time.