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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, I’m 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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What and Where is Cyberspace?

Demystifying Information Technology and All Things Cyber - Overview
Why is IT Seen as Mysterious?
What is Information, Exactly?
What is Software, Exactly?
What Does it Mean to be ‘Digital’?


Adrian Wyard

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