Cyberpower: The Culture and Politics of Cyberspace and the Internet

By Tim Jordan | Go to book overview

Notes

1Power and cyberspace
1
This is John Perry Barlow’s famous question.
2
It should be stressed that the following three theories of power are offered as useful tools for examining cyberspace. A discussion that defines the ‘real’ nature of power would take too much space and is not appropriate in this context, even if such a question could be definitively answered. Comparison of the three theories will be offered but all three will be taken forward into virtuality. Of course, all three have a certain validity even if they also disagree. The issue will ultimately be: do they contribute to a valid and consistent concept of cyberpower? Not: does this introductory outline solve the long-standing problem of the nature of power? For discussion of power see Barnes (1988), Clegg (1989), Lukes (1986).
3
Techno music was in fact criminalised in the United Kingdom in the early 1990s. The Criminal Justice Act defined and criminalised ‘music wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats’ (Huq, 1998).
4
This example and the theory being outlined below are derived from the work of British sociologist Barry Barnes. For the example, see Barnes (1988:56 and 59).
5
It should be stressed that this approach does not invalidate Barnes’ or Weber’s analyses nor does it mean Barnes or Weber could not study inequalities; rather it begins from a different question to produce a different theory of power.

2Cyberspace and the matrix
1
It is an often-noted irony that Gibson’s classic of cyberpunk literature was written on an old-fashioned, manual typewriter (Bukatman, 1993b).
2
The following account of cyberpunk science fiction is indebted to Bukatman’s Terminal Identity.
3
To pursue cyberpunk science fiction, the three obvious places to start are Sterling (1985), McCaffery (1991b) and Bukatman (1993a).
4
Steven Levy traced the meaning of ‘hacker’ to its beginnings among early computer pioneers, people who were willing to ‘hack’ technological solutions. Hacker has since come to refer largely to unauthorised computer intruders, who use a computer and communications network to enter and control computers (Levy, 1984; Jordan and Taylor, 1998).
5
ROM in current usage refers to read-only memory, that is a CD-ROM is a CD that can be read but not recorded on.
6
The history of the first networks until the emergence of the Internet is well told in Hafner and Lyons (1996), but no single detailed history of developments since then is available. Hudson (1997) provides a polemical and somewhat sketchy overview.

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