Cyberspace as a metaphor for the Internet

Exploration of Cyberspace

Cyberspace is a major part of modern pop culture. Being a part of pop culture is not to be mistaken with being a finite trend. Since it is so popular, it is talked and written about every day. New metaphors are the product of that popularity. Some of these metaphors are new, while others are existing metaphors that have been adapted so that they refer to cyberspace. Although cyberspace is a popular subject, it is not well understood by some parts of North American society. That poor understanding is based partly on misconceptions and ignorance of cyberspace and computers ingeneral. People generally need something that they do understand to comprehend something that they don't. By comparing cyberspace to a concept that is well understood, a basic understanding has been established. Since cyberspace is not well understood by factions of North American society, thenn metaphors have to be created so that it can be understood in terms of something else.

Cyberspace is explored every day by cyborgs

Are you a cyborg?

Being a cyborg, in cyberspace, means that you use a vehicle in cyberspace as transportation. The concept of vehicles, how they work in, and even what they are is debatable. Given that vehicles do exist, then the cyborg is the driver or possibly just a passenger.

The cyborg is an entity that controls the vehicles in cyberspace. Through the use of its power, it commands its minions, vehicles again, to go out and retrieve whatever it wants. The cyborg may also want to command its chariot and roam through cyberspace to a definate destination or just to cull data and other such resources.

Navigation in Cyberspace

Navigation is a control metaphor in cyberspace. Being a control metaphor means that it contains sub-metaphors, which are its foundation. The basis of this metaphor is that cyberspace is mappable, that locations exist, and that vehicles travel on the web. The foundation of the metaphor allows navigation to be possible in cyberspace. It is possible because requirements of navigation in cyberspace are the foundation of the metaphor. These requirements are mappabililty, locations existing, and vehicles travelling on the web.

Vehicles travel in Cyberspace

Vehicles do travel in cyberspace, but which of them are really vehicles. Is a driver, a cyborg, required or can a vehicle find its own path to its destination. Some vehicles can whereas others cannot.

An email message is a vehicle that finds its own path, as are the packets of many other Internet programs. A program that allows a user to chat via IRC navigates its vehicles itself; the user does not order these vehicles anywhere. A Web-browser could be looked on as a vehicle that has a definate nevigator, a definate cyborg at the helm. A browser might be the parking garage for all the vehicles, or possibly even a warehouse, constantly accepting deliveries.

This section contains pages on:

What cyberspace is,

Cyberspace as a metaphor, and

William Gibson's Neuromancer.

The only changes from the original 1997 pages are:

Reformatting for the current design and web standards

Removal of dead links

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