Dispatches from Maine

Just another person of little note writing about ordinary things. That I reside in Maine is icing on the cake.

03 June 2006

A Fire in the Sun

It appears the world of cyberpunk is coming closer and closer. On slashdot today there was a post reporting a paper published in the Journal of Neurophysiology: "High-resolution multi-transistor array recording of electrical field potentials in cultured brain slices". There is still a wide gulf between this research and a future of elective brain modification and implants, but it did remind me of my youth. I remember reading very early cyberpunk fiction in the mid-1980s. Of all the authors from back then my favorite was George Alec Effinger. His vision of the future largely involved cybernetics, a blending biology and computers, particularly brain implants which allowed the users to insert modules to change themselves and learn new skills. I had no idea about his life, just being a fan of several of his works. There also appears to be a fan blog.

If your only exposure to cyberpunk is William Gibson, then take a stop and check out Effinger's idea of a dystopian future: When Gravity Fails and A Fire in the Sun. Remember it is from 1989, when Windows 3.1 was "high tech" and SunOS 4.1.x was brand new.


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