In the months since I wrote “The Cyberpunk Sensibility”, the dystopian flavor in the air has only become more potent. Consider these recent events:
- An exiled prince from a communist country was felled by a pair of dark-haired ingenues, one wearing an “LOL” shirt.
- The CIA has been either pwned or framed, or both, their secrets extracted and disseminated via Twitter.
- One of the richest, most powerful men in The Free World™ released a globalist manifesto, in which he promised to preside over the digital citizens of his monetized belief garden according to his own determination of benevolence.
- A sovereign nation appointed an ambassador to remonstrate with this rich, powerful man, and his brethren. Private entities that span continents. Hey, maybe it’s just a PR stunt!
- The predominant meal-replacement brand has an eerie AI mascot. (Which is definitely a PR stunt, but still.)
In “The Cyberpunk Sensibility” I noted that these absurd events can act as triggers, waking people up not unlike the vaunted red pill. But the feeling that we’re living in a parody timeline is starting to wear on me. Many have reflected (at least in the United States) that 2016 was a bizarre year, and 2017 is shaping up to shame its antecedent.
I wrote the cyberpunk bullet points to sound dramatic, but it’s equally possible to make them sound ridiculous. Regardless of which perception I adopt, I find myself marveling at how profoundly strange all of this feels. Paradoxically, what’s normal now is for everything to feel strange. Is that feeling adaptive, I wonder? Is it safe? [Read more…]