Going in, I knew that when I read “Cyberspace: First Steps” by Michael Benedikt, I had to make a choice as to which definition fit my “preconceived notion of ‘cyberspace'”.
I felt like I do when I take exams that have T/F questions.
(Professor in a smug intellectual voice) “If the entire question is not true then pick false. On the other hand, if the entire statement is true pick true.”
OMH! (Oh my heck)
When I read an answer and I start to think, “well this one is true IF…”, then I just pick one and move on.
In THIS case I read each description, and knowing this is not a test, and there are no wrong answers, one could assume that I would have an easier time making a choice.
Given that each definition had some points that are true (to me), and others I had never thought about before, I found the description that is MOST true to me:
“Cyberspace: The tablet become a page become a screen become a world, a virtual world. Everywhere and nowhere, a place where nothing is forgotten and yet everything changes.”
A quick segue.
I used a diary for all my pre-teenage angst. You know the ones that are pink and girly and have a lock? That’s what I had.
It said “My Diary. Keep OUT!” on the cover.
Don’t really know who I was “keeping out”, but I felt safer (and oh so cool) with my little key hanging around my neck, as all my friends did in good ‘ol Sutter Creek, California.
I had many volumes, and when I moved to Washington a few years ago I went through all the crap stuff I had in my parent’s garage and EUREEEEEEEKA, I found my long-lost diaries.
Ok. So I do this thing where I think of one thing which makes me think of another thing and so on, and then just say the last thing I thought of which may or may not have anything to do with the first thought…but rather where my mind ended up.
I do this with my roommate and she just shrugs and waits when I say something completely random, ’cause she knows that I’ll follow it up with my train of thought so she can get on board.
So, here’s where you can get on…
When I read “a place where nothing is forgotten and yet everything changes” I thought of my long-lost diaries, and how our memory of a situation or event is in the back of our minds, but what we remember and what actually happened may not be the same thing.
My diary and cyberspace relate in that:
Once something is on the web it remains, even you delete it. I ripped out pages in my diary, and the memory remains, even though the physical reminder, or hard copy is gone.
So ultimately, you can change what is visible, but it is never really gone.
And an afterthought:
The above definition includes “The tablet become a page become a screen become a world, a virtual world.”
I think this portion of the definition points to remediation.
The slab of rock becomes the paper (which we used to write on and then type on) become the word document living on our computer in a virtual world.
What will it become next?