Veillance Society

Authored by: Chris Hables Gray

The Routledge Companion to Cyberpunk Culture

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9780815351931
eBook ISBN: 9781351139885
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781351139885-43

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Abstract

This chapter uses canonical cyberpunk texts by William Gibson, Pat Cadigan, Neal Stephenson, and Bruce Sterling to analyze what Steve Mann has named veillance society. This is not just our panoptic present where digitality has made mass surveillance by both capitalists and governments possible, but the response of sousveillance and other political forms of watching, as explored in such texts as David Brin’s The Transparent Society. The affordances of digital technology make cyberspace the cyperpunk’s natural environment and explains how it has gone from a consensual hallucination to a public utility. Learning from cyberpunk and its echoes in our lived world, it is clear it ain’t dystopia yet. The future is not yet decided.

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