The Cyberpunk Present

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We live in a glorious and fudged up world. Back in high school, Gibson was all the rage. Cyberpunk was in. Being able to “jack in” to the internet–plug a wire directly from your brain to the computer–was the dream of dreams. I would have given my left arm to jet off to Japan and have a shady sawbones in a dirty backstreet office surgically implant a plug in my neck to hook up to a 'deck. The 21st century is upon us, and we have the technology. Yes, now there is a bionic man running around with percutaneous pedestals in his skull. He had to jet off to Portugal to get the implants because the FDA kind of frowns on that sort of thing. While this sounded cool in SciFi, the reality of it really kind of grosses me out. You can now take my left arm to NOT perform that particular procedure upon me, thank you very much.

It also occurs to me that every once in a while I will be watching a movie that is supposed to take place in the present or near future (Enemy of the State, for example) that uses a computer to track someone. They hit a couple of keys, and suddenly you see a 3-dimensional map of the city. “He just went into that building. Pull up the floor map. Okay, he went to the third floor, there is a stairwell behind you. Drat, he took the elevator to the sub-basement and is getting into the sewer system. Pull up the DWP maps of the sewer system.” And so on, and so on. I just look at that and laugh. Most of that stuff is “stored” on paper blueprints in city hall and untouchable without a ton of paperwork. The few things on computers are likely to be on various machines with various contractors' and building supervisors–not centrally located, and not able to be pulled up in a couple of minutes. Well, now that map exists for New York. There is a computerized map of New York accurate down to the nearest foot that includes building floorplans, the subway system, and the sewers. Maybe it is time to stop laughing at the “unrealistic” movie maps.

Posted in: Dear Diary Movies

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