Internet

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William Gibson, first in his novel Burning Chrome and then later in the seminal Neuromancer, both coined and defined “cyberspace” as “a consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators.” His novels predate the universal adoption of  the World Wide Web as a communication matrix, and his psychedelic fantasy of cyberspace–a kind of semantic…

Ideological State Interface

The North Korean government has made an operating system called “Red Star.” Despite the fact that very few North Koreans have a computer, let alone Internet access, Red Star is designed to provide a safe operating environment in line with North Korean political philosophy of “juche,” or self-reliance (as well as, admittedly, monitor user activity).…

On March 26th, 1997, 39 people in matching black sweatsuits and Nike sneakers were found dead in a rented mansion in the San Diego suburb of Rancho Santa Fe. They were members of a marginal religious group called Heaven’s Gate — a “cult,” in the frenzied media parlance of the 90’s — and they had…