Thoughts on the Future Imperfect

During the summer of 1996, I experience my first taste of freedom. Since I recently graduated high school, I had the summer to myself. There was no track or cross country practice. There was no band rehersals. It would be three months till I found a job.  I had no responsiblities to anybody. So, I explored the last public space in our town, the mall. Those days, the mall had the best gaming shop in my area. I got to search through the new card and board game, look at the comics and explore the latest video tapes. This experience formed my current research interest. I played "Netrunner" in the store with my friends, watched "Tek War" and some other cyberpunk movies and read the works of William Gibson and Douglas Adams.

I thought computers would be more present in the "public sphere." What I mean is that I had images of the information superhighway being virtually rendered to anybody who jack into the system through some piece of hardware that was connected to his or her body. The user could touch the electronic representation of the Internet and be able to float on the network and fly to the different destinations online. As you can tell by typing on your keyboard and looking at the information on a screen, this didn't happen.

I guess most of my academic exploration online has been simply trying to resolve the disconnect between the world laid out by these mediated futurists and the world as it is now. I was expecting a cyber-distopia to exist after a collapse of some world power. Some wanted the future to have jetpacks, I wanted VR5.