Blog #1

In the novel Neuromancer by William Gibson there is one particular theme that supports Walter Ong’s essay. The theme is that as technology advances, society becomes more individualistic and there is a sense of lost humanity. In the novel Neuromancer, the common activity is hacking into security systems, stealing codes. Society is very corrupt. “Change any codes they find posted. Kid’s steal the new ones tomorrow.”(Gibson, Page: 81). This is just one example of the way this technology run society is being corrupted. In Ong’s essay he argues that as technology advanced people became more private. He states there was a drift in human consciousness toward greater individualism as print was developed (Ong, Page: 58).   Case, the main character in Neuromancer, was a former computer hacker and would make a living by hacking into security systems. It is evident that in this society corruption is at an all time high. William Gibson is portraying technology as corrupting. Walter Ong states that when print came to be the notion of plagiarism also developed. This is parallel to the novel where people are constantly hacking and stealing other people’s information. In the novel Case attempts to steal from his employers and is caught. As a consequence his nervous system is damaged which results in him not being able to hack into cyberspace. Now that he has no job he becomes depressed and has suicidal thoughts. Through this you can see how the people in this society have no regard for humanity.  “The black clinics of Chiba were the cutting edge, whole bodies of technique supplanted monthly and still they couldn’t repair the damage he’d suffered in that Memphis hotel.”(Gibson Page 4) Here you can see Case’s longing for cyberspace as if it were some kind of addiction. “A year here and he still dreamed of cyberspace, hope fading nightly.” (Gibson Page 4)Instead of Case dreaming of people he misses he is dreaming of seeing the matrix.  “Print created a new sense of the private ownership of words.”(Ong Page 58) With the print the notion of plagiarism came to be, which adds to people becoming more private because they wouldn’t want anyone to steal their works.  It is evident in Neuromancer by Walter Gibson and in Walter Ong’s that people begin to lose sight of society and togetherness when technology is in the way.



2 thoughts on “Blog #1

  1. I agree with what you said about technology causing the characters to lose their sense of humanity. When you mentioned a point made in Ong’s essay, that technology caused people to become more private, I think using Neuromancer was a good example of that, but in a different way. Case becomes more private or isolated when he moves to Shiba to buy drugs and do deeds for other people. He lives on his own, exiling himself from his life in Tokyo because he lost his ability to hack into systems. So I do think that technology corrupted Case, however in an indirect way. I also think that there wasn’t enough information given to believe that Case doesn’t miss the people he used to know (whether that be in Tokyo or somewhere else). At the start of the book, we’re presented with his thoughts on Linda Lee. Ratz tells Case that he liked “him better. With her. [He] laughed more” (Gibson, pg 6). Other than Linda, we’re not really told of anyone else that was in Case’ life prior to the development of the plot. Still, it’s clear that technology has taken over every aspect of his life, including his dreams, ultimately showing that it is corrupting to not only him but everyone else in society.


  2. I think you are definitely on to something when you describe the very strong stance that Gibson is taking on technology and the future of the world, and I agree with a lot of your points. I do not think, however, that Gibson is trying to say that technology is corrupt, and bad. I believe that he is rather trying to provide commentary on consequences, and what can happen as a result of misusing technology in the future.
    After Case was caught stealing from his employers (using his advance technological skills), “they were going to make sure he never worked again” (14). This is the first of many places where Gibson points out ta cause and effect theory, where Case’s actions have very clear and intentional consequences. After reflecting on my own blog post and the comments that people posted, I have begun to think about hidden messages within Neuromancer. Yes, Gibson is definitely stating that technology has malevolent uses, and it can be dangerous, but I believe he greater message that he is going for is that ‘every action, has an equal consequence’. Consequences is a fascinating word because many people view it as a negative word, but there could also be positive consequences. For example, all the negative actions Case committed in order to have his skills taken away consequent in meeting Molly, and clearly, he and Molly are hitting it off. But seriously, all in all, this was an excellent post and really allowed me to delve into the text to uncover some hidden meanings.


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