Blog Post #2

After reading the critical essay “Mythinformation” by Langdon Winner and the novel Neuromancer by William Gibson they both articulated complementary ideas. In the essay Winner explains all the benefits technology could have on society. However, he goes onto explain that there is no direct link between technology and power or democracy just because there is easier access to more information. In the novel the characters have all this technology at the tip of their fingers allowing them to perform task quicker and with less of an effort. This shows how people begin to take this easy access to information for granted becoming more ignorant instead of better informed. In the novel many characters are illiterate even though there is this surplus of information. For example, in the essay it is stated that public participation in voting has steadily declined as television replaced the face-to-face politics of precincts and neighborhoods. This trend applies to other aspects in life as well. Winner goes onto explain that as technology advances those in power will only become more powerful. This is definitely a phenomena occurring in the novel. For example, how Case’s employers had the power to take his abilities to hack into the cyberspace away is actually having power over people’s lives.   Through Neuromancer we can better understand what Winner was trying to project in his essay. Reading the two work together can help us understand what our future may hold for us. As a society we could learn from clear misuses of technology expressed in both the novel and the essay.

 

 

Sources:

-Gibson, William. Neuromancer. New York: Penguin Group, 1984.Print

-Winner, Langdon. Mythinformation. 1986.Web.15 September 2016

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2 thoughts on “Blog Post #2

  1. I like the point you made about most of the characters in the book being illiterate; I had forgotten that fact. The characters in Neuromancer have access to limitless information, but it is all digitized. This presents a frightening parallel to our own society, in which most people possess computers and cellphones that can access all of the information on the internet, and yet they use them to check the latest celebrity gossip or watch funny cat videos. You reiterated Winner’s point when you said that technology and power have no direct link because many people do not take proper advantage of the resources they have available to them. I’d like to think however that the future presented in Neuromancer is not the type we are headed for.

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  2. Maybe I misunderstood where Langdon Winner was coming from, but I thought that he was presenting ideas contrary to those of Necromancer, although they were still complementary. In Neuromancer, it seems as if technology is enhancing the lives of people throughout the story I find this more and more evident. Even from the beginning of the story, Gibson portrays Case as a depressed character who doesn’t know how to carry himself, because he lost his hacking skills. It is clear here that technology plays a role in the quality of life for people in Neuromancer.
    In terms of Mythinformation, the author Winner is at the very least hesitant to except the fact that technology “will automatically produce a better world for human living” (Winner 105). His essay goes on to explain how yes, technology clearly has its benefits for mankind, and will help solve tons of problems, but it will also inadvertently create its own conflicts.

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