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A Computer Generated Landscape

Cyberspace is said to be coined by William Gibson, who described the term to mean, “a consensual hallucination—lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellation of data. Like city lights, receding.”

William Gibson was born near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in 1948. In 1972 he moved to Vancouver, Canada. In the early 1980’s he wrote Neuromancer, and with this novel he established a new kind of science fiction literature called cyberpunk. William Gibson defined the word cyberspace, and described virtual reality long before we saw the similarities with the internet of today.

In Neuromancer, Gibson presents the idea of global information network called the Matrix, and the term Cyberspace, by which he meant a virtual reality simulation with a direct neural feedback. Gibson talks about Cyberspace as if it were an addictive drug and people feel incomplete without it.

In Gibson’s fiction, cyberspace is a computer-generated landscape that characters enter by “jacking in”; sometimes by plugging electrodes directly into sockets implanted in the brain. When they get there, they see three-dimensional representations of all the information stored in “every computer in the human system” with vast sources of data.

During the years since Gibson wrote Neuromancer, other names have been created for that shadowy space where computer data exist: the internet, the net, the web, the Cloud, the Matrix, the Metaverse, the Datasphere, the Electronic Frontier, and even the information superhighway.

Gibson’s coined term may be the most lasting because by 1989 it was borrowed by the online community to describe today’s interconnected computer systems; especially, the millions of computers on the internet, and not just a science-fiction fantasy in the author’s imagination.

—Compiled from and based on information located at
William Gibson, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and
"William Gibson, Father of Cyberspace" by Scott Thill; Wired; March 17, 1948.
Cyberspace historical origin. You may return to the cyber words, if you want to see them again.

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