my hot cyberpunk take is i don't think technology is bad

every cyberpunk thing is like "in the future everyone uses VR instead of being in the REAL WORLD, wake up sheeple" but here in 2021 the Real World is a soul sucking corporate hellscape and VR is a safe space with queer people finding each other and forming genuine friendships so idk

maybe technology is actually inherently cool and the part you should hate instead is capitalism turning it into a predatory shitfire

hotter take: transhumanism is extremely rad and technology is cool as hell and if you think cyberpunk is about tech being inherently capitalist then you need to read more stories about queer trans bipoc making prosthetic cyberarms for each other in their communal basement factoring labs and using them to punch the hell out of cops

@kat not to mention VR can be hella helpful to those of us with MH issues that might otherwise cut us off form certain situations or cant be with people in real life.

VRchat itself has been a blessing to me.

@kat Like I've seen people come out of their shells and discover their true sexual/gender identity as a direct result of VRC. It's a beautiful thing. i've come to realize that i don't actually know jack shit about the cyberpunk genre and i have this somehow non-standard idea of cyberpunk being all about fighting against capitalist oppression and personal identity and like

i'm okay with that

....and i also just realized this disconnect between my idea and mainstream adoption is exactly the same as with steampunk too WELP I GUESS THIS IS JUST HOW -PUNK GOES it's almost like for something inherently anti-establishment to become a popular phenomenon it has the anti-establishment parts stripped out and becomes an aesthetic parody of itself

@InspectorCaracal honestly nah that's 100% what cyberpunk should be and what it originally was

as for wrong versions, there's like the cp2077 style capitalist whitewashed cyberpunk, but then there's also the more lefty version you see sometimes that is 100% correct about social stuff but lands on "technology is inherently evil and real cyberpunk is about hating computers" and like..... no....... seriously

like i know that it's ~old~ by now but i feel like a whole lot of people really need to sit down and watch blade runner

specifically they need to sit down and watch blade runner while i explain to them all of the themes that they're seeing

@kat @InspectorCaracal

what if we started calling the whitewashed version "cyberprep"
by extension this produces obvious derivatives for other punk-genres-but-done-regressively, like "steamprep" i'd say the problem with that is traction, e.g. i've never heard the term steamprep i figured you probably didn't but "laughing at me because they think it's funny i took their post seriously" is making fun of me, so maybe take that into account next time you jump into a serious conversation with someone you don't know to make a shitpost and they take it seriously

@kat exactly
Automation and new communication methods are good, it's the capitalist exploitation of them that's bad

related historical Fun:tm: Fact:tm: (the Luddites), bit of an infodump 

@kat related: the Luddites - a term often used to mean "tech-hater" now - were a group that thought this same way. They were textile workers in 19th-century Britain who were perfectly happy to have automated looms and such - but were far less happy to see that their pay stayed the same even though they were producing vastly more cloth. When the bosses refused to correct this, they decided to destroy the machines - not out of hatred of the machines themselves, but as protest against their exploitation.

related historical Fun:tm: Fact:tm: (the Luddites), bit of an infodump 

@starseeker @kat Oh HUH that is really cool and good to know!

@kat (probably should clarify: are boosts on your original post ok?)

@kat The "problem" with technology, insofar as there is a problem with it, isn't that it's innately spiritually impure or sth, it's that it produces novel situations that humans aren't optimized for, with unpredictable results. However,
1) this isn't meaningfully more true of Kids These Days' technologies than it is of whatever technologies, like, boomers grew up with; technological change is accelerating but we haven't been in the ancestral environment for a very long time.
2) the fact that this very definitively isn't the ancestral environment does not at all negate the fact that this is certainly significantly less miserable than the ancestral environment. would you rather live in a hellhole you were optimized for or a utopia you weren't?

@kat agree there's good stuff in the cyberpunk style out there but there is a big part of that "genre" (i hate genre) which explores some tendencies of late capitalism and it's desire to break down some borders and create others.

saying this doesn't stop trans cyberpunk narratives from existing and i don't think we need to uncover the hidden non-white, non-binary thinking/bodies at the core of cyberpunk.


i think about this a lot with fantasy and how white and hetero the history of it is. this history is real, from Lovecraft to de Camp to Tolkein there's a lot of boring shit in there but there's also stuff to fuck with, to use in our own ways for new histories like Nalo Hopkinson, Nnedi Okorafor, NK Jeminisin.

@kat People: Oh no spending your entire live in VR is scary!

Also people: *ignores the part where the VR space is literally a product*

People: Oh no easy access to medical technology that would make any modern-day doctor jealous is scary!

Also people: *ignores the actually scary part where capitalists either use it to take ownership of peoples' bodies or add functionality that benefits them at the detriment of the user*

@emmy honestly convinced vrchat became the coolest part of vr BECAUSE it's just a bunch of queer trans bipoc peeps making weird rooms in their basements and sharing them for free, instead of like a AAA company making an Ideal Experience


Yeah. What gets me is people are horrified by the prospect of body modification tech,

and I'm like,

I'm transgender and may or may not have defective collagen, if I could walk into any random place and walk out with whatever random modifications I needed my life would be so much better.

@emmy i feel like people see "corporations have control over your body" and go "that's bad!!" which is correct

and then they skip over "you should control your own body" and land on "nobody should control your body, not even you" which is just miserable and erases a lot of people and feels a little terfy haha

@kat I absolutely Hate when people utilize cyberpunk to go 'wah wah technology is bad', drives me up a wall. The genre can hold so many more important narratives and people will push That One? I spit on them

Hopefully they get cheaper as process of production gets more optimised.

@kat people who shit on technology are those who does not understand it, the problem are corpos using it to get wealth and steal data

@kat plus if used correctly, technology + policy can help us get out of that nightmare, like helping users to lie about their data to make sure advertisements are inaccurate and location tracking is too imprecise for them to rely on, automatic face blurring (and filling securely, don't want the unblur algorithms to work). The key is just making those easy enough for an end user to use.

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