Every user of the internet has the ability to create content and share it with whoever they please. A user, or creator, is called a node.
Each node is apart of a larger network. There is no centralised hub for the information to be sent or received, rather there are nodes all over the world sending and receiving data.
The reason for there being no centralised computer controlling all information trace back in history to World War 2 where there was a threat of the main hub being overtaken by the enemy. A computer is used as a main frame to process data. Multiple frames connect to the main frame which then sends it back out. So by having one main frame, infiltrating it would be detrimental to a country or business. That is why not having a main frame provides a level of protection not associated with information and power being held in one place.
Personally I believe that this is a very smart thing to do. By not creating a so called ‘main frame’
In the 21st Century there are huge advances in technology compared to 50 years ago, so overriding the system of a central computer would be possible.
And with most aspects of society relying on computer for information and production it would be quite detrimental if the main hub was overtaken.
Though this is quite realistic to imagine now, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the emergence of Cyberpunk came about.
Cyberpunk is the name surrounding the ideas, worries, stories and movement about the new technology. And the new dystopian future that was predicated to be caused by the emergence of new technologies.
But it was not all gloom and doom surrounding these new advances. The flow of information is much more free thanks to the openness of the internet.
‘Thought, nothing but thought’, is a phrase used to describe the openness and freedom of the flow of information. With each nodes ability to broadcast across to the entire network, free speech is especially prevalent in today’s Western society.
Though this is not always welcomed. Edward Snowden and Julian Assange are two people who have freed confidential government information to the public, facing imprisonment. Being nodes within the network and technically doing what the network is created to do, sharing information that is supposedly confidential and not meant to be seen by all of the nodes.
So was the Cyberpunk predictions realistic then? Has the changed in technology made the world a dystopian place?
I do not think it has. Having an open network with all nodes being equal to a degree has meant that advances are able to occur all across the globe. Of course there are limitations, but that rule applies to all aspects of life. Not just technology and communications. When a Blade Runner society is the norm, then we run.