Cyberpunk and hope for the future.

Recently I read Neuromancer by William Gibson and I realised I was a big fan of the Cyberpunk genre, I love Philip K. Dick stories, I love Snowcrash and Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson, and Blade Runner is probably my favourite film. So a couple of days ago I bought Deus Ex : Human Revolution for £2! Three days of my life disappeared without a trace. I even forgot a doctors appointment. It is very good entertainment. Yes I truly love the genre.

There is so much to intrigue, mechanical body modification, weird futuristic developments in a gritty and down to earth setting of the (relatively) near future. Lots of corporate corruption. Police services being outsourced to the private sector. General craziness. Also I like the multicultural approach. Though there were a few too many English speaking people in Neo Shanghai there were also people who simply spoke Chinese.

Apparently there is a game in production called Cyberpunk 2077 (based upon a pen and paper RPG (that’s been around since the dawn of time, or the late 1980’s as the case might be) made by the same people who made the fantasy game: The Witcher. Now I am well and truly up for that. Apparently all the characters are going to be voiced in their native languages and if you want to know what they are saying you either need to know their language (which might be tricky since its going to contain genuine street patois). Or buy a translation neural enhancement in the game. Now that is something I really want in real life! just imagine being able to walk the earth and talk to anybody in any language!

Whilst cyberpunk contains new problems (and old) that society is yet to overcome, its futurist approach to humanity is refreshing compared to the fatalism afflicting our post 9/11 world. We do have the power to overcome our current weaknesses. We should have hope for the future. Fusion power is just around the corner. Cures for all sorts of illnesses are tantalisingly close. Capitalism is raising more people from poverty than ever thought possible, but along with that comes new problems, but we can face those problems. I do have faith in humanity.

There are so many things that are within our reach if we dare to hope. The Palestinian issue is so close to resolution. If only the Palestinian leadership would reach out and do what is best for their people… Recognise Israel is here to stay and that a two state solution is the only way to further your own people’s interests.  Its interesting that the two state solution has consistently been turned down by Palestinian leaders. Surely a future that you can build yourself is better than the purgatorial existence induced by disengaging from the peace process?

Likewise the recent negotiations in Northern Ireland may have stalled but I have a confident belief that the people of that place will be reconciled, be it in ten years or fifty. If anything I think the negotiations were too optimistic to succeed, it just needs more time to heal, a couple more generations. Humanity moves on. Humanity, oh so gradually, heals. Humanity gets wiser, even if it does so at an agonisingly slow pace.


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