Student Homepages

Universities across the U.S. now provide students with free Internet-access hook-ups directly to dorm rooms. Virtually any student at a major university (provided they have funding; see "Haves and Have-nots" [link to Lydia]) is capable of world-wide communication and access to information. With this great opportunity, students have created Web pages -- from the mundane, "Hi, I am so-and-so" page to the wild, in-your-face, cyberpunk* page. Home pages are just one use Gen Xers have interiorized from the technological (r)evolution in our postmodern society, providing us with a way to share ideas and create a (somehow) concrete representation of ourselves. While a homepage is paperless (as our classrooms and money have become), we can still "visit" the site, tracing our path back through cyberspace, and somehow feel a part of a whole.


/si:'ber-puhnk/ [orig. by SF writer Bruce Bethke and/or editor Gardner Dozois] n.,adj. A subgenre of SF launched in 1982 by William Gibson's epoch-making novel "Neuromancer" (though its roots go back through Vernor Vinge's "True Names" (see "{True Names ... and Other Dangers}" in appendix C) to John Brunner's 1975 novel "The Shockwave Rider"). Gibson's near-total ignorance of computers and the present-day hacker culture enabled him to speculate about the role of computers and hackers in the future in ways hackers have since found both irritatingly na"ive and tremendously stimulating. Gibson's work was widely imitated, in particular by the short-lived but innovative "Max Headroom" TV series. See cyberspace, ice, jack in, go flatline.

Since 1990 or so, popular culture has included a movement or fashion trend that calls itself `cyberpunk', associated especially with the rave/techno subculture. Hackers have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, self-described cyberpunks too often seem to b e shallow trendoids in black leather who have substituted enthusiastic blathering about technology for actually learning and *doing* it. Attitude is no substitute for competence. On the other hand, at least cyberpunks are excited about the right things and properly respectful of hacking talent in those who have it. The general consensus is to tolerate them politely in hopes that they'll attract people who grow into being true hackers. (Blum)

This definition is contained in a jargon dictionary of cyber-terms. [link dead in 2004, at time of last site-check]

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