THE AGE OF THE DIAMOND AGE: COGNITIVE SIMULATIONS, HIVE WETWARES
AND SOCIALIZED CYBERSPACES AS THE GIST OF POSTCYBERPUNK
(247) Rucker's Wetware
offers perhaps the most relentless ridicule of the Chandleresque, systematically satirizing all the basic elements of the hardboiled detective formula.
But you really don't need much more than a phone, he says, because "the most important piece of hardware is your wetware
If there was resistance to Freud's attempts to understand behavior in terms of biological drives versus internalized social restraints, how could there fail to be resistance to attempts to coordinate our very personalities with small changes in our wetware
The framework in Table 1 is compared in Table 2 with the Nelson-Romer (1996) framework, which identifies human capital as "wetware
," social capital as "software," and physical capital as "hardware." While the latter framework is couched in terms of knowledge carried in hardware, software, and wetware
, the former framework is posed as accumulations of four forms of "capital" or capability.
Meme theory thus smacks gratifyingly of director Ridley Scott or novelist William Gibson, of the fashionably gloomy sci-fi depictions of wetware
mergers of human and machine, or the neo-religiosity of Neal Stephenson's cult bestseller Snow Crash, with its sly conflation of the categories of virus, drug, language, program, and religion--all now understood as different ways of describing the same meme invasion, the same alteration of post-Babel consciousness.
"Software" and "hardware" are household words these days, so any new media writer worth his modem connection takes pains to pepper his copy with terms like "vaporware," defined as, "software that never makes it off the drawing board"; "wank-ware," defined as "X-rated software"; "pimpware," defined as "a derisive term for a download that is putatively a useful piece of software in its own right, but actually is part of some huge marketing campaign"; or "wetware
," defined as "the hideously unreliable computing and processing apparatus, if any, installed between your ears," aka the brain.
`Up there!' An LSD-inspired Beatles song was all that parsed in my own `sixties-vintage wetware
, until the penny dropped.
Software and hardware engineers often refer to the human component as "wetware
" or "meat." As the use of biometric systems to verify identity is applied to financial transactions, building access controls, and more, people could soon become multi-meatia, given ...
The soulful, asynchratic warmbloods of the Tropics and Southern Hemisphere are people whose crania contain wetware
as potentially capable of massive information processing as our own.
Consider, for example, the idea of the human mind as a computer (half-jokingly called "wetware
Is it a new form of conflict that owes its existence to the burgeoning global information infrastructure, or an old one whose origin lies in the wetware
of the human brain but has been given new life by the information age?