Bruce Sterling on Wed, 9 Dec 1998 19:32:29 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> a submission

McKenzie Wark:

"There is hype and there is cyberhype: what distinguishes the latter from
the former is its exponential quality. It is hype about hype itself, and
it ramped up so fast in the 80s and 90s that it ended up pointing straight
up, like a giddy soundbite version of John Glenn's space shuttle launch." 

*Yes, almost *exactly* like space hype, now that you mention it.  And like
nuclear hype before Space hype, and LSD hype, and TV hype, and radio hype,
and aviation hype, and telegraph hype, and 19th-century photography hype.
Which suggests that rather than resting easy now that the California
Ideology is cocooning in a Bay Area mansion and raising its child, we
ought to watch for the *next* hype, which I would bet a shiny new stack of
Euros is "biohype."  There are ads around for genetic sequencers now where
the target demographic is wearing tight jeans and designer glasses. 
Suddenly it's all about hot bubbling goo and svelte female lab assistants. 

"But as Michel Foucault once reminded us: perhaps we are not really living
through revolutionary times. Perhaps this moment is just a coffee break in

Another fabulous McKenzie Wark coinage.  How wonderful.  What a splendid
apotheosis to the digital revolution.  "A coffee break in history."  It's
just what I always wanted, in my cyber-heart of hearts -- not some
Wagnerian modernist slaughter where we wade hip-deep in the gore of the
reactionaries, but a low-key, tasty, coffee-break in history.  Make mine a
latte', brother, my aging bones need the calcium. 

Bruce Sterling

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