Ctrl-ALT R 3: RISE OF THE ROBOTS AND THE JESSIE SIM UNIVERSE: An essay by Extropia DaSilva

Extropia DaSilva photographed by Shoshana Epsilon

‘Pierre goes cross-eyed, trying to understand the implications of the slug’s cosmology’

-Charles Stross.

In the discussion concerning science fiction, we saw how such stories can occasionally predict the future.  However, like most forecasts they are rarely completely accurate. Jules Verne anticipated submarine warfare- but against wooden vessels rather than armoured battle fleets. The 1950s visions of space exploration missed out the role that digital computers would play in such scenarios, instead deffering the task of mapping out the details of missions to human navigators armed with slide rules. As for science fiction tales like ‘Neuromancer’ and ‘The Matrix’, our actual VR worlds fail to match up to these visions in a couple of ways. Firstly, you do not, generally speaking, connect to such worlds by plugging a cable into your brain or by wearing glasses that beams the world onto your retina. The latter technology is used to a very limited extent, but is certainly nowhere near as ubiquitous as it is in ‘Neuromancer’.

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