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More from William Gibson

In the future, computers will mutate beyond recognition. Computers won't be intimidating, wire-festooned, high-rise bit-factories swallowing your entire desk. They will tuck under your arm, into your valise, into your kid's backpack. After that, they'll fit onto your face, plug into your ear. And after that - they'll simply melt. They'll become fabric. What does a computer really need? Not glass boxes - it needs thread - power wiring, glass fiber-optic, cellular antennas, microcircuitry. These are woven things. Fabric and air and electrons and light. Magic handkerchiefs with instant global access. You'll wear them around your neck. You'll make tents from them if you want. They will be everywhere, throwaway. Like denim. Like paper. Like a child's kite. This is coming a lot faster than anyone realizes. - 1993
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I believe that the national adventure you now propose is of quite extraordinary importance. Historians of the future - provided good dreams prevail - will view this as having been far more crucial to the survival of democracy in the United States than rural electrification or the space program. - 1993
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Every machine you see here will be trucked out and buried in a landfill, and never spoken of again, within a dozen years ... The values are what matters. The values are the only things that last, the only things that *can* last. Hack the hardware, not the Constitution. Hold on tight to what matters, and just hack the rest. I used to think that cyberspace was 50 years away. What I thought was 50 years away, was only 10 years away. And what I thought was 10 years away - it was already here. I just wasn't aware of it yet. - 1993
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We have an opportunity to create media that would match the splendid ambitions of Franklin with his public libraries and his mail system, and Jefferson and Madison with their determination to arm democracy with the power knowledge gives. We could offer children, yes even poor children in poor districts, a real opportunity to control the screen, for once. - 1993
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In my own best-case scenario, every elementary and high school teacher in the United States of America will have unlimited and absolutely cost-free professional access to long-distance telephone service. The provision of this service could be made, by law, a basic operation requirement for all telephone companies. Of course, this would also apply to cable television. By the same token, every teacher in every American public school will be provided, by the manufacturer, on demand, and at no cost, with copies of any piece of software. - 1993
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In the future I expect the commercial sector to target little children with their full enormous range of online demographic databases and privacy-shattering customer-service profiles. These people will be armed and ready and lavishly financed and there every day, peering at our children through a cyberspace one-way mirror ... We need to make some conscious decisions to reinvent our information technology as if the future mattered. As if our children were human beings, human citizens, not raw blobs of potential revenue-generating machinery. - 1993
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One could imagine a very ascetic sort of life growing out of this, where the body is ignored. - 1995
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Really what they're offering you is a mall. They want to give you an infomall where you pay for every bit of information you download, and you'll download from a menu that some corporation has assembled ... I have great hopes for the Internet, very little hope for commercial versions, and I profoundly hope that the Internet will continue to be the basis of this sort of growth. - 1995
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Cash is a dubious thing ... Cyberspace is where the bank keeps your money and to a real extent it's where the stock market happens. I'm waiting for the Three Mile Island of computer banking - some unspeakable meltdown, although I'm hoping it really doesn't come along. That will be when we discover the extent of our reliance on computation. - 1995
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We're seeing something in the Internet as significant as the birth of cities. It's something that profound and with that sort of infinite possibilities. It's really something new, it's a new kind of civilization. - 1995
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We are being shoved up against futurity with such violence that science fiction may become a historical term ... The Internet may be important because we are seeing something akin to what we did when we invented cities. - 1995
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The present is more frightening than any imaginable future I might dream up ... If Marshall McLuhan were alive today, he'd have a nervous breakdown. - 1995

 

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