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Author Topic: Is there a Steampunk version of Cyberspace?  (Read 2015 times)
Lazaras
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« on: July 17, 2016, 02:57:45 pm »

Recent doings with the system shock kickstarter, talk of how the re-imagined/rebooted game's cyberspace might work, and other cyberpunk-ish elements have left me wondering if there is some similar thing, except for steampunk. I expect it'd be more out of body eastern mysticism, or have some other spiritual component, possibly machine assisted to travel along the aether to see the deeper connections with the world, or the hereafter, or whatnot.
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Atterton
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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2016, 03:04:53 pm »

The telegraph was basically the victorian internet.
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Lazaras
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2016, 03:06:33 pm »

Read a book on the matter, and it's actually a damned good read. However i was referring more to the act of seperating your mind and going into something else, since that's more or less what cyberspace is; sending your mind out into this great scary Other environment.
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von Corax
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2016, 03:10:20 pm »

Some of us refer to the Ætherweb*, but I'm not aware that any of us picture it as the sort of virtual space portrayed in Mr. Gibson's writings; to me, at least, it is simply a renamed Internet.

*We use the term "Ætherweb" to avoid confusion with the real-world "Ethernet" technology.
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Atterton
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2016, 06:16:48 pm »

You could perhaps create a type of psychic internet, where your friendly neighbourhood psychic works a bit like a cybercafe. You would find yourself in a kind of dream world created by psychics around the world connecting with each other. Though what happens when your brain gets hacked or spammed? Also how do you interface with a psychic?
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Atterton
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2016, 06:38:35 pm »

To bring some tech into it and to help increase the reach of your psychic, tbey might need to be hooked up to a machine. It could look a little like this:



We could name it the akashic web or the morphogenic net.
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Lazaras
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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2016, 07:40:10 pm »

Interesting, bringing notions of the spiritualist movement into this. Maybe ghosts messing with your ouygi board are just interdimensional telemarketers....
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2016, 07:53:43 pm »

Aetherspace?  A parallel reality just outside of Euclidean Space? Just read any of HP Lovecraft's works involving the Dream World. His works will mix mysticism, witchcraft, alien world's, all in the same novel.  Wasn't there a story called "... witches house"  or something like that where he actually stumbles on witchcraft artifacts, and manages to travel in space and time to an alien world far far away? I found that short story fascinating.

For Steampunk proper, all you have to do is search our Brassgoggles pages for Will Rockwell ''s Spirit Harvester machines.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2016, 07:59:58 pm »

Interesting, bringing notions of the spiritualist movement into this. Maybe ghosts messing with your ouygi board are just interdimensional telemarketers....

Aetheric Jehova's Witnesses will materialize in your living room every now and then,  until you send an instruction to have you unsubscribed from their aeMail (Aether Mail)  list. Just think of the spam you would get!
« Last Edit: July 17, 2016, 08:01:42 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Atterton
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« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2016, 08:03:15 pm »

Not to mention those annoying ghosts that show up in your bedroom at night, moaning and breathing heavily.
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RJBowman
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« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2016, 11:08:15 pm »

Grant Morrison wrote a comic called "Sebastian O" in which virtual reality technology existed in Victorian England. The V.R. world was accessed through a device called the "magic lantern" which resembled a brass diver's helmet. The comic presented cyberspace concepts in a Victorian styled world, but made no attempt to present any form of cyberspace that could have credibly been achieved using 19th century technology.

Circa 380 BC, Plato included in his "The Republic" an essay called "Allegory of the Cave", which describes a scenario in which people are imprisoned in a cave from birth, and are only allowed to see shadow puppet plays presenting a false reality created by the prison operators. This was not supposed to be a realistic scenario, but an allegory for how people accept the world that they experience, which may not be a complete vision of the world, and could be distorted. This essay could be cited as a precursor to the virtual reality subgenre of cyberpunk fiction, but I am unaware of any critics that have pointed out this connection.

In 1946, information theorist Vannevar Bush wrote an article describing a machine that would connect the world's information into a globe spanning network using the cutting edge technologies of television and microfiche. The device he described had many features of the modern world wide web. This wasn't quite cyberspace, but it was an entirely credible implementation of data networks implemented with pre-microchip technologies. I am not aware of any steampunk stories inspired by Bush's article, but it would be easy to imagine a device based on telegraphy, photo slides, and Nipkow video that could do much of what a web browser can do. Not quite cyberspace, but the right direction. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memex
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Athanor
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« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2016, 03:21:13 am »

Aetherspace?  A parallel reality just outside of Euclidean Space? Just read any of HP Lovecraft's works involving the Dream World. His works will mix mysticism, witchcraft, alien world's, all in the same novel.  Wasn't there a story called "... witches house"  or something like that where he actually stumbles on witchcraft artifacts, and manages to travel in space and time to an alien world far far away? I found that short story fascinating. 


Greetings Mr. Wilhelm,

The story was called "The Dreams in the Witch House". It can be read at
http://www.dagonbytes.com/thelibrary/lovecraft/dreamswitchhouse.htm
The hero, Walter Gilman, mixes studies of arcane mathematics with New England folklore, and does indeed voyage through a parallel reality to a planet circling some far distant star...... Of course, as with most of Lovecraft's stories, it ends badly.....

Nevertheless, enjoy.

Athanor.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2016, 04:11:11 am »

Aetherspace?  A parallel reality just outside of Euclidean Space? Just read any of HP Lovecraft's works involving the Dream World. His works will mix mysticism, witchcraft, alien world's, all in the same novel.  Wasn't there a story called "... witches house"  or something like that where he actually stumbles on witchcraft artifacts, and manages to travel in space and time to an alien world far far away? I found that short story fascinating. 


Greetings Mr. Wilhelm,

The story was called "The Dreams in the Witch House". It can be read at
http://www.dagonbytes.com/thelibrary/lovecraft/dreamswitchhouse.htm
The hero, Walter Gilman, mixes studies of arcane mathematics with New England folklore, and does indeed voyage through a parallel reality to a planet circling some far distant star...... Of course, as with most of Lovecraft's stories, it ends badly.....

Nevertheless, enjoy.

Athanor.


Thank you Mr. Athanor! Indeed this is the website, some years ago, where I read most of my Lovecraftian horror. I guess it's time to download these stories into my tablet  Cheesy
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rovingjack
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« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2016, 09:14:01 am »

the astral plane.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astral_plane

astral projection
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astral_projection

the akashic records
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akashic_records

methods of accessing include near death experiences, out of body experiences, and lucid dreaming. All of which could be induced by machines. lucid dreaming might allow one to access the akashic record for data and dictate it out to those around their body. out of body experiences might be a meants of having a person lost in the other plane while their body is held or hidden. and near death experience may be the equivalent of uploading the human mind.
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« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2016, 09:14:50 am »

Justin Richards' books 'The Suicide Exhibition' and 'Red City' use the notion that what we've interpreted as magic is simply the much mythicised leftovers of advanced science; ouygi boards as radio communications, the wording of occult rituals as much misinterpreted voice commands, etc etc. All left over from when our ancestors escaped from Hyboria / encounters with the Vril / dealings with the fey / etc..

It's an old trope, but a good basis for having a more scientific approach to an interconnected aetherway.

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cossoft
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« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2016, 02:23:32 am »

Taking the original question at face value (and some medication), it might be plausible to have a Steampunk cyberspace!

Consider Babbage’s Analytical Engine.  Whilst it was never built, it was conceived as a fully universal computer.  If you  subscribe to the notion that intelligence is just very advanced computation, you might envisage a sufficiently complex mechanism capable of intelligent thought.  Vastly advanced derivatives of the Analytical Engine might then be considered as a type of life form.  If these mechanical life forms then developed a way of reproduction, by say building children made up of springs, cogs and lubricant, might that not then be a new species?  These coglets would then live out their lives (before rusting away) in a kind of mechanical /Steampunkesque space.

They would of course then try to take over and wipe us all out.
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RJBowman
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« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2016, 03:46:14 am »

Mechanical computers could never generate enough sensory information rapidly enough to create a genuine impression of a fully interactive world. Even if you covered the entire planet with parallel processing gear systems to generate the virtual world, there would still be the difficulty of getting all the sensory information from those for flung mechanisms to the subject. Steam powered virtual reality could never be more than implausible fantasy.

Now what you could have is a not-so-realistic artificial environment; similar to what some artists and hobbyist build in the 80's using 8-bit technology. Those old systems could never pass for a natural environment, and weren't intended to, but the user could interact with moving images, manipulate the environment, and hear sounds. Think of the old mechanical arcade machines that simulated gunfights, bomber missions, etc., and imagine building a similar machine using an array of moving magic lanterns controlled by Babbage machines. You would not enter the Matrix, or have a Tron experience, but you could experience something removed from the ordinary world.
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cossoft
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« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2016, 01:13:29 pm »

"implausible fantasy?"  I'm detecting negative waves emanating from your aura.  I think it would be cute to see a race of steam powered mechanoids trying to get on in a Toon Town like universe.  The little coglets would be akin to a cross between Decepticons and puppies, all playing together, falling over and emitting excess hydrogen sulphide.  Being scolded by their Analytical Engine derived teacher, who then reduces their steam pressure to put them all to bed.

An amoeba is considered by most as a life form.  You might even have  dissected one at school.   It doesn't require remote sensory inputs, just what it can immediately feel with it's own tentacles. Give it some food (coal) and it's content.  Much like a puppy.  Given sufficient amounts of manufacturing, imagination and Absinth, could this not be a plausible aetherway?

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N1v3n
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« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2016, 01:10:47 pm »

Bioshock Infinite, could be a cheap convenient alternative.
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Atterton
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« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2016, 02:21:11 pm »

Elaborate, please.
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N1v3n
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« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2016, 01:15:07 pm »

quoted from wikipaedia:

BioShock Infinite is set in 1912 and takes place in a fictional steampunk city-state called "Columbia"—named in homage to the female personification of the United States[4]—which is suspended in the air through a combination of giant blimps, balloons, reactors, propellers, and "quantum levitation."[5]

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RJBowman
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« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2016, 02:30:24 pm »

quoted from wikipaedia:

BioShock Infinite is set in 1912 and takes place in a fictional steampunk city-state called "Columbia"—named in homage to the female personification of the United States[4]—which is suspended in the air through a combination of giant blimps, balloons, reactors, propellers, and "quantum levitation."[5]

Never cared much for the floating world concept. It just seems too implausible, too unstable, and too expensive to maintain.
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N1v3n
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« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2016, 04:00:04 pm »

quoted from wikipaedia:

BioShock Infinite is set in 1912 and takes place in a fictional steampunk city-state called "Columbia"—named in homage to the female personification of the United States[4]—which is suspended in the air through a combination of giant blimps, balloons, reactors, propellers, and "quantum levitation."[5]

Never cared much for the floating world concept. It just seems too implausible, too unstable, and too expensive to maintain.

That's probably because you do not know enough about quantum  levitation  Wink
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Atterton
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« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2016, 06:13:27 pm »

I don't quite see the connection between a floating town and a victorian version of cyberspace.
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N1v3n
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« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2016, 08:01:27 pm »

I don't quite see the connection between a floating town and a victorian version of cyberspace.

Within the games Steam punk setting, "Columbia is ravaged by "Tears" in the fabric of space-time.[18] Being the result of past scientific experiments, these Tears reveal alternate universes, and allow for interaction with them" (quoted from wiki).

We are talking about a version of cyberspace. I think this qualifies.
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