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Vol. 2, Issue 6
December 17, 1999

Down the Pipe

Can't Wait for Cyberspace

by Russell "RadPipe" Lauzon


he Digital Revolution is upon us, baby. Turn on, plug in, and warp out. Say goodbye to the loved ones around you and hello to a whole new world of virtual companions. Let your body atrophy into skin and bones as your net-self thrives and grows into a digital-consuming cyberbeast.

Virtual Reality is just around the corner. Many will argue that it’s already here, but as far as I’m concerned, it ain’t here until we’re hooking the net right up to our neural pathways. And I’m all for it. I want to see the internet through my eyes, hear it through my ears, touch, taste, smell it through my senses. I want it to be so real that you can’t distinguish it from the real world.

You think perhaps The Matrix has had some influence on me? Yeah probably, but I wrote my first short story about Cyberspace 8 years ago. In it, the characters used Life Coffins to house their bodies while they plugged in to the net. Nobody ventured out onto the streets anymore. If something couldn’t be done in Cyberspace, then it wasn’t worth doing. Simulated Experts fought for their freedom while corporations bought and sold them like slave labor.

Oh good grief, Rad’s slipped off the deep end again.

Maybe. Maybe not. In this week’s Down The Pipe I’m going to focus on the reasons why I can’t wait for the real Virtual Reality to hit us.

In Cyberspace there is no travel time. I can go to work instantly. I can hook up with friends around the world in a heartbeat. I can order a pizza in less time than it takes to decide what I want on it. This is pretty substantial when you consider how much of your daily routine involves going places and waiting in line. How much time per day would you save? Also, consider this: I can step halfway around the world and visit my cousins in Australia, and when their kids start getting on my nerves, I can be gone in an instant.

No more physical violence. Now you gotta think about this one, and yes I’m still talking about the future Cyberspace where we plug the net right into our brains. Gaming violence is still around, because that’s still fun and by then we’ll have proven it doesn’t really affect us. But physical violence won’t be tolerated in much the same was as IRC abusers are banned from chat rooms. You play nice or I’ll show you the door. In Cyberspace it’s not the size of your muscles that counts, it’s the weight of your status.

Drink a perfect brew of coffee every time, with no drawbacks! This works kind of like the replicator on Star Trek. If something doesn’t taste exactly to your liking, just keep changing parameters until it does. And drink as much of it as you want! No more worries about tooth decay from all that sugar. No more worries about caffeine poisoning. Drink and drink and drink. And if you do really want that caffeine high? Well, just tell the computer to buzz you up. Heck, it is plugged right into your brain, after all. But this goes for all foods. While your body is sucking up some nutritious sludge in the Life Coffin, you can stuff your face with the most unhealthy foods your mind can dream up. Then you can do it again tomorrow!

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Credits: Illustration © 1999 Dan Zalkus. Down the Pipe is © 1999 Russell Lauzon. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited. So don't do it. Please? Pretty please? Okay, fine...be that way. But don't ask me for your allowance, young man.