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Rudy Rucker

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Cyberpunk, in the popular consciousness, conjures a glut of dissociated images: Blade Runner’s slummy urban landscape, hackers in sunglasses, Japanese cyborgs, grubby tech, digital intoxication, Keanu Reeves as Johnny Mnemonic. But it began as an insanely niche subculture within science fiction, one which articulated young writerly distaste for the historically utopian optimism of the medium and, in turn, provided an aesthetic reference point for burgeoning hacker culture, before metastasizing into a full-on cultural trend.

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Take computers, mathematics, and the Java Sound API, add in some Java code, and you've got a recipe for creating some uniquely fascinating music. IBM Staff Software Engineer Paul Reiners demonstrates how to implement some basic concepts of algorithmic music composition in the Java language. He presents code examples and resulting MIDI files generated by the Automatous Monk program, which uses the open source jMusic framework to compose music based on mathematical structures called cellular automata.

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