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William Gibson

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Author, researcher, and psychedelic pioneer Timothy Leary could have added another title to his name: creator of an amazing, incredibly weird take on William Gibson's Neuromancer showcased by Wired. Since acquiring Leary's archives in mid-2011, the New York Public Library has been uncovering and publishing details about Leary's work, including fragments of Leary's plans for scrapped computer games. In 1985, he helped develop and publish Mind Mirror, a psychoanalytic game that let players build and role-play personalities — Electronic Arts, which put out the title, reportedly sold 65,000 copies in the two years after release. But according to material that the library released to researchers last week, he also had far more ambitious plans.

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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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theodp writes "The rich are different; the geek rich are different-er. The WSJ's Emily Glazer reports that when Richard Garriott de Cayeux threw a costume party the night before his wedding in Paris, his 82-year-old mother — too frail to travel from her Las Vegas home — still dressed up as an Indian princess and attended the party using a $9,700 personal-presence robot from Anybots Inc. At the wedding reception the next day, Mama Garriott shook her robootie on the dance floor, encircled by kids and family. Telepresence robots aren't just for the likes of Sergey Brin anymore — companies like VGo, Xaxxon, Willow Garage, and iRobot have introduced personal-presence robots that range in price from $270 for a simple model to $50,000 for a machine that allows doctors to diagnose illnesses remotely. And, as an old NY Times article noted, they can also make fine Robot Overlords."


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