Cyberspace is fading

At a European Security meeting this week, Hillary Clinton declared that “We must recognize that rights exercised in cyberspace deserve as much protection as those exercised in real space,” sounding oddly anachronistic with that term for the Internet coined in 1982 by science-fiction author William Gibson (NYT 12/7/11). Increasingly, it’s mainly politicians, the military, the police, and marketers who still use “cyberspace” or “cyber-” (as in cyber-Monday for online shopping). This year more people than ever seemed to notice what Gibson himself has been saying lately: that the word is dying out, losing its currency. On Twitter, @scottdot put it best: “Who the hell says ‘cyber’-anything anymore?”–and then apologized to Gibson. But Gibson re-tweeted and added: “[I have said that myself, many times]” –meaning, yes, he’s also asked himself who says “cyber” any more. As @scottdot said, “Last I checked, it was 2011, not 1997.”

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