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Cyberia: Life in the Trenches of Cyberspace

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  346 ratings  ·  26 reviews
The digital age will always be marked by the spirit of its first emergence, and the tension from the very first between corporate high-tech and the appropriation of information technologies by the counter-culture. Cyberia is an ideas-led, exuberant documentary written in 1994 about the converging strands of this new era, the empowerments of cyber-technology and the emergen ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 2nd 2002 by Clinamen Press Ltd. (first published January 1st 1993)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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Tim Tulsky
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The very best book abotu this topic. I laerned lot from this book — THANKS to authors.
Jonathan Wichmann
I read this when I was 12 or 13 and it blew my mind and changed my life. My curiosity about hackers is what drew me to it, but it introduced me to the insights from the psychedelic revolution, the magic of chaos theory and fractals, and ideas about paganism, and even including a glowing description of roleplaying games. The core message I remember was that our beliefs, concepts, and inner programming are incredibly powerful in shaping our lives and the way we see the world. It led me into even m ...more
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There was a time before the age of Google buses, PRISM, and brogrammers, when digital culture meant psychedelics, house music and reconstructed paganism. Douglas Rushkoff managed to snap a picture at the very crest of that wave, capturing the philosophies, personalities and chemistries that made it a moment of such boundless optimism. Now, twenty years later, that optimism may have gathered a somewhat sad patina to it. But Rushkoff's prose is as crisp as ever, and his insights are probably even ...more
Jack Oughton
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Techno utopianism from a mid 90s POV (well, it was written in the mid 90s)

At that point the internet (more often referred to as 'cyberspace') was heralded as a vehicle for the evolution of human consciousness). The ravers, psychedelics word and hippies were going to use it as a means to raise human consciousness, and as a non chemical means to help us all access the spiritual. But as we all know,in 2016 its all cat videos, Harambe memes and Donald Trump shitposting.

Actually, I say that, but I su
Mar 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book! In my opinion THE manifiesto of cyberculture.
Mixes technology with philosophy, religion, drugs, rpg games and art.

Very interesting style of writing. Mixes facts and reality with fiction.
Joshua Sorkin
Dec 17, 2015 rated it liked it
This book was the primary reason that I moved to Northern California, hoping to make a new life as a hippie cyberpunk, so in that way I have to credit it with changing my life.

Lots of early-90s idealism here, and the whole thing feels a lot like a book-length _Rolling Stone_ article about some hot new counterculture trend.

When I first read it, the interplay of anecdote and cultural critique was really attractive to me; the narratives made all these media hackers and psychonauts seem real and wor
Feb 19, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So wonderfully dated.

About half this book is excellent, but somewhere around chapter 12 I started wanting to yell at Rushkoff. It didn't help that, for the rest of the book, the focus was entirely uninteresting, either to me or 1993-nostalgia-Cow; a world I want to run around and play in, but the camera keeps focusing on all the wrong, uninteresting things.

Also, there were several places where 15 seconds of research would have made it a lot less jarring (the "shee"? really?). EDIT: I just rememb
Jun 23, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ebook, abandoned, botm
interesting topic but the guy can't write, smh ...more
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, non-fiction
A remarkable book about the early internet ("cyberspace") culture. What it lacks in narrative quality (although it's very readable for non fiction, since it follows the researcher, his interviews etc) it gives us in information about that era.
Throughout the book we see most of the founders of the cultures being into frugs, whether chemical or musical. They thought the internet was a web of minds and that being drugged helped us get into that web, become One. Once united, humanity would move int
Joshua Dollins
Mar 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
A dated but interesting book works as a historical piece really. And a reminder of what could have been and perhaps could be still?
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I had a lot of fun reading this when younger. Barely remember however.
Jason Meinig
Oct 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book.. Very prescient, as it covers the earliest years of the internet, but also a lot more. It tells the story of what REALLY became of the counter-culture movements of the 60's as the tools of protest and rebellion became more technologically centered, and the book really spells out the 'battle' that is being waged between the power structure and hackers, and exposes some of the idealistic (and not-so) idealistic) motives of the latter. This is a book I should have read 20 years ago ...more
Nov 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
great book, as when reading anything about the internet more then five years after it was published i was worried that it would be irrelavent but most of the information especially rushkoffs point of view was still very interesting information.

also having just read 'theecstasy club' only a few months ago it is very obvioous he wrote that based on the research that he did for this book. most of the characters from ecstasy club can be found in cyberia, or elements of them. some seem to be compied
McKenna never cease to amaze me. How someone can be able to produce so much bullshit in one lifetime. I cannot count how many facepalms it took to get through his quotes. Cyberia is quite well written, but zippies are so full of shit. Rushkoff did a fine job describing cultural phenomena and some people mindset, but he could be a little bit more critical. In it's present form the book seems to endorse New Age too much for my taste. ...more
Feb 14, 2016 rated it liked it
An interesting history of the early Internet and culture of psychedelics (if a tad disjointed at times). It also had some good information on how these early cultures related to the Bay Area specifically, and talked about some of the early (and long since extinct) cyber clubs in SOMA. I would've liked to see even more information on that. ...more
Kyle Fnord
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Utter brainsex. How does one tap into the very nature of their own minds cohesive qualities. What is reality? Rushkoff does us all a favour and bridges the gap between cyberspace, drugs, media, tribalism, society as a whole and asks in a very succinct voyage, how do we become the masters of Cyberia?
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hay tiempos que nos emociona haber vivido, aunque haya sido en versión austera y provinciana. Si eres sobreviviente del" PLUR" este libro será un back in time obligatorio... Y de paso querrás ponerte a escuchar un poco de acid House solo por los buenos tiempos. ...more
Jul 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
Given how much has changed about the internet since this book was published most all of the information is out of date, and little if any of the predictions Rushkoff made came true. However, there is still a lot of interesting people groups talked about in this book.
Jan 03, 2012 rated it did not like it
Crap. Don't waste your time reading this. ...more
Florin Pitea
Jul 03, 2014 rated it liked it
I read this work while documenting my PhD thesis. It is an interesting approach to turn-of-the-millennium cyberculture.
Angela Perkins
Mar 11, 2009 marked it as to-read
A research book for my 90's blog: Damn The Man, Save The Empire! at

Had to return to library. Will take out again soon.
Marc Mcdonald
I don't remember this book blowing my mind but it's been a looong time since I read it. Given the way the Internet has changed since then, this book should pretty much be considered a time capsule. ...more
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ένα απο τα βιβλία που σημάδεψαν την μετέπειτα ζωή μου σε όλους τους τομείς, ακόμα και στο θέμα της φιλίας. 5/5 χωρίς δεύτερη σκέψη
Dan Thaisz
Aug 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this in 98 and that was a crazy ride. Mind-blowing book, that changed my inner world. Thanks Doug!
Feb 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Takes an open mind. Had a profound impact on my impression of the world.
Nick Black
More about raving than computers. Now, while raving was a grand ol' time back in the late 90's, I can't support poor bookcovering. ...more
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Douglas Rushkoff is a New York-based writer, columnist and lecturer on technology, media and popular culture.

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