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* Chris Abel *
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* ON CYBERSPACE *
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In their eagerness to escape their physical 'prisons', cybernauts have forgotten that our body is the one thing they actually rely upon for being able to think about and relate to the world, as well as to move about in it. The ability to see things as objects located in space and separate from ourselves, is itself dependent upon having a physical body as a constant frame of reference - indeed, it is the only sure constant in any personal life. By the same token, any conceptual separation or objectification of mind and body arises from a process of thinking which is only made possible by our having a body which we can look out from and measure other things by. The detachment of the mind from the body involved in cybernaut's fantasies is pure illusion - one that can never be realized without destroying the very mentality it is supposed to preserve and to strengthen.

What actually happens when anyone uses the Net and tries to visualize it and make it more 'real', as the language used by all the writers quoted from here clearly shows, is that we 'inhabit' cyberspace pretty much as we inhabit any physical realm, by metaphorical extension of ourselves. We assimilate the 'non-spatial' realm of cyberspace into the spatial world we already know. In so doing, we humanize what might otherwise appear a lot stranger than it already is. That may also be an illusion, but it is one that confirms and enhances - not threatens - our special way of being.

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* From: 'Cyberspace in Mind,' in C. Abel, Architecture, Technology and Process. Architectural Press, 2004, p. 56-57. *
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