chapter  1
Eversion
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The eversion of cyberspace, or the shift in perception it metaphorically describes, has actually been going on for some time, now. When Gibson coined the term cyberspace in 1982-1984, it was a metaphor for the global information network, but, in the decade that followed, it made a material difference in technology and culture, and in the perceived relation between the two. Now, as Gibson and others have recently noted, the term has started to fade like an old photograph, to sound increasingly archaic.2 In a Twitter exchange on November 27, 2011, @scottdot asked “Who the hell says ‘cyber’-anything anymore?” and in a few minutes Gibson himself (@GreatDismal) responded: “I have said that myself, many times.” The notable exceptions, perhaps significantly enough, are uses of the term by the military and governments, as in cyber-attack and cyber-warfare, and in the analogous case of cyber-bullying. In all of these cases, one might imagine that there’s a resistance to acknowledging the (frightening) breakdown of the distinction, the interpenetration of what had been conceived of as separate worlds. Even in this case, the Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute began her testimony before a congressional committee on cybersecurity in March 2013 by observing that “cyberspace is woven into the fabric of our daily lives,” and she has said repeatedly (in a paradoxical-sounding metaphor) that cyberspace “functions as the very endoskeleton of modern life.”3 No longer a place apart (some other “space”), it’s now seen as the infrastructure inside the “body” of everyday

existence. For some years now, Gibson has been pointing out that “cyberspace is everywhere now, having everted and colonized the world. It starts to sound kind of ridiculous to speak of cyberspace as being somewhere else.”4 Although she continues to use the term, Secretary Lute would agree with Gibson that cyberspace has everted, turned inside out (and outside in).