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Background Pony #428C
@Background Pony #4DB5
Ah, okay. I haven't read the story, because I fear for my sanity were I to do so, but does the author actually use the word "cyberpunk" to describe it? Because this isn't really cyberpunk at all. It's a story about social groups with opposed ideologies who regard their relationship as a zero-sum game, which is reflected in the way individuals treat one another. In-group morality is much older than cyberpunk. Sexual deviants and diversity hires elevated to high places by goodthinkers in order to signal what good people they were and allowed to make important decisions, that phenomenon is also much older than cyberpunk—or gunpowder.

Cyberpunk, at base, is a subgenre of science fiction literature principally created around 1980 by five authors, four of them Canadian: Bruce Sterling, William Gibson, Pat Cadigan, John Shirley, and Rudy Rucker. Most of this specific body of work has certain themes and imagery in common. Most of the stories that make up this opus are adventure stories in which horrible people do horrible things one another, in a near-future high-tech dystopia that is usually the aftermath of a nuclear war. Usually Japan owns everything—don't laugh, forty years ago lots of people in the US were obsessed with this bizarre idea that Japan was going to displace the US as a superpower—and is turning the planet into a lawless superhyperultramegalocapitalist nightmare. The protagonists are young disenfranchised outsiders and Bohemian types. Some are driven by a compulsion to hack computers. Some want to see the whole corrupt system burn.

Not all the stories in this oeuvre quite fit this mold in every detail, but all of them are written from the perspective of angry young outsiders who thought 1960s-70s sci-fi was too conservative—both politically and in terms of writing technique—too optimistic, and too American. Those of you who've read "A Boy and His Dog" or "Bug Jack Barron" or "The Forever War" are scratching your heads at these complaints, but that is how they felt. These young authors had sympathetic ears in Ben Bova and Ellen Datlow, who had been hired by Bob Guccione as editors for his extremely gonzo, extremely 1980s glossy-paper S*C*I*E*N*C*E magazine, called "Omni." Bova and Datlow bought just scads and scads of their experimental work , apparently to use as filler in between articles about UFOs and full-page full-color ads for expensive car stereo speakers. Most of it got collected in an anthology called "Mirrorshades," edited by Bruce Sterling, which may or may not still be in print almost forty years later.

All of that is preface to saying that the central idea of cyberpunk isn't people with Ethernet jacks surgically implanted in their foreheads. Cyberpunk was created by people who wanted to experiment with prose and storytelling, and do so while wagging their fingers at the Yanks about environmentalism and the war in Vietnam. They felt that American sci-fi was not dark enough, not bleak enough, not nihilistic enough, and wanted to cram the reader's head into the bucket, then start hitting the bucket with a stick. These people were very passionate about the craft of writing, and felt, legitimately, that too many skiffy writers were writing bland stories with bland prose, just punching a clock and churning out low-quality space-filler for bookstore shelves when they should have been taking risks and being creative, and some of their early-80s material—SOME of it—is brilliant and still holds up. "Knock it off with that lame, boring, worn-out bullshit" is a very old battlecry from young artists on the outside looking in—just read Cheap Truth, their 1980s fan magazine , where they tell the whole world about all of this at great length. Combine that attitude with a monomaniacal obsession with the idea that Ronald Reagan was going to burn down the world, sprinkle with punk rock and microcomputers, and cyberpunk is what you get.

So just at face value, this story doesn't strike me as being cyberpunk at all. It is an adventure story set in a sci-fi dystopia, but that isn't cyberpunk. Cyberpunk is about the contrast, as perceived by Sterling, Gibson, et al, between sci-fi as a genre of popculture escape literature and sci-fi as a tool to produce effective agitprop to terrify people. They use lots of circumlocutions and attempt to make it seem very noble, but that's what it is, and no doubt they're still profoundly irritated that cyberpunk immediately conjures images of computer hacker adventure stories instead of, you know, Antifa. For it to be cyberpunk, the production of sunstone would have to be destroying all life, or else a lack of sunstone would have to be destroying all life, and the author would have chosen a side and every other character would be beating you over the head with it to make sure you knew the author was pro-skub or anti-skub. It'd have to be a very obvious metaphor, and it would be meant to disgust and horrify you, leave you despairing and unable to sleep at night, though the author might or might not succeed on altering your emotions and attitudes on quite that level. Even if the author wants this to be cyberpunk it can't succeed on that level, because it's in a fantasy setting with nonhuman characters and I haven't yet seen them screaming in the reader's face about the apocalyptic threat of GLOBAL WARMING or NUCLEAR REACTOR MELTDOWN or MICROPLASTICS ARE POISONING THE OCEANS or anything else that has a concrete connection to the real world. Unless the author is trying to convince us that not appeasing the trannies and using their retarded made-up pronouns is going to bring about the end of the world. That'd be hilarious.

As for the virus, what's frightening to me about what unfolded isn't the virus itself. It's rather obvious that it's the common cold, rebranded in order to turn it into a political cudgel. No, it's the way it was used as a pretext to establish all manner of terrifying precedents. You're unemployable unless you let them compel you to let them shoot you up with experimental gene therapy—it's not a vaccine at all, words mean things, it's experimental gene therapy of new and novel type never before attempted on human beings, and it was pushed out without testing. "Nuremberg Code? Never heard of it!" It is now established precedent that state Governors in the US are now little tin gods who can issue diktats from their thrones to shut down the economy forever, shut down businesses forever, to "protect" you from the common cold. And it is now established precedent that freedom of speech is gone, gone, gone. Question any aspect of this and that's "dangerous medical misinformation," and you will get blocked, banned, and censored—and in the EU they put you in jail. This is banana republic stuff. If you saw on the news that the government of, say, the Dominican Republic, or Equatorial Guinea, had announced it would be jailing dissidents and people who questioned the authority of the government on charges of "spreading disinformation," you'd laugh because it would be so transparent. They're doing it here and now, and I'm not laughing. People are letting them do this. Half the population, or so we are told, are lining up and saying "Govern me harder, Mr. Soros! Harder, Daddy! Harder!" Now that they've gotten away with doing this to us with no pushback and no consequences, now that they've established these precedents, what's next? That's what keeps me up at night.
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Background Pony #428C
@Background Pony #D432
lol, troons. They're productive lolcows, just keep 'em away from children.

@Background Pony #4DB5
Not him, but I am not sure I grasp what you're saying. Cyberpunk is a lot of things to a lot of people but this is the first time I've ever heard it described as being about "not accepting people for who they are." I think of the genre in the terms of Bruce Sterling's description of it, and he was one of the Original Five who created it, along with William Gibson, Lewis Shiner, Pat Cadigan, Rudy Rucker, and John Shirley. This article was written just as the original authors had finished saying just about everything they created it to say, just as the genre was beginning to turn into a marketing category and the shelves at Waldenbooks were getting shelved with poor imitations created by and for people who were taken with the mirrorshades-and-car-chases hackers-and-gunfighters adventure-movie trappings but didn't grasp the core, may be the best line from it, but he goes on at great length about what it is and what it isn't:

"Anything that can be done to a rat can be done to a human being. And we can do most anything to rats. This is a hard thing to think about, but it's the truth. It won't go away because we cover our eyes. THAT is cyberpunk."

And I've got to admit that this is the first time I've ever heard of the genre being described as being about people not accepting other people. It's dystopian. It's usually set a few years after that nuclear war so many people were obsessed with forty years ago, which makes it a really dated setting, complete with big clunky 1980s desktop computers, cables and wires everywhere, even inside the protagonist's head, and people with mechanical prosthetic arms that look like they were bought from Joe's Army-Navy Surplus in 1974. It's high-tech lowlifes with tribal tattoos on their faces, tiger fangs surgically implanted in their jaws, and implanted prosthetic eyes with built-in night vision cameras chasing our hero through the back alleys of a polluted city at two in the morning in a torrential downpour, armed with spears that have heads made out of a piece of broken glass, who don't even know they're working for a Japanese megacorporation or maybe the KGB. It's very 1980s, Mad Max plus Max Headroom. It's actually pretty dated and hasn't aged especially well. I don't know what it has to do with troons, other than a throwaway line in the short story Johnny Mnemonic:

"The Drome is a single narrow space with a bar down one side and tables along the other, thick with pimps and handlers and an arcane array of dealers. The Magnetic Dog Sisters were on the door that night, and I didn't relish trying to get out past them if things didn't work out. They were two meters tall and thin as greyhounds. One was black and the other white, but aside from that they were as identical as plastic surgery could make them. They'd been lovers for years and were bad news in a tussle. I was never quite sure which one had originally been male."

And you may note that they're not being described as heroic, nor desirable, and they're not the protagonist. They're just part of the background, brought up as a disturbing little detail to drive home to the reader just how weird and creepy and fucked-up this future is. Gender bending as sexual fetish had already been done and done and done and done in sci-fi, to the point where it would have been cliche to do anything but note them in the background and move on—see also, Jack Chalker.

Also, yeah, these political and economic concepts were tested to destruction in the 20th Century, resulting in the wealth of continents being strip-mined and converted into mass graves and a million tons of rusting Kalashnikov rifles, and not much else. Is the author a troon himself, or just virtue-signaling about his sympathies? The Venn Diagram of troons and SJWs shows an awful lot of overlap, if not perfectly concentric circles. Madness calls to madness, and these people bond over shared mental illness and start a movement. A movement to where? I don't want to know.
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skybrook


Something SFW to vary a little.

It seems kinda lacking of context, but I was thinking in a general situation like this:

After some time working partly as a test subject for one of FROSTCORP´s erotic franchises, Silver Draw was once again, runing out of savings for her common expenses (beyond the ones related with her chocolate addiction, of course).

Luckly for her, the corporation that belongs to her father´s friend developed a new franchise dedicated to products aimed at the still-rising market of gamers: their upcoming new set of consoles, TVs, earphones, HD cameras and, for unknown reasons, glowing in the dark striped socks were going to be produced under the new brand of ZONIDIUM, claiming that the users will witness sensorial experience that, otherwise, only would be able to do with the help of a shaman from the deepest zebrican tribes (the final results of the experiments were not published yet). They also thought that it would be a good marketing campaign to hire some famous E-celebs and make them submit their videos using all these ZONIDIUM products.

One of these E-celebs was witin easy reach: that cutie red mane with freckles unicorn called Silver Draw was suitable for the new job… At least that´s what she made them think when Shadowmoon told her about this new proyect. They would have sure rejected her if they knew she was not a very famous E-celeb. Actually, she was not any E-celeb at all! She lied on them because she was desperate to get the money they were offering.

Maybe the lie was bad, but instead, she though that, as long as she becomes a famous in the web by promoting FROSTCORP products, she would get the job secured, and that could mean, a good monthly salary. After all, it was just about streaming herself while she plays some videogames and talk with the audience. That is not complicated to do… or is it?


Do you think she would be able to do the job? Does she have all what it takes to become an E-celeb? Will she keep the job? We will have to wait and see…

inb4 grammar errors
Posted Report
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Background Pony #9F2F
@AA
That would immediately raise questions about who writes and administers the tests. Remember how IQ tests are so "racist" that in California it's illegal to administer them to schoolchildren? Yeah. Draw the line at eighteen years and preempt that objection. We live in Clown World and it's reached the point where we have to take this into account when proposing any kind of plan or change. Honk.

Years ago I thought that maybe it would be a good idea if adults who were incapable of the basic responsibilities of citizenship due to lack of mental capability or a proven record of irresponsible and destructive behavior—the mentally retarded, the mentally ill, convicted violent felons—should have ID cards, maybe drivers' licenses, though not everyone has a license, with a black border, so that the police and everyone else could see that this person was prohibited from voting, possess a firearm, and so on. That would, of course, get abused too. And we can't even stop people from buying fentanyl that comes halfway around the planet from China and sticking it in their arms and dying. We're not going to be able to stop people from getting fake IDs. I guess we could tattoo "PROHIBITED PERSON" on their foreheads. Or maybe on their wrists. It'd be very convenient for the government, and it could never, ever, ever be abused, right?
Size: 3000x4500 | Tagged: safe, artist:storyteller, imported from derpibooru, oc, oc:hard boiled, oc:omelette, oc:sunny side, earth pony, unicorn, comic:eavesdrop, colt, comic, dialogue, eavesdropping, female, foal, kitchen, male, mare, sad, smiling, speech bubble, stallion
AA

Hopeful Pioneer
@Background Pony #9F2F
@skybrook
It isn't perfect, but the alternative requires the government to give teenagers IQ tests and say "you can't vote or drive or work or live on your own until you score over X," and giving those who pass the test a special card. I guess.

That's actually not a terrible idea. Children do age differently, and in any case a 17-year-old is capable of much more agency than a 3-year-old. Should the government be what determines your maturity level? I don't think so, but Skybrook is right that the current system is broken.
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Background Pony #9F2F
@skybrook
I'm not trying to be an asshole here but it sounds like you haven't thought about this very much. Given the premise that children aren't miniature adults, aren't capable of understanding enough to take legal responsibility for everything they do, until they reach a certain age, surely you can see that it's logical for the law to take that into account, and it's simplest and most easily documented and most easily provable to draw a bright shining line through the 18th birthday. It isn't perfect, but the alternative requires the government to give teenagers IQ tests and say "you can't vote or drive or work or live on your own until you score over X," and giving those who pass the test a special card. I guess.

Likewise, please look up the term "legal guardian" and think very hard about the definition.

Also, human beings have been raising their children for a very long time. Almost all get it more or less right. Most kids grow up to be okay people. Society would collapse if they didn't. It isn't rocket surgery.
Size: 578x655 | Tagged: safe, artist:mirtash, imported from derpibooru, nurse redheart, earth pony, pony, bags under eyes, colored pupils, coronavirus, covid-19, discussion in the comments, female, hat, mare, mouth hold, mouthpiece, nurse hat, solo, vulgar
Megalith

Site Moderator
@skybrook
The vaccine didn’t save anyone. It came a year late to the scene, and it doesn’t even work, as during the so called 94% effective rate, there was still transmission, which was the reason they pushed to vaccinate the healthy and not vulnerable alone. You could never have gotten the rates they wanted in the timeframe they had to work with in which the thing was supposedly effective, and yet even now they locked down, segregate, and demonize people.

And no, it isn’t clever to use mRNA, as it risks people developing auto immune diseases. You don’t just expect that the body will treat cells creating foreign bodies like the spike proteins and think it will never react as if the cells themselves are sources of viral infection to attack. I will blame everyone up and down for this whole thing:
The people in charge, the companies, the scientists, and the people supporting the system in practice and financially.

The reason being, as this continues, we set a precedent that at any future outbreak, a similar situation may arise where we are laid off of our jobs, locked out of the economy, be the test subjects for experimental solutions to infection, and be cut off from the people we love. This isn’t just the fault of corporations, but the people that support them. This includes governments, scientists, and the average uptaker, as they all protected this thing from legal action and kept it going this long. If they refused, it would have had to be reconsidered, with a deal that didn’t include total global control.

The program failed if the goal was to save lives. They made it too slow, they didn’t lock down hard enough if the goal was truly to stop spread of a super virus, and they are still at it two years in. I see no proof it was ever the goal to save lives, but to give more power to the players in this game. The vaccine saved no one when the people that it is pushed on, the healthy, were not at risk of dying. They didn’t attempt solutions for the people with co-morbidities, they told you to get vaccinated, or be locked down. They told you two weeks to flatten a curve and two years later they are not stopping.

Even if it was 100% effective, reduced your age, healed all of your ills, and gave you super powers, I would never take it. If everyone but has taken it and it would save ten billion people and they told me to take it, I wouldn’t take it. The world could implode if I don’t take it, and I won’t take it. The path humanity wants to go down is something I will never allow myself. I would gladly rather die and I don’t care who goes with me when the alternative is a world where you are forced to do what governments and corporations tell you is best and the masses enforce it with peer pressure and threats of violence.

And no, the vaccine is not what should give you hope. As you admitted, it runs out of effectiveness. Why would you ever put your faith in something so fragile and expect hope from something that can so easily go away? Never put your faith in the things of this world. You will always get burned. Never let anything give you hope that is physical because it will vanish. We have two vaccines and two boosters now. Which one gives you hope? Before it was one or two. Will it be 20 in the distant future? Some new technology that automatically vaccinated you as a virus comes along? What then? You are given hope as long as you can make payments on that device and it works correctly? Are you given hope when you aren’t sick, when age will bring sickness regardless? This isn’t hope, this is fear of death.

Put your faith in something else.
Size: 578x655 | Tagged: safe, artist:mirtash, imported from derpibooru, nurse redheart, earth pony, pony, bags under eyes, colored pupils, coronavirus, covid-19, discussion in the comments, female, hat, mare, mouth hold, mouthpiece, nurse hat, solo, vulgar
Background Pony #2A6E
Welcome to year three of "two weeks to flatten the curve."

Isn't it strange how the CDC got caught instructing hospitals to run PCR tests at 200+ iterations, when sixteen iterations already produces so many false positives as to render the results useless? Isn't it strange how the CDC got caught instructing hospitals to check the "yes this was a COVID19 death" box on death certificates to get their $38,000 per patient check from Medicare, without requiring an autopsy or any kind of test at all? Remember how the CDC got caught saying "died with" instead of "died from," and all the hospitals that got caught marking drug overdose deaths, gunshot wound deaths, and automobile accident deaths as "COVID19 deaths?" In summer of 2020 the CDC accidentally admitted that there had been fewer than six thousand deaths attributable to the virus, as opposed to people dying of old age with the virus in their systems. Remember when they admitted that the average age at death in the US is 79, but with COVID19 it's 83? Remember when the CDC admitted that the antibody tests can't distinguish between COVID19 and the common cold, and the New York Times talked about it in an editorial before the CDC could scrub the web page?

In July the CDC admitted in the VAERS system that the "vaccines"—they are no such thing—had killed over sixty thousand Americans, more than all prior vaccines. Then they rolled the number back to the May figure of 14,000. Then they shut down VAERS completely, which was already designed to be as difficult and inconvenient as possible to use—to minimize the numbers of officially acknowledged adverse events—to prevent hospitals and physicians from reporting any more deaths.

It's almost as if the Powers that Be had a vested interest in promulgating fear of a harmless respiratory virus indistinguishable from the common cold, and using it to normalize forcing the public to line up to get shot up with experimental gene therapy of novel type never before attempted, that is not a vaccine at all, that provides neither immunity nor resistance to the disease from which it supposedly protects, and which is 10+ times as likely to kill you as the virus is, and which is more effective at causing miscarriages in pregnant women than the abortion pill. This sort of thing is why previously new drugs and therapies required tests on lab animals, then 10+ years of testing on human volunteers to establish safety and effectiveness… which was unprofitable for Big Pharma, but it's a "conspiracy theory" to suggest that they had their bought-and-paid-for errand boys in Congress and in the CDC throw all of those unprofitable, expensive safety trials out in favor of holding the public at gunpoint and forcing them to accept this morning's newest batch from the bright boys at Monsanto, or maybe Raytheon, not even tested on rats, for which the patent application is still being processed. Protease inhibitors like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine were already shown to be safe and effective treatments for the virus—but the patents had expired, and the profit margins just weren't high enough.

Part of what's going on, too, is that all the Boomers who don't think the talking heads on TV would lie to them have been terrified out of whatever remaining wits were in their drug-addled brains, and believe they're gonna die of ThUh CoViDz if everybody doesn't wear their tinfoil hat, I mean, mask, and get the experimental gene therapy shots that have killed tens of thousands. And part of it is all the angry childless middle-aged Karens who get to play hall monitor, who haven't had this much fun since they got to be a real hall monitor at the age of eight. They get to order people around and make demands and have the police arrest people for not wearing their tinfoil hats, I mean, masks, too. They hope it never ends. The politicians, too, want it to go on forever, because all the moronic Boomers and all the moronic Karens are running around in a frenzy of pop-eyed hysterical hypochondriacal fear, demanding that the politicians take away a few more of everyone's rights and make America just a little bit more like North Korea. These people "never let a crisis go to waste," and when there isn't a crisis they make one up. They weaponized weather back in the 1990s with the Big Lie about so-called "global warming" and now they've weaponized the common cold too.

For my part, I'll pass. I'm not worried about the common cold—the people in that illegal Chinese biological warfare lab who created it and accidentally released it may have wanted something more virulent and deadly, no doubt to use on Taiwan, or the Uighurs, or on us, but it was a dud, and it's now just another endemic very mild respiratory virus that in most people doesn't even cause symptoms. I'll take my chances with the common cold, and I'll continue to decline politely when people try to hard-sell me this morning's latest batch of government mystery juice from Dow Chemical.
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