1989-1998 Transformation

In the post-Soviet era, American capitalism and American technology have become the world's engine of change

TECHNOLOGY

Next Stop: Cyberspace

It started, as the big ideas in technology often do, with a science-fiction writer. William Gibson, a young expatriate American living in Canada, was wandering past the video arcades on Vancouver's Granville Street when something about the way the players were hunched over their glowing screens struck him as odd. "I could see in the physical intensity of their postures how rapt the kids were," he says. These kids clearly believed in the space the games projected."

That image haunted Gibson. He didn't know much about computers--he wrote his breakthrough novel, Neuromancer, on an ancient manual typewriter--but...

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