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For Wed., be sure to blog about the connections you see between Sam Fuller's 1953 noir, Pickup on South Street and Gibson's Neuromancer.

Before you come to class, review your blog posts and pick one you'd like to develop into a longer, more analytic essay.  Print out this blog post and bring it to class.  In class, we'll talk amongst ourselves about your ideas and how to develop them into an essay.  The essay itself will be due: Monday, February 26.

Let's take a look at the 1953 film noir - - Pickup on South Street.  (Click on the title to go to the movie page and then enter the password.  You should receive the password in your email account.  If you don't, let me know.)  One question I'm interested in: what elements of noir does Gibson seem to pick up on in Neuromancer?

Following up on our discussion of setting in Gibson's novel, here's a link to Eric Raymond's seminal essay, "The Cathedral and the Bazaar."  In the essay, Raymond describes two ways of approaching software production.  His distinction between the cathedral and the bazaar might offer one way of thematizing the settings in Neuromancer.  The distinctions might also offer an argument about technology - - in general - - that runs throughout the texts on our syllabus.

For Monday, finish reading Neuromancer.  (Or, at least get close to finishing it.)  And, think about the excerpts from Wark's Hacker Manifesto that we read for last class.  To what extent can we read Neuromancer as a fictional meditation on (or example of) "hacking," as Wark describes it?  Blog your reflections.

For Wed., let's read up a bit on hacking.  Take a look at these excerpts from McKenzie Wark's "A Hacker Manifesto." As you read and reflect, think about how Wark's description of hackers and hacking might apply to our friend - - Mr. Case.  Wark's language gets a little esoteric and abstract, but highlight or underline sentences that: a) seem to tell you something new and interesting about hacking; b) seem baffling or inscrutable.  Bring these notes to class.

You should keep reading Neuromancer - - we'll want to start discussing the whole novel by next Monday.

For Monday, let's read up to the end of chapter 10 in Gibson's Neuromancer (online text and epub versions available here).

Don't forget to set up your WordPress blog and email me the link.

For your first blog post, consider this:  Gibson's novel has often been acclaimed as founding a new genre of science fiction called "cyberpunk."  Let's take the second part of that name - - "punk" - - a little more seriously.  Take a look at the Sex Pistols video below - - a band often acclaimed as founding the genre of punk rock.  What kind of common themes or images or messages do you see in the song, "No Future"/"God Save the Queen" and Gibson's novel? How do both reflect some kind of "punk" aesthetic or cultural and social attitude? Blog your reflections.

Let's read the first three chapters of William Gibson's Neuromancer.  And, start creating your WordPress blog.  Here's a quick start guide to bloggin' like a champ.

Uh oh!  Looks like there's been some kind of glitch with the SFSU bookstore - - you won't find any of our required books on the shelf. Below, I've embedded the novel as a pdf file  - - you can read the first three chapters here or download it and read it.  While I straighten this out, here's a link to Gibson's Neuromancer in a variety of ebook formats.




You've made it to the motherblog! To the right, you'll find a link to our "live" syllabus.  Check back frequently for updates and other important information.