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TUCoPS :: Cyber Culture :: cyberia.txt

Cyberia - a new nation?





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Don't laugh, half a dozen 'cyberpunk` books have been written which
incorporate a goodly portion of these ideas.
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Msg-ID: <STEVE.91May22172225@diana.Advansoft.COM>
Posted: 23 May 91 00:22:25 GMT
Org.  : Advansoft Research Corp, Santa Clara, CA
Person: Steve Savitzky



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                      THE FREE STATE OF CYBERIA*
                      PROLEGOMENA TO A MANIFESTO

  When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary...

Well, that's the way it ought to start, followed by

  We, the people of Cyberspace, in order to form a more perfect union...

The point is that Cyberspace is a separate country, a homeland of the
mind, a culture, a people bound together not by geography but by the
free exchange of information.  To a very large extent we have our own
government, our own laws, and our own police.  The laws are, to be
sure, chaotic and mostly unwritten; the government is an anarchy with
volunteer civil servants, and the police are vigilantes with little
authority or power.  We have no army, few defenses, and most of our
territory is in the hands of foreign, imperial powers who have no idea
of what goes on in their distant colonies, but who insist on making
laws to rule them anyway.

Could we declare independence, claim dual citizenship in our native
countries and in Cyberia, and sieze control of our own territory?
Probably not.  (Why not?)  It's a crazy idea.  (But is it crazy
*enough*?)  The nation-states and the multinational corporations are
too powerful.  (But we could put up a heck of a fight, couldn't we?)
It's never been done before.  (There's never been anyplace like
Cyberspace before.)  Things like that only happen in fiction.
(Cyberspace is a fiction.  Virtual reality is a fiction.)

There are precedents.  In the Middle Ages, the Church was a law unto
itself, transcending the national boundaries of Europe.  The high seas
have always been outside of national law.  The Native American tribes
on their reservations are separate nations (for some purposes,
anyway).

Some tactics:

o Get organized. remember\o Form an educational non-profit corporation (Free University of Cyberia)
   that owns the data and computers that make up Cyberia.
  Stake territorial claims via copyright.  Computers and data would be
  tax write-offs for their former owners.

o Form a religion (Church Of Virtual Enlightenment?).  Make writing
  programs, posting and reading news acts of worship.  Get protection
  via freedom of religion.  Declare that the Deity is a hacker running
  the universe as a simulation.  (Quantum effects are due to round-off
  error.)

o Pay (bribe) some tiny country to cede its territorial rights in
  Cyberspace and recognize Cyberia.  Failing that, put a computer on a
  raft in the middle of the ocean.  (Some pirate radio stations did
  something like this a few years ago, didn't they?)

o Make every Cyberian computer an embassy and claim diplomatic
  immunity.  (This is where the whole thing breaks down.  No
  government on Earth would permit such a claim, would they?)

o Pass laws that make the advantages of Cyberia so obvious that almost
  every individual and corporation with a computer would want to be a
  part of it.

----
* pronounced "sy-BUR-i-a", as in "Cyberspace", so as to avoid
  confusion with a certain Soviet republic.

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                 Copyright 1991 by Stephen Savitzky;
                         All rights reserved.

          May be freely distributed on any electronic medium
        

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--
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   \__ steve@arc.UUCP _________________________________________________________






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