in Driving forces, Future

New names for “Cyberspace” – another suggestion

The Future Now blog points to an article in Wired (because the blogger himself wrote it) which presents a number of new suggestions that would replace the word “Cyberspace”. Institute For The Future have asked a number of smart people for their suggestions.

To me this is a clear signal that the mythical place called “cyberspace” is now a natural part of our lives.

I have another suggestion for a name based on Karl Popper’s idea about the three worlds.

World 1
The physical world of objects and biological entities which exists without humans
World 2
The world of mental objects and events
World 3
The world of products of the human mind like writings, songs and other non-physical ideas

To understand these a bit more, think of a novel. A novel is a number of words ordered into a World 3 object, printed in a book which is a World 1 object and read and perceived into your mind i e translated into World 2 objects.

What we can see today is an explosion of World 3 objects which by far outnumbers the World 1 objects. One driving force behind this seems increasingly to be the urge to create a number of World 2 experiences. The vast number of World 3 objects gives us a feeling that we live in a virtual world.

What is “cyberspace” if not a collective word for all World 3 objects we relate to. I think the word “cyberspace” could and should be replaced by the word “World 3” or why not “the third world“. This could have the dual purpose of reload and reclaim the phrase “the third world” as well.

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  1. An interesting thought. It reminds me a bit of Albert Borgmann’s argument in “Holding on to Reality,” though his typology was rather different– roughly, he argued that there was direct interaction with the world, information about the world, and information as the world.

  2. Thanks for the reference!

    After 1990 I lost contact with the front in philosophy, but when I search I find articles in philosophy of technology referring to both Borgmann and Popper.


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