Did You Know? (Forward: Geeks & Artboys by William Gibson)

I’ll be extracting interesting quotes and information from the book for my literature review, and share them here, so that you can decide if they are relevant to your undergraduate work.

  1. On being an “artboy”:

Gibson felt it was imperative that he not know what he was speaking about, in order to be known “for some subrational”, “shamanistic function” that he believed he served. To qualify as an artboy meant one must not know what he is doing. (p. xii)

2. On Cinema, and its Hollywood origins:

“… (and perhaps Hollywood was where the two impulses first fused, cinema having been the brilliant bastard offspring of a union once unthinkable to anyone but a frothing Italian futurist).”

(in Packer and Jordan, 2002, p. xiii)

3. Geeks vs Artboys

President Roosevelt was advised by “geek”, Vannavar Bush, not the “Big Three” science fiction “artboys”, Isaac Asimov, Arthur Clark, and Robert Heinlein (p. xiii).

4. Gibson describes his own work as “a sort of voluntary autism” (p. xiv).

5. Poet Jorge Luis Borges, “regarded the universe itself as a library, infinitely recombinant, infinitely recursive, in which a single text might exist in variorum editions beyond number” (p. xiv).

6. Multimedia “is not an invention but an ongoing discovery of how the mind and the universes it imagines… fit together and interact” (p. xiv).

7. Gibson describes the book chapters as “an interleaving of histories intended to open inter-textual doors, some of which, given the right reader, have never before been opened” (p. xiv).

Reflective Note:

How do Gibson’s views support my claim that the media arts requires a Learning Management System (LMS) that can better facilitate teaching and learning of the media arts, beyond the limited affordances of NTUlearn or Blackboard. How do I then justify the use of OSS, to address the curriculum gap engendered by the restrictive LMS?


Packer, R., & Jordan, K. (2002). Multimedia : from Wagner to virtual reality (Expanded ed.). New York: Norton.