Waking in Cyburbia

  • When I read my mail in the morning, messages from Australia and Japan are there to greet me. Later in the day, Europe starts buzzing and at lunchtime the US kicks in. Lines of longitude rather than kinship determine who is nearest to me in the cybercity that never sleeps.
  • English is my first language. It's also the main language of computing and the WWW. More texts are translated into English than into any other language. By translating, English reclaims other cultures, recolonising areeas which have resisted previous incursions by the global language of technology and pop culture.
  • Most of the messages I receive are in English, though I can muddle through Italian and French in a way that I can't in conversation, and when I get stuck I can call for help.
  • I get a few messages from England, and even some from Cambridge where I live, but location has lost much of its significance, and with it, nationality. The topology of the WWW has replaced streetmaps, gateways have replaced city gates.
  • Later the paper mail appears - mostly junkmail.