“He stepped out of the way to let a dark-suited sarariman by, spotting the Mitsubishi-Genentech logo tattooed across the back of the man’s right hand. Was it authentic? If that’s for real, he thought, he’s in for trouble. If it wasn’t, served him right. M-G employees above a certain level were implanted with advanced microprocessors that monitored mutagen levels in the bloodstream. Gear like that would get you rolled in Night City, rolled straight into a black clinic.” – pg. 10
* The fact that the man is tattooed with the logo of his corporate employer implies an intensification of the bond between business and employee. In the uber-capitalist future of Neuromancer, profession is blended with persona – at least in the higher, corporate echelons – in a similar manner as technology. Indeed, the corporation has advanced in such a way as to invade the very body via company-specific implants; the branding is more than skin deep. (SEM. Corporatization). ** In this way, corporatization also affects ways of identifying and being in “Neuromancer”. Profession and private life are not antagonistic – rather, they are deeply intertwined. Here we can incorporate ontological code as well. (ONT. Corporate bodies).
“She shook her head. He realized that the glasses were surgically inset, sealing her sockets. The silver lenses seemed to grow from smooth pale skin above her cheekbones, framed by dark hair cut in a rough shag. The fingers curled around the fletcher were slender, white, tipped with polished burgundy. The nails looked artificial…
She held out her hands, palms up, the white fingers slightly spread, and with a barely audible click, ten double-edged, four-centimeter scalpel blades slid from their housings beneath the burgundy nails.” –pg. 24-25
“For Case, who’d lived for the bodiless exultation of cyberspace, it was the Fall. In the bars he’d frequented as a cowboy hotshot, the elite stance involved a certain relaxed contempt for the flesh. The body was meat. Case fell into the prison of his own flesh.” –pg. 6
And flowed, flowered for him, fluid neon origami trick, the unfolding of his distanceless home, his country, transparent 3D chessboard extending to infinity. Inner eye opening to the stepped scarlet pyramid of the Eastern Seaboard Fission Authority burning beyond the green cubes of Mitsubishi Bank of America, and high and very far away he saw the spiral arms of military systems, forever beyond his reach. And somewhere he was laughing, in a white-painted loft, distant fingers caressing the deck, tears of release streaking his face.” –pg. 52
*Gibson’s first depiction of cyberspace in the book can be broken down in several ways. For one, he is predicting an extension, even outright domination, of the corporation in the digital realm. This notion is contrary to many of the hopeful theories that portray the Internet as a platform for free, equal communication and as a tool for destabilizing hierarchy. Rather, in the future of “Neuromancer”, cyberspace is dominated by the presence of massive, regal, corporate data structures. (SEM. Corporatization). ** Additionally, “the spiral arms of military systems” implies the presence of a powerful, omniscient government entity in “Neuromancer”. The fact that the military data is unreachable suggests that cyberspace can ultimately be controlled, modeled, and restricted. Here, Gibson establishes an opposition between free movement and hierarchical impediments/structures in the non-space of the digital realm. (SEM. Government power). (SYM. freedom/hierarchy). In this sense, “Neuromancer” can be compared to Galloway’s discussion of protocol: TCP/IP gives the impression of free user control across a distributed network on the Internet, while DNS operates behind-the-scenes, granting and denying access as part of a hierarchical, inverted tree-like structure. *** The “Mitsubishi Bank of America” is another not-so-subtle reference to the dominance of East Asian culture and corporation in “Neuromancer”. “Bank of America” implies the future American economy in general; the fact that a Japanese corporation controls “the Bank” (i.e. American economy) suggests that the United States is financially/economically reliant on Japan. Again, Gibson is playing out a trend – in this context, the growing American dependence on East Asian products/manufacturing. In “Neuromancer”, Japan overtakes the United States as the global superpower. (SEM. Japanification) (COM. Growing American dependence on Asian markets)