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Welcome to the Cybercene?

Published onJun 14, 2023
Welcome to the Cybercene?


The Cybercene is a proposed designation for a new, post- Anthropocene, geological epoch. The Anthropocene is the proposed name for our current epoch in which changes in earth systems are caused primarily by humans. The Cybercene Epoch would be one in which changes in earth systems were primarily caused by the Cyberplex, the entire socio-technological digital assembly, containing the universe of networked digital parts (the internet, mobile phones, sensors, etc.) and the human and social forces that are creating, maintaining, and using it. The basic arguments for this new designation include: (1) the actuality and potential of the Cyberplex in degrading the natural environment; (2) the actuality and potential of the Cyberplex for decreasing humankind's collective ability to address its environmental (and other) issues; and (3) the ever increasing role of the Cyberplex in all aspects of our lives including its increasing autonomy and the potential for modifying social roles based on the "rewards" provided by the Cyberplex to the people in relatively powerful positions who are more likely to shape its further development. The paper ends with some ideas for what avenues could or should be pursued, while acknowledging the unprecedented circumstances we are living under. It is argued also that computer professionals bear particular responsibility to help address the problems that have and will continue to degrade the earth's systems and the civic intelligence of its inhabitants that the Cyberplex has helped to unleash.

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