Response Assignment #4

Hi folks — since the reading I had originally designated for next week isneuromancer.jpg available in handout only, I’m jumping ahead in the syllabus a bit.

For next week, please read the following:

  • Gibson, William. (1984) Neuromancer. New York: The Berkley Publishing Group.
  • Part Two * The Shopping Expedition, Section 3.

    This time, instead of listing questions, I’m going to ask you to either write about whatever most takes your attention (as it relates in style, content, or concept) about the culture/s of cyberspace OR compare this reading to another previous reading.


    18 responses to “Response Assignment #4

    1. Glenn — and anyone else not getting grade responses — be sure to check your spam folder. My emails to you might be going there. But if you still aren’t seeing your grade responses, please see me in class next Tuesday p.m.

    2. Well to start, for those who don’t know, Neuromancer is the first in the Sprawl Trilogy by William Gibson, and considered by most to be the quintessential cyberpunk novel. Basically all the elements that make up cyberpunk can be found somewhere in Neuromancer.

      Probably the most obvious element and also one of the things I love the most is the language. As I mentioned previously it just flows differently from most other literature. It’s quick and very fluid. There’s a lot of slang—or for lack of a better word—jive. Words like deck, screen, Sprawl, ice, krill, jack, cowboy. None of these words mean what they actually mean currently (yeah, I know, that’s the meaning of slang). If you’re a tech you can probably deduce their meanings outright. If not, you might need the context, and even then it could be a little difficult depending on the word. I think the purpose of slang in cyberpunk is dual.

      First it is to separate; to include and exclude. Like how scientific research papers are written with complex terms that only a specialist in a particular field would know. Those papers aren’t meant to be accessible to everyone, and cyberpunk isn’t either. In keeping out the Luddites it forms a little club that only the technorati get to play in.

      Second, slang also lends a certain credibility to the writing that is missing from some science fiction novels. Have you ever read a book set in the future and something just didn’t seem right? It’s difficult to pinpoint, but it just sounded off? That’s often the lack of language evolution. You don’t really notice it until someone points it out, but once they do it’s incredibly obvious. Language changes drastically from century to century, even decade to decade. A book set in the future but without slang and evolved language would be like a book set in the eleventh century but without the olde English.

    3. I agree with Brandon that I found the language of “Neuromancer” really interesting. It was hard to follow the plot, but I enjoyed entering words like “hypnagogic,” “simstim,” and “chiba krill” into my personal lexicon. Reading this made me want to watch Bladerunner.

      Having never been consciously exposed to the genre, I would not have surmised that I was reading cyberpunk. The “cyber” obviously makes sense, but I didn’t think what I was reading was “punk.” My view of punk comes from music and, to a lesser extent, fashion. I always assumed that the first rule of punk was the do-it-yourself approach that lent itself to simplicity. For instance, anybody with two hands can play most of the Ramones or Minor Threat discography after about 6 months of guitar lessons. However, Gibson’s style of writing seems much more complex and showy, harder for the kid next door to pull off. I would compare it to a dark version of prog rock or even space rock.

      Anyway, feeling like an ignoramus, I wikipedia-ed “cyberpunk,” and everything made a little more sense. The “punk” is referring to themes of a breakdown in social order, alienation, and marginalization. The literary and musical genres also seem to share dark (atheistic?) themes and a very urban aesthetic. Another common theme is one of anti-corporate sentiment. After reading about the “Mitsubishi Bank of America” and “corporate-grade ice,” it easy to surmise Gibson’s opinion of the corporatization of our society.

    4. From what I can gather from the excerpt, Case strikes me as an example of a cyborg. Though there doesn’t seem to see any evidence of Case’s gender, there isn’t any proof that he isn’t gendered either. The real proof of Case’s existence as a cyborg is his crossing the line of human and machine. Though The Finn remarks that he’s “a virgin” and the only sort of enhancement Case has undergone is “some cheap dental work,” his interaction with Cyberspace is much more physical described by Gibson as “jacking in,” implying an insertion of one’s self into Cyberspace.

      The nature of Cyberspace itself seems to be much more organic as well when we learn Cyberspace in the world of Neuromancer is regarded as “a consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions.” Though their origins can be traced to stimuli, hallucinations are sensory perceptional encounters. In the same paragraph we are told of Cyberspace’s roots in “military experimentation with cranial jacks,” exemplifying the cyborg’s history of militarism.

      Now that I think about it, maybe it isn’t Case that’s the cyborg but Cyberspace.

    5. I, like Corey, haven’t read much cyberpunk, but I see where the title comes from and I’m geeky enough to understand most of it. As for it’s links to cyberspace, since that hasn’t really been covered yet, they’re pretty blatant but have additional levels of commentary within them.

      For example, the obvious line in which the author defines cyberspace as, “A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts . . . A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity.” Well, seems pretty accurate to me. Cyberspace is a place where we can pretend things are different, all the way down to our individual selves up to the time and social system we live in. I immediately think of MMOGs in this aspect, as millions of players pretend that they live in a world torn by war between humans and orcs (WoW, on a basic level), or players fly across an entire galaxy in minutes, taking on the occasional space pirate or fending off enemy soldiers (EVE Online). These games are “consensual hallucinations” had by the millions of people who log on. I also like the addition of the second sentence, stating that cyberspace reinterprets things graphically which at their core are not. Modern websites, surely paling in comparison to Gibson’s visions for his world, do that, just like MMOGs, but websites are easier and more widely used. We require browsers to view these sites because the actual data can be broken down into solid text (go to View | Source or something similar to see your page in solid text), which can also be broken down farther eventually to the classic binary 1s and 0s. Websites are exactly as Gibson says, “…a graphic representation of data.”

      That’s of course just one connection in this piece which pervades with it. And it’s only a surface scratch. I may have to go find the series for a good read if I ever get the free time.

    6. First off…I also agree with brandon that the cyberpunk language is interesting and somewhat difficult to comprehend clearly at first. Also, Corey, a “cyberpunk” is a term for a computer hacker.
      When I was reading “A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of Light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights receding”, I immediately thought of the movie, the matrix. The sense of time for Case seemed to be distorted or lost when he was in cyberspace. Which alludes to the question, does time exist in cyberspace or does time matter? Also, I enjoy and maybe appreciate the language because i’m a graphic design major and work with computers and the web everyday. For example, “its rainbow pixel maze was the first thing he saw when he awoke.” When i read this i got a visual of all the pixels that make up the rainbow, i imagined working on photoshop and zooming in really close seeing hundreds of pixels. Except there’s a difference between looking at a computer and being inside cyberspace. I found the part of the reading interesting when there was a talk of the HsG biochemical. Its talked about as a growth accelerator however i thought it was a chemical that is present in non-organic milk that potentially could cause cancerous cells which would be interesting if this is true because it would be describing a chemical completely opposite of what it actually does.

    7. So why read this short section of Neuromancer? That’s what I was just thinking about. It’s not that any part of the novel is extra or unnecessary, but what does this passage hold for us that is so important? Well, as other people have already pointed out, Neuromancer is generally held up as the first cyberpunk novel, the beginning of a style of writing and world view. But why read this specific passage? This is the first time in the book (if I recall correctly, it’s been a while since I read it) when we actually encounter cyberspace.

      This entire passage is about the introduction of the reader to cyberspace as a place. It starts off mapping the eastern seaboard which has become the Sprawl, one constant city buzzing with information at an incredible rate from Boston to Atlanta. Later, Gibson makes a point of having Case watch the children’s show on cyberspace. Even as it shows on the screen “a two-dimensional space war faded behind a forest of mathematically generated ferns, demonstrating the spacial possibilities of logarithmic spirals; cold blue military footage burned through, lab animals wired into test systems, helmets feeding into fire control circuits of tanks and war planes,” the of the program narrates that cyberspace is “A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system.” It’s a great visual juxtaposition of what cyberspace is. Even as we see the various things that are going on in cyberspace, that can take place there, we’re being told that they do take place there. But we’re still only hearing about cyberspace second hand.

      Until that is, a few paragraphs later, Case jacks in. Suddenly the topography of cyberspace blossoms like a fractal in Case’s mind. We see how it grows and expands. The way things are connected. But while Case goes out exploring, he stays exactly where he was. Case knows this as he realizes that “somewhere he was laughing, in a white-painted loft, distant fingers caressing the deck, tears of release streaking his face” and then when does jack out, he checks the time only to find “He’d been in cyberspace for five hours.” Our sense of time and space suddenly no longer means what it is supposed to. And so we discover just what this thing called cyberspace might be, and what it has grown to be in popular culture. (Won’t we all be disappointed if it’s not like this.) And Gibson has pulled it all off with ease, slipping all this information to us so casually that we didn’t realize he was taking us somewhere we’d never gone before. Which is why this passage is so great.

    8. What struck me from this passage was how ahead of its time it seemed. All of the technology that is being talked of seemed very futuristic for having been written in the 1980’s. All of the implants and cyberspace lingo was very advanced for a time before the Internet was even widely used. Even the term “jacking in” was used in 1999 with the movie, The Matrix.

      This writing is obviously an influential work with the cyberpunk culture. I, myself, have ready little to no cyberpunk but I can tell that many aspects of this book have been used in more recent cyberpunk works such as The Matrix and Cowboy Bebob. Speaking of Cowboy Bebob, the general “feel” of Nueromancer is similar, from the rebellious to the futurism of cyberspace.

    9. The style of this reading reminded me alot of Ulysses because the narrating style seemed to be a mix of nonparticipant,omniscient and objective narration like Ulysses. Right when you start reading you are thrown into a situation with little or no explanation of how you got there. It was definitley confusing to read at first because you have no idea where you are and you have to piece together the story while you read it in order to even understand the basic plot points unlike alot of narratives which give you the basics right at the beginning or at least set it up for you so your transition into the story is an easy and understandable one. I also observed that both readings used the stream of conciousness style in some way, shape or form in their stories. Interior monologue is also present in both.

    10. Like most, I am also new to cyberpunk. Although at first the reading was difficult, once I picked up on the writing style I began to see how is flowed, though like Brandon said, it’s hard to understand parts of the text if you don’t know the “jive”, which I still only knew little. If anyone knows of a cyberpunk online dictionary, let me know. I still found the reading interesting and hope to read more.

    11. One thing that struck me in Neuromancer was the sense of history encompassed in the narrative. References to the past appear several times throughout ‘The Shopping Expedition.’ The first appears almost immediately in part two: “…outlines of hundred-year-old industrial parks ringing the old core of Atlanta (Gibson sec. 1).” Later, Armitage arrives at the ‘factory room’ with “an old-fashioned magnetic key in his hand (Gibson sec. 3).” Then, there’s a really great description of the area where Case and Molly first meet Finn:
      “The door swung inward and she led him into the smell of dust [great sentence!!]. They stood in a clearing, dense tangles of junk rising on either side to walls lined with shelves of crumbling paperbacks. The junk looked like something that had grown there, a fungus of twisted metal and plastic…the guts of a television so old it was studded with the glass stumps of vacuum tubes, a crumpled dish antenna, a brown fiber canister stuffed with corroded lengths of alloy tubing. An enormous pile of old magazines…flesh of lost summers staring blindly up…(Gibson sec. 6).”
      When Case first ventures into cyberspace, a voice-over explains the origins of the phenom: “The matrix has its roots in primitive arcade games…in early graphics programs and military experimentation with cranial jacks (Gibson sec. 7).”

      These references are used to portray history not as something to be revered or honored, but as an indication of decay—here history is treated as archaic, defined only by the obsolescence of the articles it has left behind. The key to Gibson’s representation is the words he uses to describe these articles of the past, which I have highlighted in bold—words like ‘old-fashioned,’ and ‘primitive.’ Furthermore, he characterizes the waste left behind by the past as decay: “The junk looked like something that had grown there, a fungus of twisted metal and plastic…corroded lengths of alloy tubing…” He describes past summers as ‘lost.’ The rapid advance of technology (and the emphasis on that advancement) creates these bygone eras, where everything becomes newer and faster, rendering the past useless.

      Gibson also keeps familiar references in his story so that the future he crafts seems realistic…the New York Metro is still in existence as the ‘Metro Holografix,’ Sony and Braun are still around manufacturing electronics, and the (Mitsubishi) Bank of America is commonplace. Case’s world is not an uber-future where people sleep in pods or teleport…it is still very much our world. I also like the fact that he incorporates some ‘timeless’ (for now) elements of contemporary culture: an Italian suit, leather, coffee, bacon and eggs.

      The pace of Neuromancer has a cinematic quality—the narrative is comprised of several short scenes, and the reader, just like Case, seems to drift between various scenarios. Each ‘scene’ begins somewhat abruptly with a short descriptive sentence, and without warning or introduction. Take the first sentence of these passages for example:
      – “The room was large. He sat up. The room was empty…(Gibson sec. 3)”
      – “Summer in the Sprawl, the mall crowds swaying like windblown grass, a field of flesh shot through with sudden eddies of need and gratification (Gibson sec. 5).”
      – “Lifeless neon spelled out METRO HOLOGRAFIX in dusty capitals of glass tubing (Gibson sec. 6).”
      The last two sentences are actually sentence fragments—Gibson frequently uses sentences that are comprised of subjects only. ‘Factory space.’ ‘Shopping.’ ‘Home.’ This gives the narrative a very up-to-the-minute feel, as if the reader is experiencing the story alongside the main character. It also gives the story an element of unpredictability, as most of the plot is presented as merely hints of a wider conspiracy, and Case’s experiences run so parallel to the reader’s that neither knows what to expect next.

      Neuromancer relates to cyberspace today because it offers us the question, “Is this where we’re headed?” Molly is constantly silencing Case’s questioning—there is attention in the story to the consequence of surveillance, which is highly relative to our current situation i.e. NSA warrantless surveillance programs, street-cameras in London, privacy in cyberspace, etc. It is also a testament to current attitudes regarding the advance of technology—is our enthusiasm for creating what is new and better overwhelming our ability to learn from the past or proceed responsibly into the future?


    12. Like most of the people who have posted so far, I was struck by the language in this piece. However, my focus was slightly different.

      “In front of it, Molly’s hands flowed through an intricate sequence of jive that he couldn’t follow.”

      Case has been brought into a world in which He Does Not Belong. As you read, you realize that he doesn’t really know what’s going on. He is working for a man of undetermined background, motives, and employment. He doesn’t quite fit in to the “real” world. In fact, the only times he seems at ease are when he is “jacked in.”

      He is not a pure cyborg, a perfect blend of technology and man. Rather, he has gone almost completely to the side of technology. It is the only place he feels at home.

      Note: Brian, I wasn’t able to find an purely cyberpunk dictionary. However, this might be helpful to you:

    13. Paul Sernatinger

      It’s been a while since i read this as my copy is out in the world somewhere (although allegedly signed, it may be time to give up hope of ever seeing that one again and just buy it again…) but last time I read it the way one might read a comic book. Absorbing oneself into it and leaving the world behind, rather than comparing and contrasting. (I guess that makes it a pretty successful cyberspace novel!) I wanted to start by mentioning of course the opening description of the Sprawl, where the “virtual map” of data transfer, the map of area based on data throughput (a lot like the internet) is used to explain this place’s status as both an urban reality and a cyberspace hub. This is maybe more relevant in the future than it is right now but that is definitely changing. I use maps of sorts to determine bandwidth usage in my house to see if anyone is unfairly abusing the bandwidth, but on a large scale and in the context of say commerce, the bandwidth make and the physical map will have some obvious overlaps in the way of points of interest. In this way reality and cyberspace are converging, and the Sprawl is a believable future incarnation of that theory in action. Maybe the simplest way to look at this would be to take a Walmart, or a Target and other large retailers. Both of them today have various brick and mortar stores in the country, but they both also have a web portal with which to make purchases. Essentially, you are making the same kinds of transactions in two different ways. Since stores like Walmart and Target also serve as warehouses (why have a warehouse when you can use your storefront as one?) then we will and in some instances we already have reached a point where online transactions affect brick and mortar inventory. It would be silly to try to keep these inventories in two different places as it is too complex to accurately guess who will need what, where, and how they will buy it. So this convergance is both economical and logical.
      On the matter of Case, we glean that he has had something happen to him with a somewhat inebriating effect. Knowing that he has the poison sacs in him ready to burst, and that he has been saved gives us the opportunity through a single line to gain incredible insight. “He watched himself buy a flat plastic flask of Danish vodka at some kiosk, an hour before dawn.” he says. Of course he didn’t actually watch himself do it but in the context of cyberspace he might have, and since he has in this case a memory that is somewhat unreliable (from the effects of the poison) we can see that in that situation he has trouble distinguishing between reality and cyberspace. That the two are equally real to him. In terms of vocation, he is obviously very gifted and likely spends more time wired in than the average person, so this is a view of things to come from inside of a view of things to come, very illuminating.
      I thought it noteworthy enough to point out that he sees Molly somewhat mechanically, but that this does not at all seem to dampen his admiration for her: “He lay on his side and watched her breathe, her breasts, the sweep of a flank defined with the functional elegance of a war plane’s fusilage.”
      Another sign of the convergance of cyberspace and reality is in room descriptions. First, “Blank walls, no windows, a single white-painted steel fire door.” and then later “Four square walls of blank white plastic, ceiling to match, floored with white hospital tile molded in a non slip pattern of small raised disks. In the center stood a square, white-painted wooden table and four white folding chairs.” These things lack definition, and it makes me think of a templatefor a room more than an actual room itself, like a house in The Sims that has yet to be decorated or (at the risk of taking it a little bit nerdier) like Star Trek’s holodeck in black with the yellow lines. Like an empty canvas really. If my room were like that and looking out the “window” gave me cyberspace, I might not spend much time decorating that room either.
      As far as Utopias go, there is a real sense of internationalism, places mentioned include: “BAMA, the Sprawl, the Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Axis. Manhattan. Some airports:Narita in Japan, Schipol in Amsterdam, Orly International in Paris. Danish vodka, French & Italian clothing, Japanese origami paper wrapping the nine-point stars, cuban tobacco, even “Mutsubishi Bank of America” signifying a mythical pan-pacific merger.
      Yet another convergence of cyberspace and reality comes in how the different members of the group negotiate the area. “Her Sprawl wasn’t his Sprawl, he decided. She’d led him through a dozen bars and clubs he’d never seen before, taking care of business, usually with no more than a nod. Maintaining connections.” This is at once a social act and an act of networking. The phrase “maintaining connections” drips with the language of data networking. “Handshakes” to initiate connection: “In front of it, Molly’s hands flowed through an intricate sequence of jive that he couldn’t follow. He caught the sign for cash, a thumb brushing the tip of the forefinger.” Then maintaining connections. It goes beyond technology being an intermediary of human communication to technology redefining the language and context of human interaction, even when it is no longer the medium for it.
      At times it almost seems as though the only difference between reality and cyberspace as we have come to know it is that there is litter, there is trash here. This isn’t some obscure log file left in the folder of an uninstall program that you can’t see without looking for, this is blowing in the wind kind of trash. Stuff from last century kind of trash. The old CRT television that gets mentioned shows the staying power of our old junk, but I think that in cyberspace even today those kinds of things are becoming more persistant. I remember when in games, after a certain number of bodies the game had to delete some corpses to avoid running out of memory. These days are all but gone, it’s funny that we’ve solved that problem in cyberspace, but now we’re left with the reality (and now the virtuality) of what do we do with all this trash. In Second Life, if you drop something, Governor Linden (rather a daemon of his) will send you back what you dropped. If only such a system existed in real life…
      My favorite line of course being: “Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts . . . A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding. . .” followed by the fact that this is information as part of a “kid’s show.” I could almost hear it in that over-enthusiastic museum voice-over (the museum of science and industry even has such an exhibit aimed at young children, maybe I HAVE heard it). But the point being that this is considered general information, or that ever-transient idea of what is “common knowledge.” Even “common knowledge” has an analog in cyberspace in the form of shared libraries (usually .dlls on a windows system) such as microsoft’s visual basic runtime of whatever version. Most of these in the MS example come with your operating system, and you can download programs people have written that rely on this “common knowledge.”
      The phrase “He’d been in cyberspace for five hours” after being given only a brief paragraph account of his anticipated reentry into cyberspace is to me in this case less about discrepencies in time between worlds, but as much what it is to be sucked into your computer as it is to be sucked into your local bookstore. Time appears to be relative to cognitive engangement. Maybe we’re just now in the infancy of realizing that reality can be really quite boring.

    14. It never even occured to me to consider the language used by gibson to be strange. I just consider it to be normal. I’ve been lucky enough to have been steeped into this world for the last 25 years and thus consider the terms and language to have become a simple part of my online vocab.

      Reguarding the passage “Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination…” I find that this fits in almost perfectly with what has become our modern representation of Cyberspace. The show describing this is a simple childrens show. It is the view of information interaction that is meant to be reassuring and acceptible to the billions of so called “legitimate” users. They are allowed to ACCESS information, and they don’t even comprehend what it is that they have been shown. They are simple and moronic. Essentially the serfs of our age, and I feel that they map perfectly onto what is the millions of people who play around the internet every day on their shitty little connections and subpar equiptment. It is the Cowboy’s, what some would call hackers, who have both true knowledge as well as true power, because both in Gibson’s cyberspace as well as throughout today’s true internet users they realize that the information isn’t just their to access… it is there to be MANIPULATED.

      It is Case, and those who see the power of what those like case can do, that are the true users of Cyberspace, the ones that belong… It is the others, those described in something that is simply a “kids show” that are the impostors.

      I believe that Brandon was exactly right when the purpose was to “separate and exclude” those who don’t belong in these universes. Only I would take it even a step furthur and say that it goes so far as to imply that the ones it tries to exclude are a plight within the system.

    15. What strikes me most about this passage is the future that it predicts. We’re not that far off from the world that Gibson creates. “The Sprawl”. “The Sprawl” could be likened to a huge metropolis…a product of a technologically driven world, overpopulated and connected to everything. Everyone is “jacked in”

      A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts . . . A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding. . .”
      -I hate to use this again, as I see others already have, but I think it’s an excellent description of the path we are following. At least a starting point.

      While we may not be “jacked in” in the sense that Gibson refers to, we are definitely a society that dabbles in cyberspace. Weather it be sitting on You Tube, ONSTAR or other GPS navigation in the car, Google Earth, the plethora of cell phone functions, etc… We are in the prototype stage of this future. Our tube televisions that Gibson notes as “so old it was studded with the glass stumps of vacuum tubes”. These types of televisions will be obsolete within two years. The “crumbled dish antenna” in the waste pile, the same ones that adorn our roofs and balconies, positioned Southerly, will be archaic soon as well. Fiber Optic connections will be the norm. Video Games will “jack you in”. Perhaps you could “jack in” to the movies. You can already download one from Netflix in under a minute if you have an optical connection. Hmh. Weird.

      I’m not that versed in Cyberpunk, but after reading this I totally dig it.

    16. Also

      I think this might be useful. Interesting at least.

    17. If you google “cyberpunk dictionary” the first result is Information Database: The Cyberpunk Project.

    18. First off I like to talk about pixels since not very often people actually talk about pixels. People who watch movies, television, or if they you at the images on the web are looking at pixels. Those who use something like Photoshop can zoom in on a photo and can sees a bunch of pixels. When you use the zoom it may seem like it is burry for someone, but really showing the pixels of the image. Just like what they said a pixel is about a million megabytes.

      Just like a cyberspace Matrix it shows you pixels of the Matrix. In my opinion I think the Matrix is the inside of computer travel through time of cyberspace. Just like when we read “Time Machine” they traveling throught time. This one didn’t talk about extinction but the Matrix was ahead of our future. The matrix was high-tech in my opinion. It reminded also of the movie the “Matrix.”

      The METRO HOLOGRAFIX reminded me of this one movie but I can’t remember of the title. It was a future just like this one. For METRO HOLOGRAFIX they label X or Y. In this one movie they label something like X-356 or Y-134. In a way it’s a scary thing if that every happen, but you kind of feel sorry for case X and case Y because they have no clue what they are.

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