For this week’s podcast, I read an excerpt from “How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism,” a free short book (or long pamphlet, or “nonfiction novella”) I published with Medium’s Onezero last week. HTDSC is a long critical response to Shoshanna Zuboff’s book and paper on the subject, which re-centers the critique on monopolism and the abusive behavior it abets, while expressing skepticism that surveillance capitalists are really as good at manipulating our behavior as they claim to be. It is a gorgeous online package, and there’s a print/ebook edition following.
Tagged with “cory doctorow” (4)
Blake Collier and Matt Ruff talk to Cory Doctorow about the state of technology and how it influences everything from economics to the environment. We also touch on how pop culture like fiction shapes the development of VR and AR tech as well as tackling the issues of closed tech systems like Apple. This conversation dives deep on some philosophical and technical ideas, but remains deeply profound for anyone who wants to think on the impact of technology on the world.
Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger — the co-editor of Boing Boing and the author of Radicalized and Walkaway, science fiction for adults, a YA graphic novel called In Real Life, the nonfiction business book Information Doesn’t Want to be Free, and young adult novels like Homeland, Pirate Cinema and Little Brother. His next book is Poesy the Monster Slayer, a picture book for young readers. He works for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is a MIT Media Lab Research Affiliate, is a Visiting Professor of Computer Science at Open University, a Visiting Professor of Practice at the University of South Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science and co-founded the UK Open Rights Group. Born in Toronto, Canada, he now lives in Los Angeles.
Self-driving cars or armed autonomous military robots may make use of the same technologies. In a certain sense, we as software developers are helping to build and shape the future. What does the future look like and are we helping build the right one? Is technology a force for liberty or oppression.
Cory Doctorow is one of my favorite authors and also a public intellectual with a keen insight into the dangers we face a society. In this interview, I ask him how to avoid ending up in a techno-totalitarian society. We also talk about Turing, DRM, data mining and monopolies.
Edgar Allen Poe wrote “The Masque of the Red Death” in 1842. It’s about a plutocrat who throws a masked ball in his walled abbey during a plague with the intention of cheating death.
My novella “The Masque of the Red Death” is a tribute to Poe; it’s from my book Radicalized. It’s the story of a plute who brings his pals to his luxury bunker during civlizational collapse in the expectation of emerging once others have rebuilt.
Naturally, they assume that when they do emerge, once their social inferiors have rebooted civilization, that their incredible finance-brains, their assault rifles, and their USBs full of BtC will allow them to command a harem and live a perpetual Frazetta-painting future.
And naturally – for anyone who’s read Poe – it doesn’t work out for them. They discover that humanity has a shared microbial destiny and that you can’t shoot germs. That every catastrophe must be answered with solidarity, not selfishness, if it is to be survived.
Like my story When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth, the Masque of the Red Death has been on a lot of people’s minds lately, especially since this Guardian story of plutes fleeing to their New Zealand luxury bunkers was published. Hundreds of you have sent me this.
I got the message. Yesterday, I asked my agent to see if Macmillan Audio would let me publish the audiobook of my Masque of the Red Death for free. They said yes, and asked me to remind you that the audiobook of Radicalized (which includes Masque) is available for your delictation.
I hope you’ll check out the whole book. Radicalized was named one of the @WSJ’s best books of 2019, and it’s a finalist for Canada Reads, the national book prize. It’s currently on every Canadian national bestseller list.
There’s one hitch, though: Audible won’t sell it to you. They don’t sell ANY of my work, because I don’t allow DRM on it, because I believe that you should not have to lock my audiobooks to Amazon’s platform in order to enjoy them.
Instead, you can buy the audio from sellers like libro.fm, Downpour.com, and Google Play. Or you can get it direct from me. No DRM, no license agreement. Just “you bought it, you own it.”
And here’s the free Macmillan Audio edition of Masque of the Red Death, read with spine-chilling menace by the incredible Stefan Rudnicki, with a special intro from me, freshly mastered by John Taylor Williams. I hope it gives you some comfort.