My July 2015 Locus column, Skynet Ascendant, suggests that the enduring popularity of images of homicidal, humanity-hating AIs has more to do with our present-day politics than computer science.
As a class, science fiction writers imagine some huge slice of all possible futures, and then readers and publishers select from among these futures based on which ones chime with their anxieties and hopes. As a system, it works something like a Ouija board: we’ve all got our fingers on the planchette, and the futures that get retold and refeatured are the result of our collective ideomotor response.
Canada’s public institutions were very good to me today!
The CBC included Little Brother on its list of 100 Great YA Novels that make you proud to be Canadian.
Not to be outdone, the Toronto Public Library put the book on its Fight The Power: Books For Youth Activists.
As if that wasn’t enough, TPL also put For the Win on its Boy Meets Boo list, featuring “Great books for guys: adventure, humour, fantasy and suspense.”
In my new Guardian column, I point out that the big-data-driven surveillance business model is on the rocks.
From Solid Conference 2015: From “ecosystem” strategies to the war on terror, from the copyright wars to the subprime lending industry, it seems like everyone wants to build an Internet of Treacherous Things whose primary loyalty is to someone other than the people with whose lives they are intimately entwined.
Your gesture-driven, voice-controlled future is a future in which you are never off-camera, never out of range of a mic. The difference between a world where computers say “Yes, Master” and computers say “I can’t let you do that, Dave,” is the difference between utopia and dystopia.
EFF is laying the legal groundwork for an Internet of Things That Do What You Tell Them, and we need your help!
I’m a guest on this week’s New America Foundation cybersecurity podcast, hosted by Amanda Gaines and Peter Warren Singer (whose new book, Ghost Fleet, a novel about cybersecurity, is about to hit the stands) and edited by the great John Taylor Williams.
My latest Guardian column looks at the fiction and reality of “Internet Utopianism,” and the effect that a belief in the transformative power of the Internet has had on movements, companies, and norms.
This weekend, my short story “The Man Who Sold the Moon” won the The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, a juried prize for the best science fiction story of the year.
Downpour has published a DRM-free audio edition of my essay collection Context (with an intro by Tim O’Reilly), the companion volume to my collection Content (introduced by John Perry Barlow).
The collection is read by Paul Michael Garcia, who also read Content. As the subtitle (“Further Selected Essays on Productivity, Creativity, Parenting, and Politics in the 21st Century”) implies, it covers some pretty far-ranging ground!
One of the web’s most celebrated high-tech culture mavens returns with this second collection of essays and polemics. Discussing complex topics in an accessible manner, Cory Doctorow’s visions of a future where artists have full freedom of expression is tempered with his understanding that creators need to benefit from their own creations. From extolling the Etsy makerverse to excoriating Apple for dumbing down technology while creating an information monopoly, each unique piece is brief, witty, and at the cutting edge of tech. Now a stay-at-home dad as well as an international activist, Doctorow writes as eloquently about creating real-time Internet theater with his daughter as he does while lambasting the corporations that want to profit from inherent intellectual freedoms.
Context : Further Selected Essays on Productivity, Creativity, Parenting, and Politics in the 21st Century [Downpour]