/ / Articles, News

My new Guardian column, What is missing from the kids’ internet? discusses three different approaches to teaching kids information literacy: firewall-based abstinence education; trust/relationship-based education, and a third way, which is the proven champion of the offline world.

That third way is making media for kids and grownups to use/enjoy/experience together. It’s what made the mission-driven Sesame Street so successful in its mission and the profit-driven Disneyland so profitable. We have some great media for grownups and kids to do beside one another (Scratch, Minecraft, Youtube), but nothing to do with each other.

/ / News

I’m teaching the Clarion West writing workshop in Seattle in late July, and you can come see me at two events, one on July 25, the other on July 28.

Postcyberpunk and Paella: An intimate evening with Cory Doctorow and Peter Biddle to benefit Clarion West. July 25, 2015 at 7 p.m.

Cory Doctorow in Conversation: Please join us for an evening of conversation with Cory Doctorow on July 28 at 7 p.m. at the University Temple United Methodist Church, 1415 Northeast 43rd Street, Seattle (across the street from the University Book Store).

Teaching Clarion West is a tough grind. I’m afraid that I won’t have time for any social calls on this trip — advance notice!

See you there!

/ / Articles, News

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.


/ / For The Win, Little Brother, News

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.”

/ / News

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!