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As they saying goes, “If you’re not paying for a product, then you’re
the product.” But the world is a better place when human beings are
enlisted as sensors— as distributed mechanisms for mapping,
understanding, and connecting the world and the data it generates —and
not treated as barcodes, mere bits of data to be read, logged and analyzed.
This is a huge blind-spot in contemporary network service design,
abetted by our own inability to correctly price privacy disclosures.
There are tools, services— and yes, even analytics —waiting to be
invented and productized which will make our services into something
better than Skinner boxes that train us to undervalue our data and our
Cory Doctorow (craphound.com) is a science fiction novelist, blogger
and technology activist. He is the co-editor of the popular weblog
Boing Boing (boingboing.net), and a contributor to The Guardian, the
New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Wired, and many other newspapers,
magazines and websites. He was formerly Director of European Affairs
for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (eff.org), a non-profit civil
liberties group that defends freedom in technology law, policy,
standards and treaties. He holds an honorary doctorate in computer
science from the Open University (UK), where he is a Visiting Senior
Lecturer; in 2007, he served as the Fulbright Chair at the Annenberg
Center for Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California.
His novels have been translated into dozens of languages and are
published by Tor Books and simultaneously released on the Internet
under Creative Commons licenses that encourage their re-use and
sharing, a move that increases his sales by enlisting his readers to
help promote his work. He has won the Locus and Sunburst Awards, and
been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and British Science Fiction
Awards. His latest young adult novel is PIRATE CINEMA, a story of
mashup guerillas who declare war on the entertainment industry. His
latest novel for adults is RAPTURE OF THE NERDS, written with Charles
Stross and published in 2012. His New York Times Bestseller LITTLE
BROTHER was published in 2008. A sequel, HOMELAND, will be published
in 2013. His latest short story collection is WITH A LITTLE HELP,
available in paperback, ebook, audiobook and limited edition
hardcover. In 2011, Tachyon Books published a collection of his
essays, called CONTEXT: FURTHER SELECTED ESSAYS ON PRODUCTIVITY,
CREATIVITY, PARENTING, AND POLITICS IN THE 21ST CENTURY (with an
introduction by Tim O’Reilly) and IDW published a collection of comic
books inspired by his short fiction called CORY DOCTOROW’S FUTURISTIC
TALES OF THE HERE AND NOW. THE GREAT BIG BEAUTIFUL TOMORROW, a PM
Press Outspoken Authors chapbook, was also published in 2011.
LITTLE BROTHER was nominated for the 2008 Hugo, Nebula, Sunburst and
Locus Awards. It won the Ontario Library White Pine Award, the
Prometheus Award as well as the Indienet Award for bestselling young
adult novel in America’s top 1000 independent bookstores in 2008.
He co-founded the open source peer-to-peer software company OpenCola,
sold to OpenText, Inc in 2003, and presently serves on the boards and
advisory boards of the Participatory Culture Foundation, the Clarion
Foundation, The Glenn Gould Foundation, and the Chabot Space & Science
Center’s SpaceTime project.
In 2007, Entertainment Weekly called him, “The William Gibson of his
generation.” He was also named one of Forbes Magazine’s 2007/8/9/10
Web Celebrities, and one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global
Leaders for 2007.
His forthcoming books include ANDA’S GAME (a graphic novel from
On February 3, 2008, he became a father. The little girl is called
Poesy Emmeline Fibonacci Nautilus Taylor Doctorow, and is a marvel
that puts all the works of technology and artifice to shame.
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