Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow


Author, journalist, activist. Touring "Chokepoint Capitalism" - how to unrig creative labor markets and get artists paid https://chokepointcapitalism.com/

490226 followers  •  2521 follow  •    •   http://craphound.com

“In the time of Nero, the Roman author Lucan wrote how the necromantic sorceress Erictho was tracked down (Roger Raupp illus. from AD&D 2e HR5: The Glory of Rome designed by David Pulver, TSR, 1993)

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This is a wild, hopeful story: grad students at @Northeastern  successfully pushed back against digital workplace surveillance, through fearless solidarity and the bright light of publicity. It's a tale of hand-to-hand, victorious combat with the #ShittyTechnologyAdoptionCurve . 1/

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What's the "shitty tech adoption curve?" It's the process by which oppressive technologies are normalized and spread. 3/

If you want to do something awful with tech - say, spy on people with a camera 24/7 - you need to start with the people who have the least social capital, the people whose objections are easily silenced or overridden. 4/

That's why all our worst technologies are first imposed on refugees -> prisoners -> kids -> mental patients -> poor people, etc. Then, these technologies climb the privilege gradient: blue collar workers -> white collar workers -> everyone. 5/

Northeastern's Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC) is home to the "Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute," where grad students study the harms of surveillance and the means by which they may be reversed. 9/

If there's one group of people who are prepared to stand athwart the shitty tech adoption curve, it is the CPI grad students. 10/

Which makes it genuinely baffling that Northeastern Senior Vice Provost for Research David Luzzi decided to install under-desk heat sensors throughout ISEC, overnight, without notice or consultation. Luzzi signed the paperwork that brought the privacy institute into being. 11/

This is the kind of #FullStackLuddism  this present moment needs. These researchers aren't opposed to *sensors* - they're challenging the *social relations* of sensors, who gets sensed and who does the sensing. 51/

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Back in November, we learned that Disney had pulled a breathtakingly criminal wage-theft manuever on one of science-fiction's most beloved authors, Allan Dean Foster, an elderly cancer-patient caring for his sick wife. 1/

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This is fucking wild. Norton "Antivirus" now sneakily installs cryptomining software on your computer, and then SKIMS A COMMISSION.

"Hitler's only kidding about the antisemitism" New York Times, 1922

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It's hard to overstate what a scam academic and scientific publishing is. 1/

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Alan Dean Foster is an sf legend - a writer who produced a shelf of original novels but also made a reputation novelizing movies and TV from Star Wars to Aliens, turning out books that transcended quickie adaptations, becoming beloved bestsellers in their own right. 1/

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Today in "Cyberpunk is a warning, not a suggestion" news, Amazon has released a landlord edition of its Alexa surveillance speaker that can be forced upon tenants. 1/

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I've just read one of the most lucid, wide-ranging, cross-disciplinary critiques of cryptocurrency and blockchain I've yet to encounter. 1/

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EFF's full-page Wired ad: Dear tech, delete your logs before it's too late

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Uber is a bezzle ("the magic interval when a confidence trickster knows he has the money he has appropriated but the victim does not yet understand that he has lost it"). Every bezzle ends. Uber's time is up. 1/

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