Tag Archives: Little Brother

Big Brother, big data and the creator culture

News of secret courts being introduced in the world’s oldest democracy should scare any rational human. The right to a public trial has survived feudalism, Henry VIII and the industrial revolution, but couldn’t stand up to the forces of global capitalism. Secret courts could be an idea from Alan Moore’s polemic on Thatcher’s Britain, V for Vendetta (today enjoying a second life inspiring Occupy protestors and the Anonymous hacker group) or from Homeland, the latest novel from science-fiction author Cory Doctorow.

Doctorow’s 2007 young adult novel Little Brother introduced teenage readers to the writer’s outspoken ideas on technology and personal freedom. The novel’s title is of course a play on Big Brother, from the granddaddy of all dystopian SF, George Orwell’s 1984. Orwell’s devastating vision of totalitarian state rule remains chilling, but it has dated with the advance of technology. Orwell was writing at a time when governments, whether the totalitarian dictatorships of Russia and China, or the democracies of western Europe and America, ruled with near absolute power. Today national governments seem increasingly impotent in the face of global economic forces and technological change they cannot begin to keep pace with.

Read more @ Guardian Books

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Cory Doctorow Interview

Willing Science Fiction into Fact

Activist-novelist Cory Doctorow explains to Damien G Walter how he hopes his writing will change tomorrow’s world.

Cory Doctorow’s office lies behind a featureless, black security door in a north London side street, deep in a converted post-industrial warehouse, down echoing corridors and concrete stairways. It’s an appropriately “underground” headquarters for the activist-novelist, who is explaining to me why he’s not interested in predicting the future using science fiction, but influencing it.

Read more on Guardian books.