📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for The Terraformers, by Annalee Newitz

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I heard this book reviewed on The Incomparable, and it sounded up my alley despite mixed reviews on the podcast, so I gave it a try! This feels like a Cory Doctorow book in all the right ways: It has super weird ideas in it, and it’s sometimes more about worldbuilding and a pretty clear “moral of the story” than specific plot beats or characterization. The morals of the story are good ones, though, and having a viewpoint character who’s a sentient train is right up my alley.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Party Discipline, by Cory Doctorow

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This tiny little book is a great addition to the worldbuilding of Walkaway, and I love it for that.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Pluralistic: An end to the climate emergency is in our grasp (12 Jun 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow'

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I’ve been thinking recently that I need to reread Doctorow’s The Lost Cause (about beating back the climate catastrophe), so this blog post was welcome. Doctorow’s hopefulness—all while rejecting naïve optimism—is what I needed to read this morning. link to “Pluralistic: An end to the climate emergency is in our grasp (12 Jun 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow”

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Pirate Cinema, by Cory Doctorow

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After my last read was such a guilty pleasure (still not sure if I’ll bring myself to read the next Honor Harrington or if it’s just not worth it), I decided I needed some Doctorow so I could read something fun and meaningful. This isn’t my favorite of Doctorow’s, but it’s good! The more I read of his, the more I see the cross-cutting themes, the elements that get recycled from book to book, the earlier versions of plots that I’ve read in his more recent stuff.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Wanna Make Big Tech Monopolies Even Worse? Kill Section 230'

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I got skeptical of Section 230 for a while, but folks like Doctorow and Mike Masnick have brought me back around. link to “Wanna Make Big Tech Monopolies Even Worse? Kill Section 230”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Pluralistic: You were promised a jetpack by liars (17 May 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow'

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Compelling essay about vain hopes for the future. link to “Pluralistic: You were promised a jetpack by liars (17 May 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow”

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It’s convenient that I’ve been reconsidering my longtime taboo about swearing at the same time that “enshittification” is becoming such a professionally salient word.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Pluralistic: The antitrust case against Apple (22 Mar 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow'

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I’ve been waiting for Doctorow’s take on this, and it’s good. I’m an Apple user, but Doctorow’s criticisms all ring true to me. link to “Pluralistic: The antitrust case against Apple (22 Mar 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow”

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for For the Win, by Cory Doctorow

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I was living outside the country and in my own little religious world when the 2008 financial crisis hit, and so my understanding of that moment in history has always been kind of flimsy. Despite being a weird near-future MMO-centric book, I kind of feel like reading this helped? I read on Wikipedia that some criticis weren’t a fan of the economics tangents, but I like Doctorow when he’s didactic, so even though I didn’t follow all the details, I enjoyed what he was going for (I just don’t have a head for economics or finance).

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, by Cory Doctorow

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This is a fun book in many ways—Doctorow is great at super weird science fiction. However, there’s just not enough in there of what else makes Doctorow good. I’m glad I reread this, but it’s probably my least favorite of all the Doctorow novels I’ve tackled.

what would Doctorow University look like?

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One of my favorite academic anecdotes to share in conference rooms and university hallways is for my dissertation defense, two of my committee members were there via telepresence robot. This is less impressive post-2020, when a lot of defenses happen entirely over Zoom, but it’s still different than an online-only defense, so the story still attracts some interest. At any rate, as good as I thought my story was, I got a real kick out of this bit in the prologue to Cory Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom:

libraries could be the best streaming services

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Membership in one of my local libraries includes access to Freegal, a kind of janky, third-tier music streaming service. The selection isn’t fantastic, but my tastes in music aren’t exactly mainstream, and over the past four years, I’ve found a lot of music I like available through the service. In fact, because you can download a limited number of tracks per week, I have Indochine songs, Gérard Lenorman albums, and even the Stranger Things soundtrack all saved to my phone so that I can bypass the jankiness of the service and the official app.

📚 spreading the word about the Cory Doctorow Humble Bundle 📚

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Cory Doctorow is one of my favorite authors, and I’ve also (mostly) appreciated the work of Humble Bundle over the past decade. When I learned this weekend that there’s an ongoing bundle of Doctorow’s fiction, I was ecstatic. The only thing that I was disappointed about is that I’ve already bought so many of these titles… however, that still wasn’t enough to stop me from buying all 18 items (it helps that while I own many of these already, most of the ones I own are in formats rather than epub, so now I’m a multimodal owner).

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for The Bezzle (A Martin Hench Novel), by Cory Doctorow

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I feel like I say this whenever I talk about Doctorow, but I love that his fiction reads like an op-ed. While waiting for this book to come out, I’ve been slowly reading his co-authored book Chokepoint Capitalism, and I feel like The Bezzle is all his (and Rebecca’s) critiques about large and greedy companies wrapped up in a fun, action-driven narrative. Here’s the thing about me: I’m an academic, and I respect facts, reason, and citations.

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Okay, my new favorite fun fact about myself for ice breaking activities is that Wil Wheaton has read my name aloud as part of his recording of a Cory Doctorow audiobook.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Pluralistic: Vice surrenders (24 Feb 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow'

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Dammit, I literally just started following Motherboard again. link to “Pluralistic: Vice surrenders (24 Feb 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Pluralistic: How I got scammed (05 Feb 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow'

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Fascinating post. Grateful for Doctorow’s honesty at his being scammed and interested in the idea that lowering quality of services through AI trains us to accept fraud. link to “Pluralistic: How I got scammed (05 Feb 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow”

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Practical Anarchism: A Guide for Daily Life, by Scott Branson

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I defined myself for a long time as a moderate or centrist, and despite my leftward march in recent years, it still feels weird to be aspirationally reading a book on anarchism. As Branson points out early in this book, there are plenty of people who would never identify with the word but agree with anarchist ideas in science fiction, and I guess that’s how I got here. Twice in 2023, I read Cory Doctorow’s Walkaway, and on the second read, I realized that there were some strong anarchist themes in that book.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Pluralistic: American education has all the downsides of standardization, none of the upsides (16 Jan 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow'

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Some interesting thoughts here from Doctorow. Makes me want to put more effort into OER. link to “Pluralistic: American education has all the downsides of standardization, none of the upsides (16 Jan 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Pluralistic: Kelly and Zach Weinersmith’s “A City On Mars” (09 Jan 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow'

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I’ve wanted to read this book for a while, but Doctorow has really sold me on it. link to “Pluralistic: Kelly and Zach Weinersmith’s “A City On Mars” (09 Jan 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Open Infrastructures and the Future of Knowledge Production, part 1 – Platypus'

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Lots of helpful thoughts in this post. Makes me think about the value of Mastodon for the academy—and other spaces that I care about. Also, I love seeing Doctorow and academic thinking come together. link to “Open Infrastructures and the Future of Knowledge Production, part 1 – Platypus”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Pluralistic: An adversarial iMessage client for Android (07 Dec 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow'

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I’m an Apple user, but that never stops me from agreeing with Doctorow’s critiques. link to “Pluralistic: An adversarial iMessage client for Android (07 Dec 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Pluralistic: The real AI fight (27 Nov 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow'

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I haven’t been following this debate, but Doctorow and White’s points resonate with me. link to “Pluralistic: The real AI fight (27 Nov 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow”

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for The Lost Cause, by Cory Doctorow

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I’ve read a LOT of Doctorow in 2023—including Walkaway twice, Red Team Blues twice, and relistening to Little Brother—so I can’t help but place this hopeful solarpunk novel in the context of these others. Even though The Lost Cause touches on some of the same themes as Walkaway, I like the latter book a lot better, though perhaps because it feels less “real” than a book about paramilitary Maga Clubs and impending climate catastrophe.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Red Team Blues, by Cory Doctorow

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I’ve been meaning to reread this since I first listened to the audiobook, which I started as soon as it was released. It’s not my favorite Doctorow, but it’s still him at his best: The book is opinionated, exciting, and full of specific, compelling details. I like it a lot.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Pluralistic: Kickstarting the audiobook of The Lost Cause, my novel of environmental hope (02 Oct 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow'

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I backed this before Kickstarter could even say “Hey, you’ve backed stuff from Doctorow in the past…” link to “Pluralistic: Kickstarting the audiobook of The Lost Cause, my novel of environmental hope (02 Oct 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Pluralistic: Bill Willingham puts his graphic novel series “Fables” into the public domain (15 Sept 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow'

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Appreciate Doctorow’s detailed (and expert) perspectve here. link to ‘Pluralistic: Bill Willingham puts his graphic novel series “Fables” into the public domain (15 Sept 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow’

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'https://pluralistic.net/2023/09/07/govern-yourself-accordingly/'

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Appreciate Doctorow’s thinking here. link to ‘https://pluralistic.net/2023/09/07/govern-yourself-accordingly/’

unfinished thoughts on games and living one's values

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After several years of having it vaguely on my wish list (ever since Cory Doctorow’s post about it on Boing Boing), I finally picked up a copy of Lotus Dimension, a tabletop roleplaying game with an intentional emphasis on resolving problems through non-violence. I’ve been reading a lot on non-violence lately, and even though I still have a lot to learn, I’ve been asking recently whether a commitment to non-violence in real life would be incompatible with enjoying games where violence is one of the key ways to achieve victory.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Walkaway, by Cory Doctorow

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I just read this earlier this year, but it was too good not to revisit and it’s just as good in epub as it was in audiobook. Love this book.

40 books that have shaped my faith

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A friend of mine recently asked whether I had a list of books “that have been particularly impactful or interesting,” especially in the realm of spirituality and religion—and suggested that if I didn’t already have such a list, I could put one together for one of my next blog posts. It took me a while to actually put the list together, but it’s ended up being a really interesting exercise. Of the forty books that I’ve picked, some have been more influential than others.

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Inspired by a sci-fi book I’m reading, I made an off-handed quip this morning about becoming a disembodied simulation. Kiddo responded that she preferred to have a “huggable, play-withable” daddy.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Pluralistic: The surprising truth about data-driven dictatorships (26 July 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow'

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Interesting stuff from Doctorow. If I can, I want to work it into my data science textbook for next semester. link to ‘Pluralistic: The surprising truth about data-driven dictatorships (26 July 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow’

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Cowboy releases cheeky app to keep VanMoof e-bike riders on the road - The Verge'

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We read Cory Doctorow’s “Unauthorized Bread” in my class on computer fundamentals, and I try to share actual examples of how tech companies going bankrupt can create actual problems like in the story. Bookmarking this for next time I teach. link to ‘Cowboy releases cheeky app to keep VanMoof e-bike riders on the road - The Verge’

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Let the Platforms Burn: The Opposite of Good Fires is Wildfires | Cory Doctorow's craphound.com'

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Lots to appreciate here. link to ‘Let the Platforms Burn: The Opposite of Good Fires is Wildfires | Cory Doctorow’s craphound.com’

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'It Turns Out Elon Is Speedrunning The Enshittification Learning Curve, Not The Content Moderation One | Techdirt'

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I appreciate Masnick’s thinking, and I’m a big Doctorow fan, so it’s always neat to see them come together. link to ‘It Turns Out Elon Is Speedrunning The Enshittification Learning Curve, Not The Content Moderation One | Techdirt’