I’ve been anticipating Cory Doctorow’s latest novel for half a year now, since I first heard of it. It’s a young adult novel in which some innocent kids get picked up by Homeland Security for suspicion of involvement in a terrorist act. After the treatment they receive, the decide it’s time to bring back the Bill of Rights and use home-grown technology to fight the government. The novel is filled with actual tech and counter-tech plans and ideas.
I just listened to an interview with Doctorow on the Adventures in Scifi Publishing podcast:
In which they talk about the fascist techniques and outlook of the U.S. and U.K. these days, the new book, and also publishing. It’s interesting to hear how Doctorow supports and defends book publishers as being on the side of the writer and the reader, as opposed to music companies who you would think by the way they treat artists and fans were out to destroy them. Considering how much his book publisher, TOR, supports Doctorow giving away books they sell, for free on his Web site–they must be supportive! Random House has the audiobook rights and are willing to provide it in non-DRMA crippled MP3 format! Book publishers are cool. Anyway, you can listen to all this on the podcast.
Before the interview the hosts discuss Bush’s 2009 budget proposal which would defund the long-running Reading is Fundamental program:
The hosts, bless their naive hearts, seem shocked by this. They don’t seem to understand that to Milton Friedman worshiping corporate-owned capitalist fascists, a literate and educated populace is the enemy. A strong middle-class, a literate masses, can recognize and understand what’s going on around them, and are able to use the system to “fight the power,” and hinder the neo-con (and not a small number of Democrats) attempt to turn the government into a corporate controlled oligarchy. This is why the Bush administration has been trying hard for seven years to get rid of (or at least control using neo-con loyalist lackies) PBS and NPR, have been sabotaging public education system, promoting abstinence-only programs which are proven to be ineffective, have tried to get rid of the public education mandate of NASA. To these people, the purpose of the populace are to be wage-slaves and spend what little free time they have watching mindless garbage and not thinking, especially not critically and not for themselves. Bush’s attempt to get rid of the program which provides books and promotes literacy among the poor and at-risk kids is just another in his long line of attempts to transorm the American people into mindless peasants.