show #278: attack surface: a reckoning …

show #278

author and activist cory doctorow is back with a grand new book and he is also back in second life! as some audience members during the book club stream observed: his account aka rez day is from 2005 ….

the 2005 look is hip again !!!

… however he got a make over, courtesy of book club staff.

cory 2020 !!!

but that is not the big news: on the show today we focus on “attack surface”, a nuanced look at the life of “little brother” character masha, who – as a a teenager [radicalized by a terror attack on the bay bridge in san francisco] – starts to dedicate her life to a pursuit that seems quite worthy at first: using technology to chase them bad guys ….

a table full of doctorow [and some michael brooks thrown in]

a decade or so later masha realizes that her computer skills have not contributed to a truly equitable society, where everyone has sovereignty over their digital/physical lives but rather helped to grow a global industry of surveillance, where mercenaries of tech go where the highest bidder salivates over tools readily deployable to suppress any dissent imaginable, from politically left to right and back again, whatever the customer demands ….

masha’s reckoning [possibly a mirror to former social media tech executives now speaking out on a business model that made our discourse on/offline so toxic?] is a story full of crazy suspense, only a nano-second into the future, and cory is weaving in his deep insight into how surveillance technology actually functions, and he offers prescriptions on how it can be mitigated at a high level of detail so that this book kind of doubles as a instructional manual for the aspiring activist/freed digital citizen ….

enjoy the conversation and a special reading by cory as a jukebox with the voice of amber benson emanating from it ….

and here is some more context with links if you are so inclined to read on:

  • the original live-stream from the sl book club:
  • cory offers a prescription to beat surveillance capitalism [and you can read it now] …
  • we mention oculus vr founder and noted right-winger palmer luckey’s new all-in-one drone company anduril in the conversation. if you are a gifted young techie = see for yourself if this is how you’d like to see technology used around the world … [with flush funding, anduril has a lot of job openings but perhaps there are other ways to use your skills, young padawan ???]
us military supremacy = freedom on the planet ? seriously ?
  • courtesy of book club audience member stella wyx = interesting article on the broader subject from logic magazine:
  • and another important read from cory – a reckoning of his own perhaps? well, we believe his writing was always on the beneficial side of things ….
  • cory’s book “homeland” is a lot of about the moral dilemma of leaking big dumps of sensitive data. the decision is haunting the teenage protagonists in the story as the implications are huge, no matter what they’d decide to do. a parallel to this in the real world is the tragic story of aaron swartz, hacker and activist, who committed suicide after the threat of an outrageous prison sentence [ <<< a documentary on his life is linked to the left here!] for the ridiculously minor leak of paywalled academic material. [aaron wrote the afterword for “homeland” when it first came out in 2013 …]
  • almost forgot that cory appeared in a virtual world before …
  • in case you ask yourself: what else shall we read on surveillance capitalism, perhaps the more specific flavor of facebook [the “king” of surveillance capitalism] you ask? joanne mcneil – former guest on here – has something for you!
  • what else is happening, for example let’s say in second life? halloween of course that’s what and i have had it with the creepy stuff so i ventured out to raglan shire … as a dinkie cat !!!
  • next week/ this coming wednesday on here and earlier in-world = charles yu !!!!!

the drax files radio hour is a weekly production of draxtor … and media for all! 

the show is supported by fabeeo breen, ragvr, vinyl, masoom, delacruz industries, journey by debi baskerville, zero-one heavy industries corporation, aeros avatars, time portal, slartist, hextraordinary fine magical goods, bay city you know for kids, botanical, strawberry singh, abranimations, kahruvel design, {what next} and landscapes unlimited.

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