Ahead of our panel at the LA Times Festival of Books on Sunday, John Scalzi interviewed me about my new book Radicalized for his column in the Times.
John tells the story of how I was the first writer he met after he embarked on his career -- it was at the Toronto Worldcon -- and then we delve into the nature of dystopia, hope, and the role of science fiction in informing our policy debates:
Q. You write fiction and you’re also a public advocate for tech, privacy and current cultural issues, and you’ve been adept your entire career in using the former to advance the latter. What is it about fiction that makes it an effective vessel for talking about the issues that drive you? How do you find the balance for entertainment and argument?
A. I think that fiction is a superb way to put flesh on the dry, abstract bones of technical and policy debate — a fly-through of an architect's rendering of the emotional lived-experience of the consequences of our policy choices.
Technological problems are pernicious — in a manner similar to climate change, the consequences of bad technological choices often manifest a long time after the choices themselves, and it's hard to get people to act on these issues with the right degree of urgency given the long fuse that's burning on them. Fiction can make the detonation more visceral and immediate, and possibly spur us to action when the problems are still manageable rather than when they're so pernicious that they can't be denied, but also might be too far along to do anything about.
Cory Doctorow’s ‘Radicalized’ reveals our dystopian technological future in four tales [John Scalzi/LA Times]
View this post on Instagram #ASonnetADay A post shared by Patrick Stewart (@sirpatstew) on Mar 31, 2020 at 1:06pm PDT “Having spent so much of my life with Shakespeare’s world, passions and ideas in my head and in my mouth, he feels like a friend—someone who just went out of the room to get another […]
Sean Kaen, @oddnmacabre on Twitter, posed the challenge ‘let’s make some Godzilla movies!” and the results are unusually amusing due to the one rule: replace 1 word in any movie title with “Godzilla”. Godzilla, Actually. — lawprofblawg (@lawprofblawg) March 28, 2020 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Godzilla Actually that sounds awesome! On one side […]
Joanna Charlton shared this video of her daughter crying over closed restaurants and delivery food. This 4-year-old girl speaks for all of us.
If you’re charting the fortunes of a business, one glance at the right columns can instantly detail that company’s health. If you want to see their current roster of customers, a spreadsheet can bring those clients into sharp focus. Make no mistake — the world of business is still dominated by the all-powerful spreadsheet. It’s […]
For wine lovers around the world, it’s all about discovery. Once they get a taste for the grape, oenophiles are rarely satisfied with even the most carefully curated, go-to vintages. There’s always a hunt for the next great pairing, the thrill of uncorking a bold new Tempranillo or sublime Moscato. That feeling is a jones […]
These toys and games can keep the kids busy while you’re all trapped inside. As rough as all this time cooped up inside the house is on us adults, it’s even worse for kids. All that borderline maniacal energy along with an unquenchable thirst for stimulation and attention make home sequestration like a life sentence […]