Hein (fub) wrote,

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Finished book: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

The way I see it, there are several reasons why Cory Doctorow is a cool person:
- He works for the EFF;
- He is anti-DRM;
- He is a Sci-fi author;
- He donates his novels free, under a Creative Commons license.

There are several reasons why his first novel, "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom", is a cool book:
- It's written by Cory Doctorow;
- It's available for free, under a Creative Commons license;
- It describes a transhumanist society ('the Bitchun society');
- It's set in Disney World.

Picture a world where there is no scarcity. Where energy is limitless and free. Where there is no death. Where there is no money. Where social standing is 'currency'. Where tasks are undertaken by 'ad-hocs', groups of people who work at a common task because they want to accomplish it. In that world, D&OitMK is set.
Main character is Julius, a 150-year old man who works at the Haunted Mansion in Disneyworld. He is part of the ad-hoc that manages Liberty Square. When a new ad-hoc comes into town with some radical new ideas that garner much public support, Julius sees his way of life and the very essence of the park under attack. He becomes increasingly paranoid and his actions become increasingly erratic and counter-productive...

The book is rather short (63 pages of real text), and the plot is rather amusing, but the real interest is in the concepts Doctorow introduces in his book. I've written about that in a post in transhumanspace, so there's no need to repeat that here.
If you're at all interested in social dynamics and reputation economies, or transhumanism, or science fiction in general, you owe it to yourself to read this book.

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