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Homeland, by Cory Doctorow

Just finished Homeland by Cory Doctorow - a good read.  Strange to read the book's after words by Aaron Swartz and Jacob Appelbaum - the former driven to suicide; the latter recently banished from Tor for alleged sexual misconduct.

It's odd as well to see Doctorow speaking of services like Skype and dedicating the last section of the book to Amazon. "The founder, Jeff Bezos, even posted a reader-review for my first novel! Amazon's in the process of reinventing what it means to be a bookstore in the twenty-first century and I can't think of a better group of people to be facing down that thorny set of problems."   If he can mention large corporations without irony or prudence, how can I trust him?

In the balance, he's on the right side, urging people take back control, cautioning against government tyranny and corporate power. But it seems to me that a genuine social critic, or someone with well-honed critical thinking skills, or someone who is just honest, does not choose certain large targets, while letting others off lightly.   It's because the heroes of his novels are people who are both streetwise and distrustful to the level of paranoia, that it strikes an odd note when essential players in their and our world seem to get an easy ride.

Confession, I downloaded both Little Brother and Homeland for free from Doctorow's site: but perhaps I will pay for the next one.


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