Cory Doctorow gave a great rant on privacy at OSCON 2007, entitled Privacy Isn’t Dead — Let’s Not Kill It”. He talks about the dangers of letting software control us (and the attendant privacy issues), rather than controlling the software ourselves. Cory is a visionary in this space; listening to him exhort on this subject is eye-opening, if you’re not completely up to date on it.
I’ve long thought that David Brin’s Transparent Society was (and is) a great treatise on the dangers of asymmetric control. in fact, I try to re-read it every couple of years (it’s almost 10 years old now), just to keep all the memes hot. Cory is another great, great mind writing about this. He has a new book coming out next spring, Little Brother, that I expect will be a wonderful (fiction) entry into this space. Much like his recent short-short
Scroogled, I expect this book will weave a realistic, gripping story out of the consequences of the technological, political, and cultural choices we’ve made so far this century…hopefully giving us a chance to learn from our mistakes without actually making ALL of them. Can’t wait. And
Little Brother is targeted as young adult fiction (though I know I’ll be buying it regardless), so maybe it’ll make an impact in the younger generations as well.