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Radicalized (book)

§ Info

Radicalized is a collection of novellas written by Canadian-British author Cory Doctorow. The book was initially released on March 19, 2019, by Tor Books. Radicalized explores such issues as digital rights management, police brutality, radicalization in internet communities, and doomsday preppers.

§ Highlights

The Boulangism cloud had burst and that meant that there was no one answering Salima’s toaster when it asked if the bread she was about to toast had come from an authorized Boulangism baker, which it had. In the absence of a reply, the paranoid little gadget would assume that Salima was in that class of nefarious fraudsters who bought a discounted Boulangism toaster and then tried to renege on her end of the bargain by inserting unauthorized bread, which had consequences ranging from kitchen fires to suboptimal toast (Boulangism was able to adjust its toasting routine in realtime to adjust for relative kitchen humidity and the age of the bread, and of course it would refuse to toast bread that had become unsalvageably stale), to say nothing of the loss of profits for the company and its shareholders. Without those profits, there’d be no surplus capital to divert to R&D, creating the continuous improvement that meant that hardly a day went by without Salima and millions of other Boulangism stakeholders

“You see, if someone wants to control you with a computer, they have to put the computer where you are, and they are not, and so you can access that computer without supervision. A computer you can access without supervision is a computer you can change, because all these computers are the same, deep down. When you get down to the programs underneath the skin, a toaster and a dishwasher and a thermostat, they’re all the same computer in different cases. Once you can seize control over that computer, all of them are yours.”

The sense of hopelessness at being surrounded by sensors and devices that were designed to push her around was transformed into a sense of inevitable triumph over the fools who thought they could make that work.

they made it a crime to”—he scrunched up his face as he struggled with an awkward, memorized phrase—“to ‘circumvent an effective means of access control.’ If there’s a copyrighted thing, you know, a movie or whatever, and there’s something else that controls access to it, you can’t remove that control or do anything with it. Not even for a good reason. They can send you to jail for doing it,

the copyright, that’s the code we’re changing. So if it has code in it, and there’s an access control, you’re not allowed to change the code. Even if it belongs to you!”

“I wasn’t gonna last there anyway, I can tell that already. There’s other jobs.”

It was a crime if she did it, a product if they sold it to her. Everything could be a product.

Salima had thought of Wye as her ally, every bit as offended by the locked-down world of Dorchester Towers as she was. But Wye had been working long hours for Boulangism and its new sister companies. She thought the problem was that Salima didn’t want to get into trouble. Salima had been thinking that, too. But that wasn’t the problem. Boulangism itself, that was the problem. The whole rotten business, that was the problem.

“Because it’s their homes. Why should they have to pay to use the things in their homes?”

It seemed petty to refuse then, but she could see that a positive word here was a ticket on an express train with no more stops.

“You keep talking about choosing. This is the only place I could get into, and it took months. How is that a choice?”

can see that you want me to help you get more money from “people like me.”