Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother has been released, and if happen to have anyone in the teenage (oops, Milennial) generation in your house, make this required reading. Doctorow loves to borrow titles and ideas from his favorite writers, turn them on their proverbial listening ear, and remix them with his own view of near-present reality, and Little Brother is an appropriate homage to Orwell’s 1984. Writing about Big Brother was de rigeur for anyone of roughly my age and public high school demeanor, a cultural artifact left over from Red Scares and fear of a Communist planet. It was supposed to warn us about what would happen if Democracy with a capital “D” failed.
Dcotorow captures what happens when the representative government fails in the closed, not open position. I think Little Brother should be recommended, social, culturally critical reading for anyone who leaves a digital trail a mile wide on their FaceBook profile. The book is a great read and should incent much-needed conversations about data privacy, data security, and the delicate balance of power that needs to be maintained between privacy, security, trust and public safety.
Best of all, the book is available for download in a plethora of formats, under a Creative Commons license. How better to spread the words of freedom?