THIS IS ABOUT HIS BOOK "LITTLE BROTHER"
Little Brother is available from Cory's website.
Cory writes SciFi, and this is his second novel.
The first one was "Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom", about
To my taste, the best SciFi shows how technology might change our
culture. "Brave New World" was about birth control. "1984" was
about surveillance technology. Ian Banks writes about "The
Cory's latest book "Little Brother" (Perhaps a play on Big Brother"
identification technology (facial recognition, movement recognition,
RFID, maybe even voice recognition?) and how it might change our
The scariness of the power of the minions of unsupervised agencies is
Cory displays well. However he is to my mind too kind in his
assessment of European and Australian agencies. In Australia we
only have two levels of government (states totally supervise local
government) and no bill of rights, no way of dismissing government
(which even Chavez gave Venezuela, and which Californians and about 25
other US states have).
As a "bye the way" he also shows growing sympathy for repeal/reduction
I am a member of the PPAU = Pirate Party of AUstralia.
We fight copyright regulation.
Copyright and Patent regulation was originally introduced so that
authors and inventors could benefit from their creative work.
Since then the various agencies (MPAA, RIAA to name a few) have managed
by a process that has been named "regulatory
capture" to have the power
of those regulations greatly enhanced & extended. In the USA
it is a
criminal act to make a copy of an electronic recording without the
holder's permission, and this ownership will be enforced with the full
force of the law. The US is even (at the behest no doubt of the
various agencies) attempting to cajole foreign governments to sign
treaties whereby e.g. Australia would extradite Australian citizens to
the USA for
breaking those US regulations in Australia, even though breaking that
regulation might not be contrary to Australian law.(*)
Nowadays there are other ways for authors to obtain money for
artwork. My favorite online comic strips girlgeniusonline,
questionablecontent, xkcd, smbc, make a good living.
this strip explains regulatory capture).
A similar financing model might well work for novels (publish a chapter
each week?) or music (advertise their concerts?).
Maybe the total take would be less, but it's my guess that the authors
would end up richer. The agents would suffer.
(*) In Australia, it is legal for the purchaser of copyrighted material
to make a backup of the material against damage. Not so in the
THE GUN DEBATE
President Barack has announced research as one of his
initiatives. Aha! I thought. He is going to check up on the
(so far unrefuted) paper by Lott
Mustard. Lott and Mustard found:
time-series data for U.S. counties from 1977 to 1992,
we find that allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deters
violent crimes, without increasing accidental deaths. If those states
without right-to-carry concealed gun provisions had adopted them in
1992, county- and state-level data indicate that approximately 1,500
murders would have been avoided yearly. Similarly, we predict that
would have declined by over 4,000, robbery by over 11,000, and
aggravated assaults by over 60,000. We also find criminals substituting
into property crimes involving stealth, where the probability of
contact between the criminal and the victim is minimal. Further, higher
arrest and conviction rates consistently reduce crime. The estimated
annual gain from all remaining states adopting these laws was at
$5.74 billion in 1992. The annual social benefit from an
additional concealed handgun permit is as high as $5,000.
So it looks as though guns in the hands of law abiding citizens
actually make life safer for the rest of us. I mean the
(anecdotal) fact that the rate of school invasions and murders has
tripled since the "guns free school zones" Act was introduced in 1990
should set off warning bells.
Of course, guns in the hands of citizens are a provable hazard to our
legislators and heads of government and other high profile media
people. But if doubling the risk to the president and a few dozen
high profile people is the price to prevent the murder of one thousand
five hundred people annually, forever, then I am prepared to risk that
sacrifice. And the unrefuted evidence is that having guns in the
hands of law abiding citizens would save 1,500 murders each year.
(not to mention 4,000 rapes, 11,000 robberies and 60,000 aggravated
assults, and over five billion dollars of savings.)
And there was Barack, saying "If anything I can do saves the life of
one child, then I should do it." So my hopes were raised. I
thought it was very noble of him, to risk having the Lott and Mustard
paper confirmed. That would have meant that all over the USA
people would have the "right to carry" concealed weapons.
But no. Our media elite and Barack were discussing research on
The USA is the greatest hope for the human race. Everywhere else
in the world political power is concentrating into the hands of self
appointed elites. One only has to look at Europe to see that
truth. In Australia, our constitution was written by politicians,
not revolutionaries. And they are taking power. We do not
elect our leaders. That is done by faceless men. We do not
even choose our own representatives. They are chosen by party
fiat. And the politicians are continually aggregating power, by
(for instance) extending their terms in office, dissolving their
I am fearful that this is another step towards tyranny. You might
say that this is a small, negligible step.
But to me it sounds like being a little bit pregnant.