BoingBoing reunited with its evil twin! — The Conclusion of Cory Doctorow’s visit with Wetmachine

A few weeks ago Cory Doctorow, major-domo of House GeekZeitgeist, stopped by for a chat with Wetmechanics John and Gary. Earlier installments of our conversation can be found here and here.

Highlights from this episode:

  • Wetmachine is revealed as the evil twin of BoingBoing! (Or, in any event, its aspirations to same are revealed.)
  • Cory recapitulates how the seminal Clarion writer’s workshop was saved from extinction;
  • We explore the philosophical tug-o-war between the transhumanist and bioconservative impulses, touching on light subjects such as disabiliy rights and societal pressure to selectively abort “defective” fetuses in the post-Human-Genome-Project era.

You’ll get to hear Cory ignore my rambling introduction to my soon-to-be revealed novella The Pains as he paws Gary’s iAudio X5, the mp3 player used to record the interview. (Which, as Gary points out, is much more politically correct than a iPod, since it supports the open-sourced Ogg Vorbis audio format, and doesn’t contain any stinkin’ drm.)

Most tantalizing of all, you’ll get to hear Cory’s enthusiastic reponse to the killer illustrations from The Pains, soon to be appearing in a Wetmachine entry near you!


The Realpolitic of Bits — More of Cory Doctorow’s conversation with Wetmachine

As mentioned here, Cory Doctorow (“world’s most wired human” etc), recently spent an hour talking with me and wetmechanic Gary Gray. In part two of our talk you’ll hear Cory say, “what the mafia likes is high-margin goods” and “there is no more thankless job in the world than being the Pecksniff who tells people that what they want is bad.” He also waxes eloquent on: cathedrals after the Reformation: the collapse and possible restoration of the serendipitous market for books: the making of films suited to the economics of the internet, and more.

You’ll also get to hear me mumbling, muttering, interrupting myself, and being generally inaudible but nevertheless somehow compelling. As a bonus, Wetmachine fanboys and -girls (I know you’re out there!) who play close attention will even hear the legendary Gary making an observation about movies and symphonic music!

The book that I recommended to Cory was Illicit by Moises Naim. When I was referring to my own books, which you can find by looking to the left side of this entry, Acts of the Apostles is the first, more accessible book, and Cheap Complex Devices is the less accessible one that I wrote special just for you smart people. The book I have under development is called The Pains, and you’ll be hearing more about it soon.


Pitchforks and Torches! Cory Doctorow talks to Wetmachine

Cory Doctorow–noted spokesperson for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, of which he is a Fellow; science fiction author; uberblogger of metacool boing boing; alumnus of the legendary Clarion writer’s workshop; and friend of Harold Feld –stopped by Wetmachine last week for a little chat.

To be precise, he joined me and chief Wetmachine mechanic Gary Gray in the lobby of the Sheraton Hilton in Boston, where he had been staying in his capacity of Notable Luminary at Boskone 43. He chatted with us for an hour, and Gary recorded our conversation on one of his nifty gadgets.

I asked Cory to vamp on the four themes:

1) The EFF — in particular, what big fights are coming up in the next five years or so, and how Cory handicaps the good guys’ and bad guys’ prospects;

2) Trends in publishing, (with particular reference to how yours truly can make money on his self-published books);

3) What’s interesting to write about;

4) Clarion.

As you’ll hear if you listen to the podcast, Cory is an articulate guy who talks fast. In the first part of the interview he talks about: how the United States is “creating trade obligations for itself abroad” and cases where “an appointed bureaucrat from the administrative branch [is] subverting what’s going on with elected representatives in Congress”; ominous proposals to change so called “intermediary liability standards” and ways that lawyered-up bullies use copyright laws to shut down legitimate speech without due process; the World Intellectual Property Organization as a bunch of pipsqueaks who are awakening the sleeping giants of internet stakeholders from corporate boardrooms to average human beans like me and you; and how “people are starting to have a burgeoning consciousness of the politics of information freedom.”

The next time the antiliberal forces try to “burn down the library”, Cory says, we need to be there with pitchforks and torches! pitchforks and torches! to tell them we won’t put up with it.

This is our inaugural Wetmachine podcast; apologies in advance for any glitches. The sounds you hear in the background are other people — children mostly– who were hanging about in the lobby. The deep-voiced person who asks the questions, trips over his words, and says “right, right” a lot is me. The reclusive Gary’s voice does not appear in this part, but I believe we got him on one of the other sections, to be posted over the next few days.


[update: Sorry for multiple posting noise to any of you on RSS feeds. Gary and I are trying to figure out why the link to mp3 works when he posts and not when I post. . .]