Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

I just finished reading Cory Doctorow’s book, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. This was a spur of the moment choice. For those who don’t know, Cory Doctorow is one of the more frequent contributors to boingboing.net. He has what I'd call a bit of a hangup on overthrowing the current structure of Intellectual Property Law. I was pleasantly surprised that the book didn't seem heavy-handed on the topic.

It turned out to be a light read in a well-imagined future where nanotech and computerized mind storage have combined to make death generally reversible, and removed money as the basis of the world economy. The world economy is instead based on Whuffie, or positive peer opinion. (This is, I think, the closest he comes in this book to re-imagining the world as a post-IP paradise). The story plays out among the ad-hocs who have seized DisneyLand, and now run it themselves. The idea is a bit more complex than this, but you'll have to read the book to catch the nuances - I'm not up to the job of properly explaining it. He handles the ideas deftly, though the story is definitely not dense, and is actually rather short - more of a long novella than a short novel. In any case, I'm glad to have read it... which, quite frankly, surprises the hell outta me!

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