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What is the best way to destroy the internet before it destroys us? Cory Doctorow and Alan Brough


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It has to be said: the cat pictures might not be enough. The internet definitively sucks sometimes. It’s a willing and fertile host to our most objectionable prejudice, anger and desire; an open marketplace for exploitation, child porn and illicit drugs and weapons. It provides a container for our greed, impatience and emotional evasiveness, and its liberating potential often feels like a false promise buried in a much larger mountain of disconnection, voyeurism and social media-fuelled narcissism.

Even the feelgood and useful bits are compromised – our tracked behaviour is sold to advertisers, while security agencies like the NSA have been found to spy extensively on … well, almost everybody.

In that light, is it blind and foolish to defend the internet – or does idealism provide a corrective vision? What gives this incredible technological structure its potency? What does the internet offer in terms of political freedom and social mobility, privacy and big data, and broadcasting and publishing and political change – and what does it cost us?

Blogger, science fiction author, Electronic Frontier Foundation special advisor and Boing Boing co-editor Cory Doctorow will speak with multitalented and beloved broadcaster, writer and director Alan Brough about whether we should really destroy the internet – or whether it instead needs our protection.


Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger – the co-editor of Boing Boing and the author of Walkaway, a novel for adults, a YA graphic novel called In Real Life, the nonfiction business book Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free, and young adult novels like Ho... Read more

Alan Brough

Alan Brough was born in New Zealand and is quite a bit older than he’d like to be. Alan has always loved books and, from an early age, wanted to be a writer. Then he and his Dad went to see Star Wars and Alan decided that, actually, he really, really, really, really, really wanted to be an act... Read more


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