Cory Doctorow Keynote
April 19, 2013
by Lisa Sugiura
Cory Doctorow is a novelist and technology activist. He is the co-editor of the popular weblog Boing Boing (boingboing.net<http://boingboing.net/>), and a contributor to The Guardian, the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Wired, and many other newspapers, magazines and websites. He was formerly Director of European Affairs for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He holds an honorary doctorate in computer science from the Open University (UK), where he is a Visiting Senior Lecturer; in 2007, he served as the Fulbright Chair at the Annenberg Center for Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California.
His latest young adult novel is PIRATE CINEMA, a story of mashup guerillas who declare war on the entertainment industry. His latest novel for adults is RAPTURE OF THE NERDS, written with Charles Stross and published in 2012. His 2008 Bestseller LITTLE BROTHER describes a kid with a knack for programming who finds himself leading the resistance to a government takeover of the Web. A sequel, HOMELAND, will be published this February.
Cory’s presentation is titled: “Computer scientists save the world” or, “HOWTO: teach politicians the most important thing they need to understand about general purpose computers and end-to-end networks.” Of all the technical fallacies that politicians fall prey to, none is so deadly as the idea that you can solve problems by selectively breaking computers. What’s more, the problem is about to get much, much worse. Computer scientists must close ranks on this score and make policymakers understand that there is no such thing as a computer that runs every program we can compile except for the one that frightens voters, and that trying to solve problems by selectively breaking computers inevitably converges on rootkits.