Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow: Iconoclast of the blogosphere

February 22, 2007

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Perhaps you already have a blog, a personal web log. Imagine what it would be like if two million people read your blog every day. That's what happens to Cory Doctorow, SFU Applied Sciences' 2007 Leonardo lecturer.

Forbes magazine describes Doctorow as "a triple threat." He's a prominent activist for digital rights and currently holds the Canada-U.S. Fulbright chair at the University of Southern California's Center on Public Diplomacy. He is co-editor of the most popular blog on Earth ( all about technology, culture and politics. And finally he's an award-winning science fiction writer who gives away all his books on his website,

"I don't think it's practical to charge for copies of electronic works," he says. "Bits aren't ever going to get harder to copy. So we'll have to figure out how to charge for something else.... You sure can't force a reader to pay for access to information anymore." Provocative thinking like this has rocketed the Toronto-born, 35-year-old iconoclast to the forefront of the blogosphere. What will he do next?

Attend his free public lectures March 8 and 9. His topic: The Totalitarian Urge: total information awareness and the cosmic billiards.

"It's about how technology changes the way we view social problems," says Doctorow. "Older mechanical technologies make us see the world as deterministic, knowable and manipulable. New emergent technologies like the Internet teach us that control is an illusion, the universe is out of control and laughing at us, and that the more we watch and control, the more problems we have."

This free public lecture by Cory Doctorow takes place twice. First on Thurs., March 8 at 6 pm, at the Vancouver campus, 515 West Hastings Street. Seating is limited. Call 604.291.5100 to make reservations. Second on Fri., March 9 at 3:30 pm at the Burnaby campus, C9001, Academic Quadrangle. Call 778.782.3229 for information.

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