[Plura-list] An end-of-year retrospective

Cory Doctorow doctorow at craphound.com
Sat Dec 24 07:50:53 EST 2022

Read today's issue online at: https://pluralistic.net/2022/12/25/looking-back/


This is the last Pluralistic installment for 2022 - see you after Jan 7, 2023!


Today's links

* An end-of-year retrospective: 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018, 2021, 2022.

* Colophon: Recent publications, upcoming/recent appearances, current writing projects, current reading


👘 An end-of-year retrospective

Every day, I revisit all the posts I've ever made, over more than 20 years of blogging; I review posts from one year, 5 years, 10 years, 15 years and 20 years ago, revisiting my priors and regrounding myself in the arc of stories I've followed for decades. I call it "The Memex Method":


If you'd like an essay-formatted version of this thread to read or share, here's a link to it on pluralistic.net, my surveillance-free, ad-free, tracker-free blog:


As I'm about to leave on vacation for two weeks, I won't be blogging until after Jan 7. Normally, I'd just skip over those days for my "This Day in History" posts, but I made the mistake of looking ahead at those holiday-season posts from years gone by and I realized I wanted to handle them, copy-pasting their URLs and publishing them, just to reinfuse them into the supersaturated solution of half-remembered facts that my mind periodically crystallizes into stories, novels, speeches, essays, and nonfiction books.


So I've produced a mega-retrospective, consisting of all the links for #20yrsago, #15yrsago, #10yrsago, #5yrsago, and #1yrago, for every day between now and January 7. See you in 2023!

#20yrsago The music industry STILL owes you $20! https://web.archive.org/web/20030621074412/https://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,57111,00.html

#20yrsago New metaverse game launches https://web.archive.org/web/20030203141646/http://www.prod.there.com

#20yrsago Jon Johansen acquitted! https://www.wired.com/2003/01/dvd-cracking-teen-acquitted/

#20yrsago Paleospam: the first-ever spam and the reaction https://www.templetons.com/brad/spamreact.html

#20yrsago William Gibson has a blog https://web.archive.org/web/20030201231918/https://williamgibsonbooks.com/blog/blog.asp

#20yrsago JWZ’s mom discovers interface cruft https://web.archive.org/web/20021203003049/http://mpt.phrasewise.com/stories/storyReader$374

#20yrsago Samuel Pepys' diary in blog form https://web.archive.org/web/20030126062255/https://www.pepysdiary.com/

#20yrsago Microsoft subverts sunshine laws at state colleges https://web.archive.org/web/20030223094924/https://research.yale.edu/lawmeme/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=759

#15yrsago From Nazi collaborator to Fortune 500 – companies that got rich on the Reich https://www.cracked.com/article_15767_third-reich-to-fortune-500-five-popular-brands-nazis-gave-us.html

#15yrsago History of guerrilla knitting at 24th Chaos Communication Congress https://fahrplan.events.ccc.de/congress/2007/Fahrplan/events/2358.en.html

#15yrsago Motley Fool: litigation isn’t a business model, sell RIAA short https://www.fool.com/investing/general/2008/01/02/were-all-thieves-to-the-riaa.aspx

#15yrsago Sears infects customer computers with spyware https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/02/AR2008010201051.html

#15yrsago New IO9 blog launches https://web.archive.org/web/20080220020221/http://io9.com/

#15yrsago Resigning from Napster takes more than 30 minutes https://www.wired.com/2007/12/why-and-how-i-c/

#15yrsago Neil Gaiman on Little Brother https://journal.neilgaiman.com/2007/12/changing-planes.html

#15yrsago One-armed man arrested in Belarus for clapping https://www.loweringthebar.net/2013/01/one-armed-man-arrested-for-clapping.html

#15yrsago My free reading of Alice in Wonderland https://ia800501.us.archive.org/21/items/AliceInWonderlandReadByCoryDoctorow/Alice_in_Wonderland_-_read_by_Cory_Doctorow_64kb.mp3

#15yrsago Cockney illustrated Bible from the 14th century https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/holkham-bible-picture-book

#10yrsago Hacker theatre troupe in Berlin to stage “When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth” https://web.archive.org/web/20130108201819/https://www.c-base.org/projects/c-atre/

#10yrsago Dad hires in-game hitsquad to kill his son’s characters https://kotaku.com/father-hires-in-game-hitmen-to-deter-son-from-playing-5972406

#10yrsago Telcos lobby North Carolina to make community Internet illegal, then abandon the state to second-worst Internet in the country https://ilsr.org/killing-competition-nc/

#10yrsago You need a 1.5 ton gamelan, and I know where you can get it https://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/014711.html

#10yrsago Anatomy of a patent troll who wants $1000 from every scanner user in America: patents are totally, utterly broken https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/01/patent-trolls-want-1000-for-using-scanners/

#10yrsago XKCD on New Year’s resolutions https://xkcd.com/1154/

#10yrsago Congress decides every aspect of your electronic life can be spied on without a warrant and you can’t know how much spying is going on https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/12/congress-disgracefully-approves-fisa-warrantless-eavesdropping-bill-five-more

#10yrsago Soviet space-program Christmas cards https://www.mazaika.com/postcard01.html

#10yrsago Lord Buckley recounts the life of Christ: The Nazz! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0x5x8lyON8

#10yrsago Gary Gygax explains why Christians shouldn’t celebrate Christmas https://playingattheworld.blogspot.com/2012/12/gary-gygax-on-christmas-and-christianity.html

#5yrsago Jeff Sessions encourages courts to continue practice of fining poor people for being too poor to pay their fines https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/sessions-rescinds-justice-dept-letter-asking-courts-to-be-wary-of-stiff-fines-and-fees-for-poor-defendants/2017/12/21/46e37316-e690-11e7-ab50-621fe0588340_story.html

#5yrsago Senator Bob Corker owed $120.5M when he was elected; now he’s worth $69M https://web.archive.org/web/20171222165110/https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/taibbi-bob-corker-corrupt-what-a-surprise-w514493

#5yrsago American inequality is unequally distributed, and got lumpier after the Great Recession https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/11/01/how-wealth-inequality-has-changed-in-the-u-s-since-the-great-recession-by-race-ethnicity-and-income/

#5yrsago Virginia is the most unequal state in the union, and is more unequal than at any time in (post-Reconstruction) history https://thehalfsheet.org/post/139863776503/virginia-is-exceptionally-unequal

#5yrsago 2018: the year that America’s ISPs hiked their prices https://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Comcast-Hikes-Prices-Increases-Sneaky-Fees-for-2018-140907

#5yrsago Woman who accused Roy Moore is homeless after her house burned down, fire investigated as arson https://www.al.com/news/2018/01/roy_moore_accusers_home_burns.html

#5yrsago Gwyneth Paltrow wants you to squirt coffee up your asshole using this $135 glass jar https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/01/gwyneth-paltrows-goop-wants-you-to-start-2018-right-with-a-135-coffee-enema/

#5yrsago Nebraska State Senator proposes constitutional amendment to allow corporations to create tiny, sovereign nations with no laws, taxes or rules https://journalstar.com/legislature/senator-proposes-sovereignty-as-a-way-to-economic-development/article_614923bd-b962-541f-8a6c-0d9c92b6fa0c.html#tncms-source=infinity-scroll-summary-siderail-latest

#5yrsago The story of how sf writer and editor Judith Merril founded Toronto’s astounding sf reference library and changed the city https://www.thestar.com/yourtoronto/once-upon-a-city-archives/2018/01/04/little-mother-of-science-fiction-birthed-new-chapter-for-genre-in-canada.html

#5yrsago Astounding coincidence: Intel’s CEO liquidated all the stock he was legally permitted to sell after learning of catastrophic processor flaws https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/01/intel-ceos-sale-of-stock-just-before-security-bug-reveal-raises-questions/

#5yrsago Virtually every modern computer is vulnerable to a pair of devastating attacks, and there’s only a fix for one of them, and it sucks https://spectreattack.com

#5yrsago For 20+ years, Japan’s largest companies have been riddled with corruption and fraud https://www.ft.com/content/26d4843a-e743-11e7-97e2-916d4fbac0da

#5yrsago Print of “lost” britcom discovered in Nigerian basement and restored with X-rays and laser-cutters https://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/blog/2017-12-morecambe-wise-video-film-archive-restoration

#5yrsago The guy whose DRM for juice company cratered last year now sells “raw water” packed with all the microbes and amoebas you can stomach https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/29/dining/raw-water-unfiltered.html

#5yrsago All that stuff that was “killed by the net”? The real culprit was hedge funds https://www.ft.com/content/17dfa7fe-eaf7-11e7-8713-513b1d7ca85a

#5yrsago Tehran’s police tell women that violations of religious dress codes will henceforth be treated as civil offenses, not criminal offenses https://apnews.com/article/iran-tehran-ap-top-news-middle-east-hassan-rouhani-6677791532f441e8a5bfadb0ef223229

#5yrsago China’s new army of nationalist trolls is an all-volunteer force https://www.ft.com/content/9ef9f592-e2bd-11e7-97e2-916d4fbac0da

#5yrsago The GOP tax plan will pay millionaires to subsidize failing religious schools https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/12/28/572587727/this-tax-loophole-for-wealthy-donors-just-got-bigger

#5yrsago Hoaxer with a history of fake bomb threats SWATs and murders a random bystander over a $1.50 Call of Duty bet https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/12/kansas-man-killed-in-swatting-attack/

#5yrsago Charlie Stross’s CCC talk: the future of psychotic AIs can be read in today’s sociopathic corporations https://media.ccc.de/v/34c3-9270-dude_you_broke_the_future

#5yrsago California’s record poverty and real-estate bubble are creating a “wheel-estate” boom of people with good jobs living in their cars https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/sd-living-in-cars-in-california-20171227-story.html

#5yrsago Does capitalism breed greed, or elevate the greedy? https://www.currentaffairs.org/2017/12/the-people-that-capitalism-makes

#5yrsago The GOP tax plan means millions in extra profits for private prison corporations https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/28/private-prisons-investors-trump-tax-bill

#5yrsago Scotland is still a financial secrecy exporter, laundering billions for Russia’s crime-bosses and oligarchs https://www.heraldscotland.com/business_hq/15793004.revealed-shell-firms-avoid-transparency/

#5yrsago Peter Thiel: the “libertarian” who loves mass government surveillance, monopolies, and censorship https://www.wired.com/story/the-libertarian-logic-of-peter-thiel/

#5yrsago After 8 years of archiving, the Library of Congress will stop ingesting the Twitter firehose https://blogs.loc.gov/loc/files/2017/12/2017dec_twitter_white-paper.pdf

#5yrsago Facsimile editions of the “Negro Motorist Green Books” from 1940, 1954 and 1963 are selling briskly in 2017 https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/dec/19/travel-guides-to-segregated-us-for-black-americans-reissued

#5yrsago Utah’s paper of record calls for Orrin Hatch to step down: “his utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power” https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/editorial/2017/12/25/tribune-editorial-why-orrin-hatch-is-utahn-of-the-year/

#5yrsago Ayn Rand supercharged the anti-Communist witch-hunt in Hollywood, in which the FBI classified “It’s a Wonderful Life” as secret Communist propaganda https://www.openculture.com/2014/12/ayn-rand-helped-the-fbi-identify-its-a-wonderful-life-as-communist-propaganda.html

#5yrsago Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband is pissed that his $50m house was barricaded by a bomb squad, called in to investigate a gift-wrapped box of horseshit that someone sent to Steve Mnuchin https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/12/24/a-package-for-steven-mnuchin-caused-a-bomb-scare-it-turned-out-to-be-filled-with-horse-manure/

#1yrago 2021 Daddy-Daughter podcast https://pluralistic.net/2022/01/03/party-like-its-1926/#voice-of-a-generation

#1yrago Neal Stephenson's 'Termination Shock' https://pluralistic.net/2022/01/04/general-ludd/#geoengineering

#1yrago Science fiction is a Luddite literature https://pluralistic.net/2022/01/04/general-ludd/#loomsmashers

#1yrago Hospital beds are a monopoly https://pluralistic.net/2022/01/05/hillrom/

#1yrago Jackpot watch: How the klept operates in the UK https://pluralistic.net/2022/01/07/the-klept/#pep


👘 Colophon

Currently writing:

* The Bezzle, a Martin Hench noir thriller novel about the prison-tech industry. FIRST DRAFT COMPLETE, WAITING FOR EDITORIAL REVIEW

* Picks and Shovels, a Martin Hench noir thriller about the heroic era of the PC. (92849 words total) - ON PAUSE

* A Little Brother short story about DIY insulin PLANNING

* The Internet Con: How to Seize the Means of Computation, a nonfiction book about interoperability for Verso. REVISIONS COMPLETE - AWAITING COPYEDIT

* Vigilant, Little Brother short story about remote invigilation. ON SUBMISSION

* Moral Hazard, a short story for MIT Tech Review's 12 Tomorrows. FIRST DRAFT COMPLETE, ACCEPTED FOR PUBLICATION

* Spill, a Little Brother short story about pipeline protests. ON SUBMISSION

* A post-GND utopian novel, "The Lost Cause."  FINISHED

* A cyberpunk noir thriller novel, "Red Team Blues."  FINISHED

Currently reading: Analogia by George Dyson.

Latest podcast: Daddy-Daughter Podcast, 2022 Edition https://craphound.com/podcast/2022/12/12/daddy-daughter-podcast-2022-edition/

Upcoming appearances:

* Library Learning Experience/American Library Association (New Orleans), Jan 27-30

* Chokepoint Capitalism: Can It Be Defeated? (UCL Faculty of Laws), Feb 1

* Australian Digital Alliance Copyright Forum (Canberra), Feb 17

* Antitrust, Regulation and the Political Economy (Brussels), Mar 2

Recent appearances:

* Page One:

* Capitol Forum:

* New Books in Public Policy:

Latest books:

* "Chokepoint Capitalism: How to Beat Big Tech, Tame Big Content, and Get Artists Paid, with Rebecca Giblin", on how to unrig the markets for creative labor, Beacon Press/Scribe 2022 https://chokepointcapitalism.com

* "Attack Surface": The third Little Brother novel, a standalone technothriller for adults. The *Washington Post* called it "a political cyberthriller, vigorous, bold and savvy about the limits of revolution and resistance." Order signed, personalized copies from Dark Delicacies https://www.darkdel.com/store/p1840/Available_Now%3A_Attack_Surface.html

* "How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism": an anti-monopoly pamphlet analyzing the true harms of surveillance capitalism and proposing a solution. https://onezero.medium.com/how-to-destroy-surveillance-capitalism-8135e6744d59 (print edition: https://bookshop.org/books/how-to-destroy-surveillance-capitalism/9781736205907) (signed copies: https://www.darkdel.com/store/p2024/Available_Now%3A__How_to_Destroy_Surveillance_Capitalism.html)

* "Little Brother/Homeland": A reissue omnibus edition with a new introduction by Edward Snowden: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250774583; personalized/signed copies here: https://www.darkdel.com/store/p1750/July%3A__Little_Brother_%26_Homeland.html

* "Poesy the Monster Slayer" a picture book about monsters, bedtime, gender, and kicking ass. Order here: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781626723627. Get a personalized, signed copy here: https://www.darkdel.com/store/p2682/Corey_Doctorow%3A_Poesy_the_Monster_Slayer_HB.html#/.

Upcoming books:

* Red Team Blues: "A grabby, compulsive thriller that will leave you knowing more about how the world works than you did before." Tor Books, April 2023

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