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- The Best Reviewed Books of the WeekMay 25, 2018
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In this episode of A Phone Call From Paul, Paul Holdengraber welcomes Cory Doctorow to America, discusses how privacy is a vanishing idea, and what is going to happen to our brains in the future…
Cory Doctorow on welfare and poverty…
The kind of social welfare infrastructure we have now compared to the postwar infrastructure is so anemic. And the view of people who participate in social welfare is so vituperative. The hate reserved for the poor, especially in the United Kingdom, is so venomous, that it’s really kind of hard to understand except as the kind of hatred that people have for things that they fear more than things that they despise. I think there’s this view, maybe, that all of us, rather than being millionaires in waiting, are refugees in waiting, and when we see people who are becoming internal economic refugees, or who are traditional refugees coming from places like Syria, I think we see an uncomfortable future for ourselves.
Cory Doctorow on standardized testing…
I think that standardized testing—as someone who was raised by teachers—standardizing testing, to me, is grotesque. It treats education as a kind of business whose product is standardized productive humans as opposed to something that does this varied and Socratic business of learning. And I think that standardized testing is part and parcel of the idea that teachers cant’ be trusted, and that teachers, as people who are on the public payroll, are doing something that is innately suspicious and have to be monitored and made accountable, as though finding out whether or not the quantifiable parts of education are performing well tells you anything about how the qualitative parts of education are performing.
Cory Doctorow on the collective action problem…
The collective action problem—the deadlock… It’s the Bernie Sanders problem, it’s the Lawrence Lessig problem. This is the problem that you and everybody else need to coordinate your action in order to solve something that all of you are suffering under, and you all agree, but you can’t figure out how to coordinate. That is, I think, the wicked problem of our age. And it’s one that technology has some really interesting things to say about.