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Little Brother

I just finished Cory Doctorow’s ‘Little Brother’, his surveillance-state novel for young adults. I read it for free, because he wants me too – it’s published under a Creative Commons license that lets me download and print the PDF1. I read the last page this evening, and wanted to jot down my initial thoughts. Basic overview: I liked it a lot, except for the parts I really didn’t. The following contains minor spoilers. The setting is a not-too-distant San Francisco, where the surveillance is constant, even in schools. After a terrorist attack it gets far worse, and a group of ... Read More »

Clear detritus from the road, or wait for the police?

I had an odd experience yesterday. While driving from Stratford to Solihull I joined a long queue of traffic on a 50mph section between built-up areas. We edged forward, and it became apparent that there was something blocking one side of the road. It was rush hour, and traffic in my direction was having to wait for kind opposing souls to leave them a gap to swerve around. As I got closer I could see a bunch of stuff that looked like it had fallen off the back of a truck: bits of wood, crates, netting etc.. I thought this ... Read More »

Hypothetical Policepeople

Imagine you’re a policeman assigned the task of blocking off roads for the duration of a John Reid meeting. Your cars are parked lengthwise across the road and you and two other policemen are having a jolly chat in front of them when a young guy walks around the corner, heading for the postbox opposite. Everybody stares at him, and he seems momentarily startled. He moves to cross the road, misjudges oncoming traffic (probably as a result of being a little nervous that three policemen are watching him) and two cars have to slow down. Whoo, would he feel stupid! ... Read More »

Express Mail

Dear Mr Man-I-Saw-On-The-Stratford-Road, Thank you very much for flashing your lights at me this morning. When I rounded the corner and saw the police officers, I realised that you were warning me of the possibility of being fined for speeding. However, it may have escaped your attention that I was not, in fact, speeding. Furthermore, I actually had no intention of doing so. Perhaps you noticed that the road we were travelling along has many houses, side-streets and obscured driveways? I suggest that I would deserve to get fined were I to speed along it. The fact that the road ... Read More »

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