Reclaiming the Internet

What happened to the internet? It had so much promise. Social media and search results are full of stuff we never wanted to see. Surveillance capitalism is monetizing our most private information to serve us so many ads that we can never seem to consume the actual content. And if we’re all so unhappy with the incumbents, where are the competitors offering better service? Cory Doctorow helps us understand how the internet got so crappy and what we can do to fix it.

Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger at the site Pluralistic. He has written a bunch of great books, both fiction and non, including Little Brother, Red Team Blues and Chokepoint Capitalism.

Interview Notes

Further Info

Table of Contents

Use these timestamps to jump to a particular section of the show.

  • 0:00:55: Defining some terms
  • 0:03:57: Swear warning
  • 0:04:25: What have you been up to since we last had you on the show?
  • 0:07:58: What is ensh*tification? How does it work?
  • 0:18:26: Have any companies actually completed the ensh*tification cycle?
  • 0:22:36: Do we have concrete examples of interoperability breaking this cycle?
  • 0:29:07: What percentage of oday are not what we asked for?
  • 0:37:04: What happens to DRM’d content when the licencing company goes away?
  • 0:39:19: How can we reverse engineer these algorithms?
  • 0:41:04: How is social media promotion like a big carnival teddy bear?
  • 0:44:28: Whatever happened to the Amazon Smile program?
  • 0:45:58: What do you mean by the End-to-End Principle?
  • 0:51:53: Isn’t ensh*tification just a natural result of modern capitalism?
  • 0:54:02: Doesn’t capitalism require rules (aka regulations)?
  • 0:57:18: So what are the solutions? How do we fix the internet?
  • 1:02:46: Did we undermine antitrust by lowering the bar of consumer harm?
  • 1:04:25: What can we do to help, as consumers and citizens?
  • 1:07:06: Wrap-up
  • 1:07:50: Looking ahead