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Books/Walkaway

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Genre: Science fiction
Author: Cory Doctorow
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walkaway_(Doctorow_novel)

Currently reading, review not ready

Front Cover

This book is dedicated to Aaron Swartz, someone who was already living in a post-scarcity world in his head. TODO Who's the other dude?


The first chapter is a bit overwhelming and too much to take in, which is a good indication that the author is good at creating imaginary worlds.


Walkaway's world is one of post-scarcity technology and worse than feudal society. The `default` world is one of cyberpunk dystopia while the Walkaway lands are one of post-scarcity cyberpunk anarchist utopia.


The author invents a lot of new words without writing a paragraph-long explanation of what it means, which is what you typically expect from sci-fi novels written for the general public. Walkaway's approach is learning by immersion. You live in the Walkaway world to learn about it.


The Walkaway philosophy is a hard one to follow. It's one of non-violence and non-attachment. You're not permitted to be a hero or a special snowflake. It rejects meritocracy. It embraces the Gandhian values of simple living and high thinking.


The modus operandi of Walkaway society looks almost like FOSS communities and there are a few good takeaways too.


I'm two chapters in and feel like I've read an entire novel. It's quite dense.

I think I'm going to discontinue reading this book. There are some useful perspectives, some good philosophical discussions etc. but it doesn't feel worth reading overall. Only the second chapter is really worth reading.