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Cory Doctorow: "The Coming Civil War over General-purpose Computing", Talks at Google

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Published on Aug 22, 2012

Who governs digital trust?

Doctorow framed the question this way: "Computers are everywhere. They
are now something we put our whole bodies into---airplanes, cars---and
something we put into our bodies---pacemakers, cochlear implants. They
HAVE to be trustworthy."

Sometimes humans are not so trustworthy, and programs may override
you: "I can't let you do that, Dave." (Reference to the
self-protective insane computer Hal in Kubrick's film "2001." That
time the human was more trustworthy than the computer.) Who decides
who can override whom?

The core issues for Doctorow come down to Human Rights versus Property
Rights, Lockdown versus Certainty, and Owners versus mere Users.

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