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Sunday, October 12, 2003

It be too late to alter course, mateys...

High on the list of interesting folks I'm looking forward to meeting at Digital ID World 2003 next week is Cory Doctorow—not just because it will be great to panelize about digital rights management with him on Thursday, but because I'm determined to talk him into giving me his personalized tour of Disneyland the next time he's near Anaheim. I started Down and Out last week, and one thing is clear: Cory knows his Disney theme parks.

The book is a great read, slamming together with SLAC-like force a kitschy past and uncomfortably familiar future. It's particularly eerie to soak up the story's economic model (wherein personal capital, known as "whuffie," replaces legal tender as a basis for wealth and status), since it so clearly derives from developments prevalent on the present day Web. For further reading and fun, check out:

  • The Whuffie blog, co-authored with contributions by TPB, Esq. and friends.
  • Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom as reviewed by Kevin Marks.
  • Dave Green, "The currency of respect" (The Guardian, February 6, 2003).
  • The Guardian's Survival Guide 2003 (January 2, 2003): "Why do so many people do so much for free? What do people get out of it? Whuffie - that's what." (Accuracy-checking these predictions as we head into autumn is irresistible; many are right on.)
  • Space Fontain: An Incomplete Listing Of Typefaces Seen at Walt Disney World, Etc.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Hidden Mickeys of Disney. "In designing, constructing or adding the final touches to an attraction, Imagineers subtly 'hide' Mickey Mouse silhouettes in plain sight. Soon, it became a tradition, and as the word spread, Disney fans everywhere went on the search for Hidden Mickeys in Disney movies and theme parks."

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