August – Walkaway

This month we’re reading Walkaway by Cory Doctorow. With the 3D printing of guns in the news, it’s time to talk about this kind of tech:

“Now that anyone can manufacture food, clothing, shelter with equipment comparable to a computer printer, there seems to be little reason to stick with the world of rules and jobs. So, like hundreds of thousands of others in the mid-21st century, the three of them… walk away. Mind you, it’s still dangerous out there. Much of the countryside is wrecked by climate change, and predators are with us always. Yet when the initial pioneer walkaways flourish, more people join them. Then the walkaways discover the one thing the ultra-rich have never been able to buy: how to beat death. Now it’s war–a war that will turn the world upside down.”

How do you think 3D printing will change things? Tell us your thoughts.

Or, answer one of our discussion questions:

  1. In the book Walkaway, folks who have had enough with the “default” society simply walk away from it with the desire for a better life, for a utopia. Does the idea of walking away resonate with you? What would push you to walk away from the default society in which we find ourselves?
  2. Cory Doctorow himself has described his novel Walkaway as “an optimistic disaster novel,” where goodness combined with technology can create a better world. Do you think Doctorow succeeds?
  3. Debating, talking to each other, and working together to solve problems are just as important as technology in the Walkaway culture. Would you agree? How does that look in our world today?
  4. In Walkaway, there are a lot of mathematicians, engineers, and computer scientists. Is there room in Doctorow’s utopia for artists, and storytellers?

 

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Amy
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First off: great book choice! I might not have found this but I am so glad to have read it. 1. Walking away certainly crosses my mind, specifically in the summer. Being able to spend time with my family, pets and friends outdoors, grow my own food and have time to connect with those around me instead of schlepping off to a job sounds glorious…until I remember what winter is like in Winnipeg. I hope those 3D printers can make some warm furnaces and winter vegetables. Increasing daycare costs would push me over the edge to walkaway from our current… Read more »