Cory Doctorow’s new tech crime thriller takes us back to the days of Yahoo!

Cory Doctorow, The Bezzle
With The Bezzle, Doctorow continues to investigate the “absurdly complex, but not very clever.”

I like having people on this podcast who are of a certain…vintage.

That is, old enough to remember the Old Good Internet, to better set in context the Bad Internet we have today.

“The thing that makes noir fiction noir is the detective is presented as an unlicensed cop who goes to the places the cops can’t go and asks the questions the cops can’t ask to solve the crimes the cops can’t solve. But by the end, he is reminded very forcefully that these were in fact places the cops didn’t want to go.” 

Cory Doctorow

There is no better person to speak with about this than Canadian journalist and author, Cory Doctorow. Not only did he coin the term that best describes our current internet—enshittification, which we dedicated an entire episode to—dude has been around for a minute.

He was in California in the late 90s, founding startups, working for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and bumping into Stewart Butterfield well before he sold Flickr to Yahoo!

Yahoo! That’s a good transition. Because Cory’s new book, high-tech crime thriller The Bezzle, is set at the beginning of the Web 2.0 bubble, and Yahoo! features prominently. It’s a page turner, but unlike other crime authors, Cory is interested in the tech and its implications—and it shows in the book.

That also shows through in our conversation, which is wide-ranging: taking us from the Panama Papers to the sweaty 70’s Canadian sci-fi scene, to Pournelle’s iron law of bureaucracy and a guest appearance from my uncle (!).

And, ultimately, to how and why Cory gets up every day to advocate and educate. To remind us of the Old Good Internet, and fight for a New Good Internet.

No matter where this conversation goes, trust me: like the rest of Cory’s work, there’s always a point.

So what is The Bezzle?

Let’s dig in.

To keep track of Cory Doctorow while he’s on The Bezzle book tour, head to his website Pluralistic. If you’d prefer an audio version of The Bezzle, narrated by Wil Wheaton (!), go here.

The BetaKit Podcast is presented by Mastercard Canada.

Join Mastercard Canada’s SVP of Product and Solutions, Darrell MacMullin, for a BetaKit Live fireside conversation to discuss how emerging tech, open banking, and evolving cybersecurity challenges are set to impact the future of financial innovation. Go here for more info.

Subscribe via: RSS, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, YouTube

The BetaKit Podcast is hosted by Douglas Soltys & Rob Kenedi. Produced & edited by Kattie Laur. Sponsored by Mastercard Canada. Feature image courtesy Cory Doctorow. Original jacket art and design by Will Staehle.

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.

0 replies on “Cory Doctorow’s new tech crime thriller takes us back to the days of Yahoo!”