Jentasmic! on Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

25 Mar

The Those Darn Cats bookclub is reading one of my favorite books about Disney World, Cory Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. So, it shouldn’t be all that surprising that this week’s Jentasmic! at StudiosCentral references not only this great book, but also xkcd, Plato, and the Creative Commons license under which this book is distributed online for free.

The book takes place in a future where technology has conquered death, famine, and all kinds of material want, making earlier corporate and social models obsolete, and casting timeless philosophical questions into a new light. What makes us who we are, mind or matter? What is the nature of the soul? And are audio-animatronics truly central to our experience as Disney Parks guests?

Yes indeed: That last question is arguably one of the central questions of the book. You see, Doctorow’s not just a casual Disney fan; his writing demonstrates not only his love for the Parks, but also his understanding of the conflict inherent in re-imagineering attractions to leverage new technologies and improve Guest experience, while still retaining the essential nature of the attraction and its nostalgic appeals.

So what are you waiting for? Go download the book, either in text or audiobook, and get your geek on. We’ll be discussing it on Those Darn Cats sometime in April.

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