Tag Archives: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

Those Darn Cats Book Club: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

20 Apr

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory DoctorowThis week on Those Darn Cats (the podcast I co-host with BFF Lisa):

We’re very excited to present the first ever Those Darn Cats book club meeting! And in fact, we do believe we’re the first Disney podcast to publish a book club episode, and we expect to see others jump on the bandwagon soon.

Our first book club session is a discussion of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow, which you can download in many formats here, plus audio book here. This book is distributed under a Creative Commons license, and all the versions linked to from this page are free.

Download the episode here, or subscribe via iTunes or RSS

Turns out we were wrong, though . . . some lawyer from New Jersey published a book club episode yesterday. But hey, we’re still proud to be on the leading edge of the trend.

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.

Penguicon adopts a Whuffie Economy

25 Feb

Now, I do believe that Cory Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom is required reading for Disney geeks, especially if you also happen to be a sci-fi or literary geek (or, heavens forbid, both). So, I was tickled when I checked Doctorow’s blog today and found the news that Penguicon is adopting the currency model described in that very book. From craphound.com:

Matt sez, “The science fiction and software event Penguicon is converting its volunteer rewards system into Whuffie, the reputation economy from Cory Doctorow’s science fiction novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. The attendance badges and currency will use a barcode system to track individual work throughout multiple years. It is described in this post to the Penguicon blog.”

And hey, if you’re looking for something good to read, and don’t mind taking a break from that all-consuming Disney obsession, you might want to pick up Eastern Standard Tribe, which I read last week during my travels, and is especially appropriate for those of us who keep track of which GMT offset we’re in, develop Crackberry Thumb, occasionally engage in l33tsp34k, and kick ourselves hard for missing the OSI model question on the Delta in-flight trivia game. (An aside to Mr Broke Hoedown: Yes, I am still pissed off about that.)

Or, if you just can’t take a moment away from feeding the Disney jones, there’s always Realityland, which is also darn good. But if you’re that deep into the addiction, I’ll bet you read it waaaay before me.

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