True, but I recently heard an NPR story about a thing called “Random Hacks of Kindness,” which is a day where a bunch of hackers get together and hack systems for the benefit of others. For example, they hacked into Twitter after the disaster in Haiti and gathered all of the posts that were related, and used that to find out a lot of information about what was going on. They connect people during disasters and gather information much more quickly than if they used other methods. This is just one example of beneficial hacking.
I actually read a recent New York Times Magazine article about a hacker who was responsible for breaking into several big stores’ systems and stealing the credit and debit card numbers they store. He then programmed blank ATM cards and made withdrawals near midnight, so that the saily limits would reset and he could steal the maximum amount of money in the minimum amount of time. Clothing stores like Forever 21, which the hacker had a grudge against for the “cheap quality and bad treatment of workers,” number among the stores that he hit. Next time you use a credit card and you see their computers “saving transaction,” think about it.
Voting is the only way you can really exercise any control over politics in this country. Yes, it’s a democracy, but if you don’t participate, then you have no influence. It’s also incredibly irritating when those who are eligible to vote but don’t complain about the decisions the government makes. If you don’t like it, vote.
That’s one of the problems with our judicial system. It’s overflowing with people like Marcus, who have either not committed a crime at all or are petty criminals that are slowing everything down.
Also, he may think that they wouldn’t believe him anyway. But It does seem like he should be as cautious as possible. He doesn’t really seem like the greatest planner, but he is quick on his feet, and that may be more valuable than lots of planning. Things rarely go according to plan anyway.
I agree, the best communities are the ones that are eclectic and have every type of person living in them. If communities are diverse enough, there is a place for all kinds and there are fewer problems like intolerance. Nobody really stands out in New York City, for example, because everybody is unique.
This is a pretty good example of how the media can spin a story until it gets bigger and farther from the truth. One person didn’t think to research before publishing, and then the story got out of control. Fortunately, the New York Times really does fact-check more than several of its counterparts (that are owned by Rupert Murdoch).
I don’t really see the appeal, but I can understand why this would be appealing to a 14-year-old boy. There must be a reason that the author is spending so much time exhaustively explaining this, though. It has to play a role in the book later, because while this is mildly interesting, it isn’t really all that relevant.
I’m ambivalent about this. Of course, if there was a crime, I would want the government to be able to crack anything that can be used as evidence in the pursuit of justice. However, the idea that there can be no privacy from the government at all is alarming and runs contrary to all of my beliefs about living in a free country.
This is a bold move. We tend to respect and trust authority figures more, and we have sympathy for veterans who have been wronged after selflessly serving our country, but it could backfire if he is perceived as going against the government as a soldier rather than a father.
Yes, I agree. One of the most effective propaganda tools is the sad story of innocent victims being taken advantage of by abusers of power. But, with a story like this, you run the risk of not being believed, since it really does seem unlikely. If the public doesn’t believe it, you are then permanently discredited and nothing else you can say will erase that. Then, your opponents have won.
There is nothing to be admired in this action: stealing the tests definitely cost the government millions, and although the term “edu-terrorism” is both a term we might find in the media today and a completely ridiculous dramatization, it is appropriately derogatory. Not only that, but it was no impressive intellectual feat. It was just a crime of opportunity. And a pointless one. Another example of a reckless action made by one of the teenagers who star in this story. I don’t really appreciate the portrayal of teenagers in this story-not all teenagers would support blanket bans on trusting everyone over 25 and pointless, harmful crimes.
This is one of the most immature interpretations of the Declaration of Independence there is. Yes, it grants the people the right to overthrow a tyrannical government, but not one with whom you disagree. Of course Marcus did not vote for the current government. He is a minor. And like any other person whose party lost the election, he should consider the fact that the majority presumably DID vote for the current government, and there are appropriate channels to use to enact change, namely vote differently in the next election. That being said, his concerns are valid with the specific actions of the DHS that he is objecting to. It is, however, important to realize that this is the type of talk that is easily misinterpreted and can lead to the belief that the people have the right to overthrow or usurp any legitimate government that does something they do not disagree with.
Marcus talks like he is aware of the gravity of his decision, but I find it hard to believe that he is. His decision to subvert the government was made pretty casually, and with very little mulling over. It seems like a gut reaction to his justifiably indignant feelings over his treatment by the DHS. He vacillates wildly between rage and invincibility and the sudden awareness of the danger he has put himself and his friends in.
Marcus is being pretty selfish here-saying “It was so unfair. I didn’t ask to be white” makes it seem like he’s only concerned with his emotional suffering over his friend’s decision not to get involved. It would be different if he was saying the law’s treatment of black people was unfair, but the way this paragraph is written, it seems as though Marcus is whining because he feels guilty. This does not make Marcus a sympathetic character.
But I think it would be unfair to blame Marcus here, since as we know he has committed no wrongdoing other than the relatively minor offense of skipping class, and was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. I think Doctorow meant for us to blame the government, not Marcus. We should see him as a victim of circumstance and abuse or authority.
Yeah, the parallels to a kidnapping are scary. It highlights how the government has in essense become the villian to fear because there are apparently no constraints on their actions. It’s also very high-tech prison, which makes me think that the author wants us to see the role technology is playing in this society, where the fight for freedon has gone online.
What Marcus is describing here is torture. This is how Guantanamo Bay detainees are treated: bags put over their heads and held in uncomfortable “stress positions” and kept disoriented in order to make them more suceptible to interrogation techniques later. It is frightening that he is being subjected to this treatment with virtually no reason for his detention and in violation of his civil rights.
It’s scary to think that what we consider to be our private belongings are vulnerable to anyone with the will to attempt to hack your computer. People store very private information on computers, and, as shown in the recent New York Times magazine article about the biggest computer crimes arrest of the man who stole millions of credit card numbers from store networks, make themselves vulnerable to loss. Marcus/w1n5ton shows a lack of regret for the botnet attack, because he felt it was “for a good cause.” His happiness should not be a good enough cause to destroy another person’s phone.
This establishes the reader’s understanding of what kind of world the protagonist is living in. It’s creepy that they have cameras to recognize people’s gaits, but even worse that the only reason they have them is because the face recognition cameras were unconstitutional, but there is no ruling yet on the gait recognition cameras. It creates a sense that the school is pushing boundaries in the name of security, which is parallel to the issue of body scanners in airports today.
This paragraph shows that Marcus, a.k.a. “w1n5ton,” is very arrogant. He presumes himself to be smarter than his superiors, and is happy that credit is being attributed to him for hacking into the school system and stealing the standardized tests, though he hadn’t done it. It is an interesting parallel to the somewhat daring choice the author made to title the book Little Brother, inviting the comparison to Orwell’s 1984.