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By Cory Doctorow

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Which is not to say that cosmopolitans don’t believe in anything. To be cosmopolitan is to know that all laws are local, and to use that intellectual liberty to decide for yourself what moral code you’ll subscribe to. It is the freedom to invent your own ethics from the ground up, knowing that the larger social code you’re rejecting is no more or less right than your own—at least from the point of view of a Martian peering through a notional telescope at us piddling Earthlings. My high-school roommate, Possum Man, was the very apotheosis of a science fiction cosmopolitan.

Think Like a Dandelion There are other organisms with other reproductive strategies. Take the dandelion: a single dandelion may produce 2,000 seeds per year, indiscriminately firing them off into the sky at the slightest breeze, without any care for where the seeds are heading and whether they’ll get an hospitable reception when they touch down. There are two critical success factors for dandelionhood: 1. Your work needs to be easily copied, to anywhere whence it might find its way into the right hands.

Predicted when you sat first sat down to write. On the other hand, no sane writer would dream of recasting her book as a completely different project DOCTOROW/CONTEXT/42 after it’s been turned in, gone off for copyediting, and been put into production. That’s when experimentation goes from cheap to expensive. That’s when you start learning the hard way. BEA, publishing CEOs all but begged Silicon Valley to present them with a universal, interoperable DRM system that would prevent copying without locking books to one vendor’s platform.

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