Episode 17: Democracy and its discontents
With the U.S. midterm election coming up, it's time to look at representations of democracy in science fiction. The genre is often skeptical or satirical when it comes to democracy--you can see this in everything from episodes of The Prisoner to the movie Idiocracy. But science fiction is also a testbed for dramatic re-imagingings of this political system, offering a hopeful look at a more egalitarian world. Our guest Malka Older, a human rights worker and author of the novel Infomocracy, talks to us about how to improve democracy with storytelling.
The Prisoner, “Free for All”
Black Mirror, “The Waldo Moment”
Doctor Who, “Vengeance on Varos”
“The Marching Morons,” by Cyril Kornbluth
Idiocracy, dir. Mike Judge
Wag the Dog, dir. Tim Robbins
Kim Stanley Robinson, 2312
Marge Piercy, Woman on the Edge of Time
Joan Slonczewski, The Door Into Ocean
Ursula Le Guin, The Dispossessed
Tobias Buckell, Sly Mongoose
Carrie Vaughn, Bannerless
What we’re obsessed with!
Annalee recommends you listen to an Ars Technica Live conversation she had with Alex Stamos, former CSO of Facebook, who dealt with Russian meddling in the U.S. election. Now he’s a researcher at Stanford, studying election security.
Charlie Jane can’t get enough of Hilda, a terrific Netflix show for kids of all ages about a girl from the country who has to leave her elf friends behind and go live in the big city of Trollville.
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