Episode Notes

View transcript

On this episode of the Digital Citizen podcast, L.X. Beckett, Toronto-based science fiction author, talks to Fastmail CTO Ricardo Signes about how science fiction is often a critique of the world we live in and what it means to find hope in the communities you are part of.

Episode Notes

Dive into the world of L.X.’s book Gamechanger and learn about the people who inhabit its pages. L.X. offers advice for feeling hopeful about the potential setbacks we will likely go through in the future as they have the potential to lead us to a brighter side. Rik and L.X. also discuss the positive and negative parts of online communities and what it means to be a good digital citizen.

▶️ Guest Interview - L.X. Beckett

🗣️ Discussion Points

  • Gamechanger is set in the dawn of a new era for humankind after the twenty-first century. There are three main generations represented in the book at odds with each other. Privacy and international systems have been lost, and the wealth gap has been forcibly closed.
  • Art, for L.X., is the biggest fight back against the negative sides of reality. Writing this book was their method of showing a good possible end result despite major setbacks, motivating people to engage with the idea that there is a viable positive outcome. For artists, hope is a moral practice that you can choose to pursue.
  • The vast majority of us with the internet and smartphones give our personal data to companies. This is not unlike the total lack of privacy that exists in the world of Gamechanger, in which every single move a person makes goes into a large data cache.
  • For anyone looking to have a safe and healthy relationship with the online network, L.X. suggests figuring out what your soul really needs without apology. This could be something as simple as taking a social media break when it gets to be too much.

⭐ Takeaways

  • Reading is both an escape and a way of getting a different view on the world we live in.
  • It’s never too late to get involved in online communities, especially ones that are committed to having a positive impact.
  • Self-knowledge is important. If you feel like the way you are using social media is having negative side effects, you should absolutely change your approach.
  • A positive review can go a long way. If you have a podcast or content realtor you like, you should leave a positive review so the creators know their efforts are appreciated.
  • Rik’s book recommendations:
    1. New Day by Sarah Pinsker.  It touches on how online culture can be less connected than in-person culture, without reducing everything to "technology is bad."
    2. Axiomatic by Greg Egan. Bonus points, he's Australian. It's a story collection where many of the stories take seriously ideas that are often used as sci-fi tropes without consideration of how they'd really affect us.
  • Helen’s book recommendations:
    1. Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson and The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson are among my favorite sci-fi books ever.
    2. Station 11 by Emily St. John Mandel is a book I recommend to people who say they don’t like sci-fi, but maybe just need a chance to try it (I once had a book club to persuade non-sci-fi readers to try sci-fi, and Station 11 was our first book)

🔵 Find Us

💙 Review Us

If you love this show, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can also take our survey and send us a question for our bonus episode.