3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Doctorow's reputation economy, 23 Jun 2004
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom is not only a page turner, it's also a fascinating portrayal of how our social interactions will change in a digital world of plenty. When most commodities can be costlessly replicated, scarce resources like reputation, attention and skill acquire new value. This economy of regard has already taken hold in certain quarters of the internet, most famously in the world of open source software. Doctorow extends this structure to society at large and shows how an individual's fortunes can quickly rise and tumble with the fickle whims of the crowd. The challenges of affluence were never so apparent.