Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wizzywig by Ed Piskor

Wizzywig is a semiautobiographical graphic novel following Kevin "boingthump" Phenicle through his hacking odyssey that sees him making free long distance phone calls by whistling the perfect pitch to fighting the media's overblown and fatalistic portrayal of hackers.

1. Since Piskor portrays Kevin evenly with no leaning towards innocent or guilty, what are your thoughts on Kevin's fate and demeanor? Is he a guilty sociopath? Innocent nerd victim?

2. In the last twenty years, the FBI has had to adapt to computer terrorism and hacking. Do you think those who perpetrate these crimes should be punished on the same scale as drug or gun crimes? How would you measure the scope of a computer crime?

3. Much of Wizzywig's plot focuses on the media bias on hacking. Describe said bias.

4. How has internet culture changed since its beginnings portrayed in Wizzywig?

5. Explain Kevin's social skills and demeanor. How do people react to him?

6. Is hacking a truly victimless crime? Is piracy? Is stealing or tampering with a huge corporation's material all that amoral?

7. Modern hacking groups like Anonymous shut down government and religious websites in protest to what they perceive to be heinous actions. What are your thoughts on cyber vigilantism?

8. Should the internet be regulated?

9. Kevin seems to keep falling into amoral ways of making money: pirating games, helping that pimp with the phone number, et cetera. However, he preaches living an honest life bartending and paying taxes. Is he conflicted? What's with this hypocrisy?