Infomocracy by Malka Ann Older
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This one is very social-political with interesting ideas of a different flavor of democracy.
In a near future there are no countries as we have today, but rather groups of 100,000 people that make up a “centenal”. So while walking around you can cross various “centenals” on you path. Each “centenal” has its own political party. The political parties are like global governments, they can rule various centenals at the same time. Every 10 years there is a global election in which citizens choose their centenals governments. The most voted government becomes “The Supermajority”, but I could not understand exactly what is its power or its role in the global decision making process. It seemed a super important position to fight for, tho (maybe I have to read the next book in the series to find out).
Also, there’s “Information”, a large nonprofit organization that controls and vets what information people can access on their handhelds. I couldn’t help but think of Google. What if Google became a non-profit that everybody accepts as the only source of news, navigation maps, encyclopedia, social communication tools? That’s what’s going on here.
So there is espionage, political campaigns, activism and information censorship. Discussions about the elections process, democracy, monopolies, immigration, disinformation control, minorities representation, war, technology.
There is commentary about the Internet and how it transforms into an essential part of everybody’s life. How it is a tool to keep the system running and how it could be used to manipulate and control. Something that is actually disturbingly close to our present situation.
It’s a huge thought experiment on democracy and representation. We follow various characters, each one working for a different political government, or for Information, or just rebels that want to break down the system.
I thought the book was not so action-packed as I would like, but the thought-provoking ideas were worth the read!
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