The old gods are dying. Giant corporations collapse overnight. Newspapers are being swallowed. Stock prices plummet with a tweet. Governments are losing control. The old familiarities are tumbling down and a strange new social order is rising in their place. More crime now happens online than offline. Facebook has grown bigger than any state, bots battle elections, technologists have reinvented democracy and information wars are breaking out around us. New mines produce crypto-currencies, coders write policy, and algorithms shape our lives in more ways than we can imagine. What is going on?
For centuries, writers and thinkers have used power as a prism through which to view and understand the world at moments of seismic change. The Death of the Gods is an exploration of power in the digital age, and a journey in search of the new centres of control today. Carl Miller traces how power – the most important currency of all – is being transformed, fought over, won and lost.
“I peered into the mechanics of algorithms that have been kept secret and I found a fake news merchant in Kosovo. I lived in a political technology commune in east London (twice) with people for whom technology is a way of making society better. I went onto an army base surrounded by the rolling green hills of Berkshire. I found a legendary hacker in a dusty model railway club in MIT.”
“I met former presidents and digital ministers, whistleblowers, spies, soldiers, criminals and police officers, investigative journalists, guerrilla viral artists, hackers, labour organisers, academics, algorithmists, entrepreneurs, activists.”
As power escapes from its old bonds, Carl shows us where it has gone, the shape it now takes and how it touches each of our lives.
Carl Miller co-founded the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos in 2012 and has been its Research Director ever since. He has researched and written widely on how technology is changing society, including for Wired, New Scientist, the Sunday Times, the Telegraph and the Guardian. His first book ‘The Death of the Gods: The New Global Power Grab’ will be available on the day from Newham Bookshop.