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Infomocracy: A Novel – tekijä: Malka…
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Infomocracy: A Novel (vuoden 2016 painos)

– tekijä: Malka Older (Tekijä)

Sarjat: Centenal Cycle (1)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
6263328,258 (3.65)24
"It's been twenty years and two election cycles since Information, a powerful search engine monopoly, pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global micro-democracy. The corporate coalition party Heritage has won the last two elections. With another election on the horizon, the Supermajority is in tight contention, and everything's on the line."--Front jacket flap.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:AR_bookbird
Teoksen nimi:Infomocracy: A Novel
Kirjailijat:Malka Older (Tekijä)
Info:Tor.com (2016), 384 pages
Kokoelmat:Aion lukea
Arvio (tähdet):
Avainsanoja:to-read

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Infomocracy (tekijä: Malka Older)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 33) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
The best science fiction uses the imagined future to shine a light on the present. Malka Older really nails this in INFOMOCRACY. The book was published in June 2016 so it was likely finalized in 2015 but it reads like a clear take on our political mess starting with the 2016 election. In this near future the world is set up with global micro-democracies divided among different coalitions that control areas called centenals. There is a powerful search engine monopoly, not very creatively called Information, that controls the flow of information to people. It all seems so smart but powerful corporate entities power the biggest coalitions figure out how to beat it with their money and control. They post half-truths and lies and “even though the truth or at least all the relevant Information is easily available, every second the words are up there sows more doubt and confusion.” Sound familiar? The idea of Information is slowly eroded. Information “thought that providing data about each candidate government would be enough for people to make informed, more-or-less-sensible choices. That did not work out so well. The new Heritage coalition of wealthy, experienced global corporates ignored the accessibility of Information, produced their standard glossy misinformation, and not only took the Supermajority but won centenals where, analysts agreed, it was demonstrably not in the interests of the people living there to vote for them.” Seriously this sounds like a look at how the less well off in this country have been convinced to support a President who demonstrably hates them. Ms. Older does a real good job of showing how this works and how slowly but surely the false narrative becomes reality to so many. She has a faction of anarchists whose sole purpose it to disrupt and stop the election. As one character observes, “If they’re antielection, what are they for?” Again, a question I would love to ask a lot of people in our world. The book takes a while to get going as there is a large data dump at the start to set up the rules of the world, but once it gets going the story is interesting and plays out in very dramatic fashion. Some people are scared that the current group in power will be dangerous if they lose, as one thinks “It’s true, Heritage winning again has risks for the system, but what if they are unwilling to lose?” Paging Roger Stone! As our heroes fight to make sure everyone has complete and correct information from Information (seriously, a different name would have been nice) they realize some basic facts that make it difficult. First, they can’t always penetrate bubbles and within the bubbles the powerful are “feeding different people different Information.” Kind of like getting your facts from Faux News. And probably the most damning and on point observation of all, “despite all the Information available, people tend to look at what they want to see.” Sigh. I started reading this book back in 2016 and stopped. I think it was because I wasn’t paying good enough attention during the early data dump chapters and I realized I didn’t know who people were. I’m so glad I picked it up again even though it gave me nightmares about November 2020. Some of the characters and set ups are a bit two dimensional, that is the only reason I’m giving it four stars instead of five, but this was an intelligent and well-built novel with important things to teach us. It also shows that the garbage of 2016 is as old as the hills, and it will go away again. Please?? ( )
  MarkMad | Jul 14, 2021 |
A book about conspiracy around elections in a much more fine grained global representative democracy than exists today. Manages to be boring while also full of pointless action. ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
Early contender for worst book I've read all year. Plot? Characters? Who needs those when you have such brave and clever ideas about how to run society and you're really eager to proselytise your (liberal?) world view. The author even takes cheap shots at America a couple of times just to drive the point of how backwards they are, even in his futuristic vision of planet earth. Truly irredeemable. Like this book.

When the heroine started fighting some mooks with katanas I thought it reached its lowest point but it just kept spiraling down into some graphomanic singularity. ( )
  Paul_S | Dec 23, 2020 |
This is a fantastic read, really glad I got around to it! I've had Infomocracy on my list for a while now. The parallels with Palmer's [b:Too Like the Lightning|26114545|Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1)|Ada Palmer|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1443106959s/26114545.jpg|46061374] are surprisingly deep—Older's book is a much different read, and both the premise and time-setting more modest in comparison, but the big-idea, quasi-utopian politics, the quiet-but-huge tech advances, the slow and mostly irrational rumble of a peaceful world towards some kind of war—intriguing to put them side by side.

But that's getting ahead of myself. Infomocracy reads like a straight thriller, following two young activists/operatives in a near-future where the world has transitioned to "micro-democracy". Split into voting blocks of 100 thousand, people can now vote for a huge range of governments. Things are kept above-board by ubiquitous Information: an organization a bit like Google fused with Wikipedia and with a universal mandate. On the eve of an important election, with previous power blocs poised to tumble and rearrange, Mishima, Ken, and a handful of other characters are caught up in a complicated plot to subvert the voting process.

Older has a cracking plot here, and keeps the pacing fast without being relentless. It took me a few chapters to acclimatize—she throws a lot of character, world-and-plot complexity at you very quickly—but then it's off to the races. I admit to being a bit of a sucker for the well-done simple meet cute: Mishima & Ken are fleshed out a tiny bit interesting, they run into each other and sparks fly, plot gets complicated but you stay interested in their relationship. It's a good bit of dynamo, and doesn't really get in the way of their separate-but-somewhat-overlapping goals.

The one critique I would offer on the book is that the secondary point-of-view characters don't add much; personally I find something a little odd in the reading experience when the multiple points of view aren't balanced.

The worldbuilding here is tactfully done: there's enough interesting to make it's half-a-century-on setting believable, but it's not overly caught up in the whiz-bang tech or the global warming effects. There's hints of both—other than the central governmental premise, the relatively mild IT and climate developments are maybe the biggest disbelief-stretchers—but they're also not central. I did really enjoy that Older goes out of her way to set up non-gun-based action scenes—a bit of tech that is perhaps a bit more believable than [b:Dune|234225|Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1)|Frank Herbert|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1434908555s/234225.jpg|3634639]-style shields, but in the same spirit of "keep fun hi-tech stuff, but also swordfights".

For all the big ideas, cyberpunky tech, and globe-trotting action, something about the nitty-gritty of the bureaucratic/organizational action here feels very grounded. Not that surprising, perhaps, after reading Older's author bio. One doesn't have to be an "election nerd" to get into this—if anything, I was a bit surprised that the novel doesn't get into voting mechanics—but the feeling of the Information and Policy1st crowds as they drill into projects felt very real, as did the drinking as the election results came through.

A really fun read, and one that manages to feel both timely and likely to remain relevant. I'm definitely planning on reading the rest of the trilogy—I should note that this doesn't cliffhanger, if you're worried about that. Found myself thinking of [a:Kim Stanley Robinson|1858|Kim Stanley Robinson|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1376955089p2/1858.jpg], [a:Ada Palmer|8132662|Ada Palmer|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1442973045p2/8132662.jpg], [a:Cory Doctorow|12581|Cory Doctorow|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1361468756p2/12581.jpg] & [a:Annalee Newitz|191888|Annalee Newitz|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1518708368p2/191888.jpg]—though it really doesn't read much like any of them stylistically. Highly recommended. ( )
  jakecasella | Sep 21, 2020 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 33) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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"It's been twenty years and two election cycles since Information, a powerful search engine monopoly, pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global micro-democracy. The corporate coalition party Heritage has won the last two elections. With another election on the horizon, the Supermajority is in tight contention, and everything's on the line."--Front jacket flap.

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