REVIEW Infomocracy î PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB


10 thoughts on “Infomocracy

  1. says:

    It's easy to get stuck in a rut and ignore the good SF out there that is idea rich and go for the common spy tech thriller Fortunately this one has both Mishima is a great post cyberpunk spy or perhaps it might be better to call her a spymaster The world is run by information and the Information department makes certain everyone's informed That's especially good when the world has gone democratic in a much advanced information age than what we've got nowThe sweetest part of this novel aside from an eventually awesome story of election hijinks and the slow burn of Mishima's and Ken's relationship has got to be how the politics is set up Now let me be clear about something I don't want you to let the politic themed world building get you down It is kinda overwhelming near the beginning because of all the different factions but the fact that anyone can belong to their version of the Ideal from anywhere in the world makes it pretty awesome I had the great enjoyment of a much futuristic version of this idea in Too Like the Lightning and I raved about that book too so I know this is a going concern that is speaking to usI mean wouldn't you like to choose what polity you belong to separate from nation or location? Oh yes I'm all for Liberty or Philip Morris or EarthFirst or any of the number of splinter polities that fits your personality or your mindset Of course it still falls under the same crazy disadvantages of democracies in general There are Supermajorities and if you don't happen to be voting for the biggest and most powerful ones then you're lost and will have to adjust to whatever they have in store for you World Wide So of course everyone is pretty much disaffected but we don't really see that side of it in this novel because we're firmly in the heads of the pollsters and the Information department that is pretty much the lawmen and the ones that are determined to make sure the BS doesn't get out of hand Of course it does This novel has tons of great conflict great action interesting characters and a very solid story that ends with a lot of great uestions while answering enough to satisfy this reader nicely I'm definitely going to to be reading anything that this author comes up with in the futureThanks to Netgalley for the ARCPostscript 62316By reuest I was asked to add a slight warning to the early bits of this novel I will admit that some of the early political infodumping was a bit of a slog fest especially when there was little or no character building going on My eyes crossed a little BUT once we get through all that things really pick up and I got to be thankful for the grounding of the expositionFare the well dear reader and worry not about rough seas Smooth sailing is near at hand


  2. says:

    The Logic of Democracy Democracy is logically problematic Its success depends upon the acceptance of a number of rather awkward propositions by the entire electorate Key among these propositions is that everything is negotiable If any political issue is perceived as ‘make or break’ by any faction democracy is threatened and will likely deteriorate into tyrannical dictatorship or fragment into civil warThere is a corollary to the reuirement for universal negotiability in a democracy no one is ever satisfied Democratic politics is always in flux as factions seek advantage to improve their position Negotiated compromises are always temporary And as new ‘interests’ are discovered or manufactured all existing positions are vulnerable Inevitably these interests must include the rules of the democratic procedure itself Who is entitled to vote how this is determined what constitutes fraud and even the precise criteria for ‘winning’ are all fundamental issues which are self referentially resolved by the very process which is to be controlled Nothing in democracy can guarantee these issues are resolved ‘fairly’ since fairness is defined by the democratic process itselfInfomocracy is a fictional account of what happens when the process of democracy becomes a non negotiable single issue The book follows several campaign agents as they organise rallies disrupt counter rallies and participate in gathering and using intelligence on the political opposition Their field of action is a complex global democracy composed of popular and corporate ‘centenals’ electoral units of exactly 100000 people in which factions compete for local dominance and the possibility of a wider Supermajority Because immigration restrictions have been eliminated in Older’s world people have tended to migrate to regions whose populations hold similar views to their own So constituencies have become economically religiously and ideologically homogenous Centenal political allegiances are therefore international The centenals are themselves simultaneously governments and political parties It is through coalitions among the centenals that a Supermajority world government is formed One might call the structure and the process DemocracyMax Ingenious inventionBut by outlining such an extreme form of democracy Older is able to demonstrate clearly the fatal flaw in all democracies the homogenous any electorate becomes the likely it is to construct non negotiable demands single issue stands on which a faction stakes its existence And the non negotiable demands the less likely that democratic politics will produce its best outcome a situation which no one wants but which everyone can accept And when democracy cannot approximate this situation it is deadThe problem with Older’s book is that its crucial insight gets hidden beneath a mass of sci fi hype about fake news voter manipulation and electoral dirty tricks Of course these are the things in today’s news But while significant they are so as a perennial and probably necessary part of democratic politics They are elements of the process whether we like it or not; and they always have been Publicising them merely distracts from the much fundamental issues and trends which can undermine the entire democratic enterprise As Winston Churchill uipped democracy is indeed a terrible form of government But if it isn’t recognised for what it is it could become a lot worse This is an inherent and incorrigible aspect of democratic politics in fact of any group decision making from planning the family vacation to national elections See


  3. says:

    Full review first posted on Fantasy LiteratureIn the latter half of the twentieth century most of the world a few areas like Saudi Arabia excepted has moved to a form of government called micro democracy The world is divided into “centenals” of about 100000 people each and each centenal votes for its own separate government The political party that wins control of the most centenals wins the Supermajority which gives that party additional political clout and power although the specific details of that Supermajority power aren’t entirely clear There are dozens if not political parties though only about a dozen have worldwide clout Parties are based on all types of factors aspects of identity like race nationality or religion a particular view of policy the importance of military might loyalty to a particular large corporation etc In fact one of the most powerful parties in the world is PhilipMorrisA worldwide vote is held every ten years and as the story begins the third Election Day is only sixteen days away With the upcoming vote so close campaigning and scheming ― both legal and illicit ― have reached a peak A party called Heritage has held the Supermajority for the last twenty years since the micro democracy system was implemented and is determined to hold onto that position but at what price? Meanwhile the Liberty party is making veiled but ominous statements about “peacefully” annexing other territories Infomocracy follows four characters through the few weeks before during and immediately after this vote Ken is an undercover political operative for the idealistic environmentally minded Policy1st party Ken is both trying to assess and promote his party’s chances in the upcoming election and hopefully score a good job within the party after the election Mishima is also an operative an employee of and trouble shooter for Information a Google like entity that has vastly expanded and become the primary means for communications and obtaining news and information for the entire world Anarchist Domaine is bent on undermining the entire political system and is willing to use whatever means available to do that Yoriko is a taxi driver in Okinawa who moonlights as a spy for Policy1st trying to get some dirt on its competitorsIf this all seems a bit dry well it initially did to me as well The first third of this novel is devoted to world building and although it’s creative world building it takes some time to gel for the reader and comes at the expense of any notable action in the plot for about 150 pages It was difficult for me to lose myself in the story when I was still confused by the world somewhat bored and not finding the characters particularly real or distinguishable from one another characterization is not Older's strong point Thankfully however at that point all of the build up starts to pay off as both natural and man made disasters occur and the characters scramble to deal with them each in his or her own way Ken and Mishima meet and begin a romance which remains rather undeveloped understandably so when it’s sidelined by the various emergencies but their relationship does have one memorable moment involving use of a sharp knifeThis debut novel is the most overtly political science fiction novel I’ve read; it’s completely immersed in and about the political process as it exists in the latter part of the 21st century and about how the flow of information ― and the disruption of that flow ― can affect people’s votes Malka Ann Older is a PhD candidate studying governance and disasters and has several years’ experience in humanitarian aid responding to emergencies and natural disasters in Uganda Indonesia Japan and other countries Her knowledge expertise and concerns are woven into the plot of Infomocracy giving it a depth and resonance than can only come from an author who has immersed herself in a field of knowledge and can intelligently extrapolate the effects and aftermath of particular trigger eventsAny reader who appreciates intelligently written science fiction will find much to enjoy in Infomocracy but it’s most likely to engage readers who are interested in the political process and the underside of campaigning and how that might play out in a speculative future375 stars rounding up to 4


  4. says:

    4ish starsI liked this way than I expected to I'm typically not into political sci fi especially when it's idea heavy versus character driven like this is The ideas are just so intelligent and relevant and interesting that it worked for me To be honest I wasn't sure how long I'd be able to last The first part of the novel is all politics and info dump We see the world through the eyes of a few different characters but they seem to be there only incidentally because we don't really learn or care anything about them for the first bit Eventually Older fleshes them out a bit especially Mishima and Ken and they become pretty cool for the normal people they are but characterization never becomes a huge part of the book The characters mostly react to the plot instead of driving it which works for the story Even though the second half becomes much engaging it never reaches political thriller status Political yes Thriller? There are a couple briefs moments that are thrilling but they're over uickly Still this is a novel about number crunchers campaigners nerds and interns and Older sueezes every ounce of coolness possible out of a boring premise so that it ends up becoming legitimately engaging The near future utopiadystopia there's a fine line isn't there? conceived here is impressive in its feasibility It shares themes with a lot of other dystopianear future novels but they're so fully realized in this novel that it sets itself apart It's never really explained how the world has become what it has but Older manages to make it seem like a natural continuation of the current political trajectoryYour mileage may vary but I'm glad I stuck this one outPosted in Mr Philip's Library


  5. says:

    So I may be a bit biased in my assessment of this book Unlike many other sci fi and fantasy stories with brash action oriented kick ass heroes saving the day the real heroes of this book are number crunchers data analysts and nerds Sure there is also a ninja in the employ of a global information corporation but she does her time in analyzing data just like the everyone else Being an electron shephard myself I have always thought the importance of data analysis and control was under appreciated in science fiction and the real world if we are being completely honest Informocracy puts the importance of crunching numbers and analyzing data in its proper place front and centerLet me back up for a moment Informocracy takes place in the near future a near future where somehow it is never fully explained nation states have been dissolved and the main polity unit is a Centenal each of which comprise 100000 people Political parties some global some regional and some extremely local compete every 10 years to govern each Centenal The most popular political party globally by Centenal won takes over as the ruling party for the world government though it isn't entirely clear what powers that position has given the power local political parties exercise in their own Centenals Since the inception of the micro democracies there has been world peace and the same political party has ruled globally though local Centenals change parties Another election approaches and with it comes storm clouds of discontentWe see this world through a few different perspectives Mishima a neuro atypical ninjadata analyst working for Information the information organization that runs the elections and most informational searches Ken a political operative for one of the Mid Major parties and Domaine a political dissident who doesn't think this whole micro democracy thing is all its cracked up to be We get to see different facets of this world the good and the badI generally liked the characters and their globetrotting built out the world nicely We got to see how the system worked form the inside from a political party's perspective and from an outsider's perspective I did feel the Domaine was a bit underused though Older may merely be setting him up for bigger things in later books The characters themselves were not terribly deep but they were well rounded and well written They all behaved in reasonable ways given their motivations and I never felt that characters did things just to advance the storyI did really like the world and thought it was fascinating Granted I cannot conceive of how nation states could fall away so uickly but I am willing to grant the book that conceit I liked the idea behind the Centenals and the micro democratic concept Older created I have many thoughts about how to better operate elections to ensure an outcome consistent with the popular will and the ideas put forth by Older were intriguing Though as the story showed there will always be forces looking to tear down to the established order if it would get them power The story itself was a engaging and there were lots of twists and turns in this near future world By turns each character got to grow and shine in their own way though the real heroes are of course the tireless data workers of Information I would say that the setting was the strongest part of the book delivering a uniue and fascinating speculative world The characters were good enough to deliver an exciting story and kept me interested in their concerns While not strong on all fronts it was still a neat and engaging read


  6. says:

    This was a really good book that I didn't particularly enjoy Definitely a case it's not you it's me The politics of real life are a bit too horrifying for me right now to appreciate politics in my fiction


  7. says:

    To be fair i was not into this book from the beginning so i felt kind of forced to finish it That aside the book never grabbed me the premise behind it was that in the future all countries have united somehow and have become fewer entities conglomerates of countries Every 20 years there is an election that determines which one of the major players gains the supermajority world domination in a way the society is stratified in such a way that there this units called centennials that represent zones of over 100000 people they are free to choose their own government this reminds me of greek city states Somehow among this mess the time for another election has come and some of the players are suspects of trying to rig the election Characters are never represented well and their appearances are so far in between that you forget who is who and who is doing what The plot is complicated and not easily understandable even after finishing still not sure what the main plot was You are never given an in depth explanation of how things turned out too the way they are you are just thrown into this reality and have to fight to catch up Not an entertaining book


  8. says:

    This is not at all what I was expecting I saw the ocracy and thought it would be an information government Instead it's like this company called Information gathers data and analyzes it to track the election process They're the source for absolutely all types of information so it's not just elections but elections are what the book is aboutI think this was a pretty good book but I didn't really love it The characters seemed very two dimensional to me and the story itself was so heavily based in politics and analytics that for the most part it was uninteresting to me It was pretty fast paced and that was just about the only thing I did likeThis definitely wasn't a bad book it was just a poor fit for me


  9. says:

    Malka Older writes a near future tome that hits close to home In this media rich propaganda lies deception misinformation deflection and if that doesn't work; voter suppression This novel looks at information as currency as operatives of various factions try to influence an election It was a fascinating book that hit far too close to home Right down to the description of sense of hopelessnessuselessness described when the information network was down This one was chalked full of ideas and may well be a beacon about the future I liked it 4ish StarsListened to the audio book Christine Marshall did a good job though nothing special


  10. says:

    In the future countries don’t exist any The planet is a patchwork of independent governments ruling constituents in blocs of 10000 neighbors at a time Every 10 year there’s an election in which governments try to get the most territories possible — the Supermajority Watching over all of this is Information a sort of global internet news source election commission social media hybrid of an organization But not everyone loves Information or the election cycle This book told from the points of view of an Information worker and a campaign worker is science fiction for election nerds and for media geeks I highly recommend it– AJ O’Connellfrom The Best Books We Read In April is exactly the kind of imaginative speculative fiction we need of It is set in a weird future version of our world and while Older has done all her homework—building a fully fleshed world with technologies subcultures and political systems that are creative and plausible—but she mercifully doesn’t force the reader to endure that homework Too many science fiction and fantasy authors display their worldbuilding like a badge when in fact their books would be better off if they made that world a setting for an interesting story rather than the point itself But I’ll get off my soapbox now Older’s book is set in a future where the management of information and the exercise of political power are intertwined in ways both deeply odd and oddly familiar and its plot makes the most of that world by following two protagonists as they try to unravel a possible conspiracy or maybe several It’s thrilling and thoughtful ambitious and modest And it’s also a lot of fun–Derek Attigfrom The Best Books We Read In June 2016 hate election years and I know I’m not alone I hate them because every day brings horrible new campaigning the good guys are often indistinguishable from the bad guys and social media is a 247 garbage fire I also think they’re incredibly important — you can’t make change by checking out or fight injustice by walking away so we have to stay tuned in enough to vote on the things we care about Malka Older’s Infomocracy is the election year sci fi thriller I didn’t know I wanted and desperately needed It takes place in a near future where micro democracy rules and voters are divided into “centenals” 100000 person regions the organization Information think Google on an unlimited budget with a public mandate provides constant real time facts to the voting populace and politics are still a uagmire There are fight scenes and data crunching scenes and characters with wildly different ideologies and Older puts them all together beautifully Above all this book explores the idea of citizenship in a way that will make you think — and maybe even help you get through to November — Jenn Northingtonfrom The Best Books We Read In July 2016


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Infomocracy

SUMMARY × PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ☆ Malka Ann Older

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 horizo It's easy to get stuck in a rut and ignore the good SF out there that is idea rich and go for the common spy tech thriller Fortunately this one has both Mishima is a great post cyberpunk spy or perhaps it might be better to call her a spymaster The world is run by information and the Information department makes certain everyone's informed That's especially good when the world has gone democratic in a much advanced information age than what we've got nowThe sweetest part of this novel aside from an eventually awesome story of election hijinks and the slow burn of Mishima's and Ken's relationship has got to be how the politics is set up Now let me be clear about something I don't want you to let the politic themed world building get you down It is kinda overwhelming near the beginning because of all the different factions but the fact that anyone can belong to their version of the Ideal from anywhere in the world makes it pretty awesome I had the great enjoyment of a much futuristic version of this idea in Too Like the Lightning and I raved about that book too so I know this is a going concern that is speaking to usI mean wouldn't you like to choose what polity you belong to separate from nation or location Oh yes I'm all for Liberty or Philip Morris or EarthFirst or any of the number of splinter polities that fits your personality or your mindset Of course it still falls under the same crazy disadvantages of democracies in general There are Supermajorities and if you don't happen to be voting for the biggest and most powerful ones then you're lost and will have to adjust to whatever they have in store for you World Wide So of course everyone is pretty much disaffected but we don't really see that side of it in this novel because we're firmly in the heads of the pollsters and the Information department that is pretty much the lawmen and the ones that are determined to make sure the BS doesn't get out of hand Of course it does This novel has tons of great conflict great action interesting characters and a very solid story that ends with a lot of great uestions while answering enough to satisfy this reader nicely I'm definitely going to to be reading anything that this author comes up with in the futureThanks to Netgalley for the ARCPostscript 62316By reuest I was asked to add a slight warning to the early bits of this novel I will admit that some of the early political infodumping was a bit of a slog fest especially when there was little or no character building going on My eyes crossed a little BUT once we get through all that things really pick up and I got to be thankful for the grounding of the expositionFare the well dear reader and worry not about rough seas Smooth sailing is near at hand

REVIEW Infomocracy

N the Supermajority is in tight contention and everything's on the lineWith power comes corruption For Ken this is his chance to do right by the idealistic Policy1st party and get a steady job in the big leagues For Domaine the election represents another staging ground in his This was a really good book that I didn't particularly enjoy Definitely a case it's not you it's me The politics of real life are a bit too horrifying for me right now to appreciate politics in my fiction

SUMMARY × PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ☆ Malka Ann Older

Ongoing struggle against the pax democratica For Mishima a dangerous Information operative the whole situation is a puzzle how do you keep the wheels running on the biggest political experiment of all time when so many have so much to gain Infomocracy is Malka Older's debut nov Malka Older writes a near future tome that hits close to home In this media rich propaganda lies deception misinformation deflection and if that doesn't work; voter suppression This novel looks at information as currency as operatives of various factions try to influence an election It was a fascinating book that hit far too close to home Right down to the description of sense of hopelessnessuselessness described when the information network was down This one was chalked full of ideas and may well be a beacon about the future I liked it 4ish StarsListened to the audio book Christine Marshall did a good job though nothing special

  • Hardcover
  • 380
  • Infomocracy
  • Malka Ann Older
  • English
  • 13 July 2019
  • 9780765385154