Books

The Death of the Gods

Carl Miller

'Magisterial... a tour de force.' Anthony Giddens

'Essential reading.' Jamie Bartlett

'Prepare to be terrified, exhilarated and occasionally inspired.' Catherine Mayer

'Timely and incisive.' Greg Williams, Wired


A groundbreaking examination of the new centres of power and control in the twenty-first century.

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. From a cyber-crime raid in suburbia to the engine rooms of Silicon Valley, and from the digital soldiers of Berkshire to the hackers of Las Vegas, pioneering technology researcher Carl Miller traces how power – the most important currency of all – is being transformed, fought over, won and lost. As power escapes from its old bonds, he shows us where it has gone, the shape it now takes and how it touches each of our lives.

Astounding opportunities are at our fingertips. But are we more powerful as individuals than ever before? Or more controlled?

Biography

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. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London.