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HOW DO POLITICIANS IN TODAY'S world attain power? How do nations become powerful? Why do human beings follow others unquestioningly, even if it is to their own detriment? What factors determine which politicians, nations and organizations will dominate the modern world?
Through much of human history, societal control was determined by militaristic strength. Individuals and tribes fought to control vital resources and land. In the next part of evolution marked by colonialism and the emergence of mega-corporations, money determined power. In the recent decade, the key to supremacy has shifted again. The power and control individuals, leaders and nations have is now determined by their ability to mould the information environment.
In The Art of Conjuring Alternate Realities, Shivam Shankar Singh and Anand Venkatanarayanan dive into the operations of political parties, cyber criminals, godmen, nation states and intelligence agencies from around the world to explain how the power to manipulate your thoughts is being harnessed, and how information warfare is shaping your life and world.
Shivam Shankar Singh is a data analyst, campaign consultant and author of the bestseller, How to Win an Indian Election (2019). He started out in politics as a legislative assistant to a Member of Parliament Fellow and went on to witness the process of conjuring political realities while managing data analytics for some of India's largest political parties. He is a panelist on national television and writes for several news publications on data and politics. He is also a 2021–22 Schwarzman Scholar at Tsinghua University, Beijing.
Anand Venkatanarayanan is a cyber security and privacy researcher who also dabbles in financial modelling. He has over twenty years of experience in designing and developing system software. He was called as an expert witness before the Supreme Court of India for the Aadhaar case and has deposed before the Kenyan High Court for the country's digital identity project. He writes extensively on cybersecurity and was one of the first to break the story on the hacking of the Kudankulam nuclear reactor in 2019. He studies reality creation techniques deployed at population scale.