Jamie Bartlett is the Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the think-tank Demos, where he has become one of the UK’s leading thinkers on politics and technology.
Jamie’s most recent book The People Vs Tech: How the internet is killing democracy (and how we save it) was released in April 2018 and discusses the precarious future of democratic society in the tech age.
He is also the author of Radicals Chasing Utopia: Inside the Rogue Movements Trying to Change the World, about political outsiders that reject the way we live today, and The Dark Net, an examination of the hidden corners of the internet, its strange subcultures, and the protagonists that inhabit it – from trolls, Bitcoin miners, political extremists and members of the hacktivist group Anonymous, to pornographers, drug dealers, computer scientists and neo-Nazis. He writes regularly for several national media outlets including Spectator and The Telegraph.
Jamie’s TED talk ‘How the mysterious dark net is going mainstream’ has received over 2.5 million views. His main topics are cyber security and privacy online, new political movements, social media research and analysis, and internet cultures.
In 2017 Jamie presented the two-part BBC TWO documentary series The Secrets of Silicon Valley. Jamie explores the reality behind Silicon Valley’s glittering promise to build a better world, and meets the people who harnessed social media to change the shape of politics in the US.
“A sobering look at how tech is going to change society quickly and dramatically.” – Emine Saner for The Guardian.
In 2018 Jamie presented a BBC Radio 4 Analysis documentary, Can Technology Be Stopped? The documentary looks at whether the big four – Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple – can be reined in and forced to play by the rules society sets, rather than imposing their own.
Photographer/ Pelle Sjoden
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‘This book could not have come at a better moment… The People Vs Tech makes clear that there is still time – just – for us to take back control.’ – Camilla Cavendish, Sunday Times
The internet was meant to set us free.
Tech has radically changed the way we live our lives. But have we unwittingly handed too much away to shadowy powers behind a wall of code, all manipulated by a handful of Silicon Valley utopians, ad men, and venture capitalists? And, in light of recent data breach scandals around companies like Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, what does that mean for democracy, our delicately balanced system of government that was created long before big data, total information and artificial intelligence? In this urgent polemic, Jamie Bartlett argues that through our unquestioning embrace of big tech, the building blocks of democracy are slowly being removed. The middle class is being eroded, sovereign authority and civil society is weakened, and we citizens are losing our critical faculties, maybe even our free will.
The People Vs Tech is an enthralling account of how our fragile political system is being threatened by the digital revolution. Bartlett explains that by upholding six key pillars of democracy, we can save it before it is too late. We need to become active citizens; uphold a shared democratic culture; protect free elections; promote equality; safeguard competitive and civic freedoms; and trust in a sovereign authority. This essential book shows that the stakes couldn’t be higher and that, unless we radically alter our course, democracy will join feudalism, supreme monarchies and communism as just another political experiment that quietly disappeared.
RADICALS — Buy it here
In the last few years the world has changed in unexpected ways. The power of radical ideas and groups is growing. What was once considered extreme is now the mainstream. But what is life like on the political fringes? What is the real power of radicals?
Radicals is an exploration of the individuals, groups and movements who are rejecting the way we live now, and attempting to find alternatives. In it, Jamie Bartlett, one of the world’s leading thinkers on radical politics and technology, takes us inside the strange and exciting worlds of the innovators, disruptors, idealists and extremists who think society is broken, and believe they know how to fix it. From dawn raids into open mines to the darkest recesses of the internet, Radicals introduces us to some of the most secretive and influential movements today: techno-futurists questing for immortality, far-right groups seeking to close borders, militant environmentalists striving to save the planet’s natural reserves by any means possible, libertarian movements founding new countries, autonomous cooperatives in self-sustaining micro-societies, and psychedelic pioneers attempting to heal society with the help of powerful hallucinogens.
As well as providing a fascinating glimpse at the people and ideas driving these groups, Radicals also presents a startling argument: radicals are not only the symptoms of a deep unrest within the world today, but might also offer the most plausible models for our future.
PUBLISHER: William Heinemann
PUBLICATION DATE: 18 May 2017
Buy it here.
Beyond the familiar online world that most of us inhabit lies a vast network of sites, communities and cultures where freedom is pushed to its limits. A world that is as creative and complex as it is dangerous and disturbing. A world that is much closer than you think.
The Dark Net is a revelatory examination of the internet today, and of its most innovative and dangerous subcultures, stretching from secret Facebook groups to the encrypted and hidden Tor network. In it, Bartlett goes in search of the people behind the screen, meeting trolls and pornographers, drug dealers and hackers, political extremists and computer scientists, Bitcoin programmers and self-harmers, libertarians and vigilantes.
Based on extensive first-hand experience, exclusive interviews and shocking documentary evidence,The Dark Net offers a startling glimpse of human nature under the conditions of freedom and anonymity, and shines a light on an enigmatic and ever-changing world.