Shivam Shankar Singh is a former political consultant and the author of How To Win An Indian Election. Anand Venkatanarayanan is a cybersecurity and privacy researcher who was one of the first to break the story on the hacking of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in 2019.
In this interview with Meghnad S, Shivam and Anand talk about their new book, Art of Conjuring Alternate Realities: How Information Warfare Shapes Your World.
Shivam says the motivation to write the book stemmed from the revelation that you “can’t bring people to the same objective reality for a lot of issues anymore”. He adds, “Whoever controls the flow of information, whoever controls the reality that you see, because they control the information you get to see, they are going to control power in the modern world.”
Describing alternate realities, Anand says, “No matter how many times I come and tell you that is not right, this is harmful, this is insanely stupid – you still do it. Because some other person can paint a very convincing picture...”
The discussion also navigates how alternate reality has the potential to trigger conflict, and how it might resolve itself. Anand says, “History usually says that when differences become irreconcilable, they are usually resolved on battlefields.”
Text by Utkarsh Tripathi.
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