Novel by Willemijn Dicke and Dirk Helbing: “iGod is a science fiction novel with heroes, love, defeat and hope. But it is much more than that. This book aims to explore how societies may develop, given the technologies that we see at present. As Dirk Helbing describes it in his introduction:
We have come to the conclusion that neither a scientific study nor an investigative report would allow one to talk about certain things that, we believe, need to be thought and talked about. So, a science fiction story appeared to be the right approach. It seems the perfect way to think “what if scenarios” through. It is not the first time that this avenue has been taken. George Orwell’s “1984” and “Animal Farm” come to mind, or Dave Eggers “The Circle”. The film ‘The Matrix’ and the Netflix series ‘Black Mirror are good examples too.
“iGod” outlines how life could be in a couple of years from now, certainly in our lifetime. At some places, this story about our future society seems far-fetched. For example, in “iGod”, all citizens have a Social Citizen Score. This score is established based on their buying habits, their communication in social media and social contacts they maintain. It is obtained by mass-surveillance and has a major impact on everyone’s life. It determines whether you are entitled to get a loan, what jobs you are offered, and even how long you will receive medical care.
The book is set in the near future in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Lex is an unemployed biologist. One day he is contacted by a computer which, gradually reveals the machinery behind the reality we see. It is a bleak world. Together with his girlfriend Diana and Seldon, a Professor at Amsterdam Tech, he starts the quest to regain freedom….(More) (Individual chapters)”