Let’s start with a computer program that can cause a world changing event by a simple post on an internet forum. Is that even possible? Pick an event… Your favorite stock to sky-rocket… The jerk who cut you off to lose his job… Sounds like witchcraft. How to make that happen with an injection of an idea in the glutted, crowded, ground-to-a-halt internet highway?
Here’s what happens. It isn’t the post itself that causes the event. The post simply tweaks the thinking of someone reading it. That little tweak may spur a comment… maybe a post somewhere else… maybe an email… That doesn’t cause it either. What this is about is a chain reaction. It is probably a very long chain reaction. Like It’s a Wonderful Life, one thing leads to another and one little post could eventually start World War Three.
No one can see that coming. But what if you could? Are people so simple that a program could categorize them by their philosophies and determine just what to say, how to say it, and when–to create any real-world event it wants? That’s the invention! All it takes is a series of supercomputers along with a little help from the idle time of millions of compromised hand-held devices to keep track of every bit of social media traffic. Given that much data and a self evolving program with the directive of understanding and manipulating society, a team of sociology geeks can manipulate the world like a puppet.
This is the world that Phil Dresser, hapless avoider of all social media, falls into. Nicknamed Joe Anonymous, Phil drops through the rabbit hole of secret control centers and inept sociologists who study the human condition via reality TV. World War III is the threat and the reluctant gladiator, Phil, may have to be the one to do it.