OK, who is familiar with the fictional works of Caleb Carr, a brilliant writer? A couple of decades ago, I read a handful of his Victorian era books (The Alieniest, then came across this one, The Killing Time, in 2001, right after the events of Sept 11th, 2001.
In this book, some rebels plot to fight “an age that is drowning in misinformation.” To do so, they create a fake, non-existent candidate who not only doesn’t exist, but actually gets elected to office. The book has been on my mind a lot of late with the searing, in-your-face rise in misinformation.
I went looking for a quick write-up about it and CHECK THIS OUT! Look at the DATE for when the novel takes place! Look at the date!
“Starting in 2017, Malcolm Tressalian and his sister, Larissa, bamboozle the populace with a stunning series of falsehoods. They forge documents indicating that Winston Churchill plotted World War I (etc.) …
Malcolm and Larissa, it turns out, are living in an age that is drowning in misinformation. Internet addicts propagate paranoia; special-effects wizards doctor news footage.
Digital technology has made it so easy to manufacture lies ***that it’s become difficult to separate fact from fiction.**
In the Tressalians’ view, the only way to educate the bedazzled public about ”the dangerous unreliability of modern information systems” is to perpetrate fraud upon fraud — then expose these deceits in a glorious revelation. ”With luck,” Malcolm intones, ”our work will be the antibiotic that spurs society to fight the infection.”