In the era of political bots, fake news, and digital propaganda, what would happen if a Tinder-like app replaced elections? Is it possible to automate democracy or would policies become sellable outcomes? Giuseppe Porcaro’s debut novel Disco Sour recently awarded the “Altiero Spinelli Prize for Outreach: Spreading Knowledge about Europe”, is available in Brussels book stores this week.
It is the story about a dating app addict politician embarking into an existential odyssey to save democracy. The setting is a parallel timeline where Europe has been ravaged by a civil war after the financial crisis, nation states collapsed, and the EU is the only entity with a grip on the rule of law.
Bastian Balthazar Bux is a space-lover, a smartphone addict and a leading member of The Federation®, the European network of civil society and local governments. In the aftermath of a continental civil-war, nation-states have collapsed, the European Union™ holds on preventing anarchy, and it’s mandatory to include branded trademarks in common language. Bastian has just been unexpectedly dumped by his boyfriend through an app, the BreakupShop™ service.
Giuseppe Porcaro is an expat in Brussels and works in communication for one of the leading think tanks based in the city. He is an expert in the intersection between politics and technology, a subject that haunts our headlines every day. He told The Brussels Times “Disco Sour was inspired by a mission to Chile in 2013. Back then, I was Secretary General of the European Youth Forum, the platform for youth organisations advocating for youth rights. On my way to Santiago, I missed three connecting flights across two continents within 72 hours. Writing fiction, especially science fiction, can become an act of political activism. After all, if we can’t imagine multiple future scenarios for Europe how do we expect to build a better one?”
The Brussels Times