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The Battle for Thought

Freethinking in the twenty-first century

Simon McCarthy-Jones

Big Brother is watching us…and mind control is, in a real sense, a reality. What are we going to do about it?

When one of his articles goes viral, Simon McCarthy-Jones finds himself, at all hours of the day and night, having the thought ‘check Facebook’. But was it really his thought? How often do you think of something, only for your computer spookily to feed you just the right ad. Or Google a ‘unique’ question, only for autocomplete to get there well ahead. In The Battle for Thought, psychologist Simon McCarthy-Jones unpicks the research into how our minds work and how it’s being used to manipulate us for corporate profit. He investigates what is meant by freedom of thought – a human right frequently invoked, but rarely defined.

In the face of radically advanced surveillance and mental manipulation, McCarthy-Jones shows that there are solutions: many of the sources of threats to our minds – psychology, technology and government – can also offer us new ways to protect our freedom of thought. We can structure society to support free thought, finding a way for science and technology, coupled with social and political will and supported by the law, to liberate and enhance our ability to think freely.

  • Publication date: October 5, 2023
  • ISBN: 9780861544578
  • RRP: £16.99
  • Pages: 416


‘Thorough and entertaining.’

New York Times on Spite

Simon McCarthy-Jones

Simon McCarthy-Jones is an Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology at Trinity College Dublin. An internationally recognised expert on the experience of hallucinations, he also writes on and researches a range of psychological phenomena and is the author of Spite. He has written extensively for the popular press, with articles published in the New Statesman, New Scientist, Newsweek, the Huffington Post, the Daily Mail, the Independent and the Irish Times. His articles on ‘The Conversation’ website have received over a million views to date. His website is:

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