covid lessons

I recently read a great article by one of the greatest modern thinkers – Yuval Harari…Ā 

Multi-line chart with smaller detail chart showing employment in agriculture from 1400s for various coutnries. Inset chart is detailed from 1991

It reminds me of the Wear Sunscreen speech that we should adapt to our current predicaments… (see adaptation in next post!)

A couple of things standout from the article:

. humanity is far from helpless

. Epidemics are no longer uncontrollable forces of nature

. Science is great! šŸ˜‰

. Covid has underlined the power of information technology

. One of the most remarkable things about the Covid year is that the internet didnā€™t break

.Ā As humanity automates, digitalises and shifts activities online, it exposes us to new dangers – potentialĀ digital infrastructure crashes (our next “covid”)

. Science cannot replace politics – and it is a pity…

. Our scientific achievements have placed an enormous responsibility on the shoulders of politicians – a lot of them have failed us…

.Ā One reason for the gap between scientific success and political failure is that scientists co-operated globally, whereas politicians tended to feud

. we have to be beware of future digital dictatorships

. we should never allow too much data to be concentrated in any one place.

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https://www.ft.com/content/f1b30f2c-84aa-4595-84f2-7816796d6841

. People of all political camps should agree on at least three main lessons:

First, we need to safeguard our digital infrastructure. It has been our salvation during this pandemic, but it could soon be the source of an even worse disaster.

Second, each country should invest more in its public health system. This seems self-evident, but politicians and voters sometimes succeed in ignoring the most obvious lesson.

Third, we should establish a powerful global system to monitor and prevent pandemics. In the age-old war between humans and pathogens, the frontline passes through the body of each and every human being. If this line is breached anywhere on the planet, it puts all of us in danger. Even the richest people in the most developed countries have a personal interest to protect the poorest people in the least developed countries. If a new virus jumps from a bat to a human in a poor village in some remote jungle, within a few days that virus can take a walk down Wall Street.

 

 

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