It’s Time to Tell a New Story About Coronavirus—Our Lives Depend on It

A facebook post referring to
It’s Time to Tell a New Story About Coronavirus—Our Lives Depend on It

[ 4/8/20 ]

Some truth in it, but not enough.

New Zealand has eliminated the virus, by the very simple expedient of depriving it of further hosts.

Isolation and basic hygiene work.

They would have worked world wide, but the political and economic contexts were not sufficiently cooperative to allow it to happen. There is too much distrust.

That lack of trust has several major contributing factors, and thousands of minor ones.

One of the major factors is the myth, the false belief, that competitive markets are supportive of liberty and security.
That idea is logically and mathematically demonstrably false.

Another major factor is the use of AI in social media to simply optimise for attention time on screen. Those algorithms then feed people news and information that appeals to their particular sets of subconscious bias leading to ever more distorted understandings of reality. The extremes become isolated from each other, unable to communicate or trust. The normal factors of social mixing with a wide variety of intermediaries that have in the past moderated the worst of those effects are no longer present. So now we have large and growing sectors of society that cannot communicate with each other or trust each other, and all because doing that makes a few cents per person per day for some advertising algorithm.

Yet another example of how markets, left to their own incentive structures, pose existential level risk to us all.

If we wish to survive, and if we want anything any of us would recognise as liberty, then we need to have individual life and individual liberty as our highest values, and those two things demand of us responsibility in social and ecological contexts.

So some truth in the original article, and for me too many half truths, that fail to address the most important issues.

If we are to survive as a species, then we must accept the requirement that we act cooperatively and responsibly. The idea that we can be primarily selfish and competitive and survive, is wrong – dangerously so.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see
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