Yuval Noah Harari: the world after coronavirus | Free to read



Article well worth reading, but I wonder how many of the world’s leaders are capable of making the decisions he recommends. Snowden’s recent remarks about state survellance which he should know about living where he does, show that authoritarian regimes will certainly make use of generalised surveillance to control populations. Will our democracies have the moral courage to allow citizens to verify their methods of spying on us? I wonder.

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“Yet if we are not careful, the epidemic might nevertheless mark an important watershed in the history of surveillance. Not only because it might normalise the deployment of mass surveillance tools in countries that have so far rejected them, but even more so because it signifies a dramatic transition from “over the skin” to “under the skin” surveillance.” - Yes, true.

Also, short term decisions have often long term consequences:

"The Trump administration decided to end a $200m early warning program designed to alert it to potential pandemics just three months before it is believed Covid-19 began infecting people in China.

The project, called Predict, had been run by the US Agency for International Development since 2009. It had identified more than 160 different coronaviruses that had the potential to develop into pandemics, including a virus that is considered the closest known relative to Covid-19."

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