Monday, April 27, 2009

Twitter + Swine Flu = Proof That We Now Officially Prefer Truthiness To Truth?

Discuss.

Seriously, thought: we've engineered ourselves the supreme, transcendent echo chamber into which we can whisper our deepest, 140 character fears, laced with just enough fact to make them terrifying, and now we're here. A country - a globe? - populated with people with access but not necessarily the education, perspective, or skepticism to process the vast swaths of information thrust upon them.

Somehow, I think part of the answer might be a renewed commitment to educating in maths and sciences.

1 comment:

Mr Rob said...

From The Daily Telegraph..."How virulent this strain of flu will prove to be is unknown: most of its victims outside Mexico appear to have contracted a mild form of the disease, which is, in any case, treatable with anti-viral drugs. It is incumbent, then, on all those in official positions to avoid hyperbolic comments of the sort uttered by Margaret Chan, director-general of the WHO, when she said that "all of humanity is under threat". When this is added to round-the-clock television news coverage of the sort that did not exist 40 years ago, it is bound to cause undue alarm. The tearful scenes at a primary school in Devon, where the first case in England was confirmed, suggest irrational fear has taken a grip. So far, the number of cases is far fewer than would be expected during a normal flu outbreak."