During the Covid-19 pandemic, technology remains a driving force in the path to find answers and grapple with the unknown. As we search for solutions and explanations in uncertain times, science can either drive us toward life-changing solutions — or weird conspiracy theories.
Trying times have sprung technologists into action, bringing tech firms, scientists, and researchers together like never before to take on a global pandemic. But when times are hard, humans are further motivated to find explanations that make sense of things they don’t understand — even if that means seeing patterns that don't exist. It all boils down how we handle uncertainty.
In this episode of The Abstract podcast, we take a look at technology's role in Covid-19 and the conspiracy theory linking 5G networks to its spread.
Our first story examines technology’s key role in the fight against Covid-19. As Apple and Google team up to take on the spread of the coronavirus, we’ll explore how advanced tracking technology can make contact tracing more effective and radically transform the pandemic response. By using the smartphones that reside in almost everyone's pockets, the two firms aim to fine-tune a contact tracing app that could potentially contain the spread of the virus without the need for mass lockdowns.
Our second story traces back to a strange, baseless theory that emerged in February 2020: that 5G wireless technology caused the Covid-19 pandemic. As these false theories spread, psychologists help explain the flip side of new technology, and how the confusion it creates can drive some toward conspiracy theories.
Read the original Inverse stories here:
- Covid-19: How Apple and Google's system could help end lockdowns
- 5G and Covid-19: The origin, explanation, and reason why scientists are concerned
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- We're hosted and produced by Tanya Bustos.
Right now, facts and science matter more than ever. That's part of the reason for The Abstract, this all-new podcast from the Inverse staff that focuses exclusively on science and innovation. Three new episodes are released a week, and each covers one theme via two related stories. Each features audio of original Inverse reporting, where the facts and context take center stage. It's hosted by the Tanya Bustos of WSJ Podcasts. Because we're Inverse, it's all true but slightly off-kilter. It's made for people who want to know the whole story. —Nick Lucchesi, executive editor, Inverse