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What We Pretend to Know About the Coronavirus Could Kill Us

The New York Times: “…We’ve grown accustomed to living through an information war fought largely by hardened political operatives and trolls. But while the coronavirus crisis is political and will continue to be politicized, its most consequential fights will take place in the “fog of pandemic” where so much of our data — from health statistics to economic indicators — is flawed or evolving. Today’s propaganda could be tomorrow’s truth. Or vice versa. Even the good guys are working with limited information and hoping for the best. We are not prepared for what’s coming. The best illustration of this challenge is the changing consensus and public messaging on wearing masks…But you don’t have to be a science denier to end up seduced by bad information. A pandemic makes us all excellent targets for misinformation. No one has natural immunity to this coronavirus, leaving us all threatened and looking for information to make sense of the world. Unfortunately, the pace of scientific discovery doesn’t match the speed of our information ecosystems. As Wired reported in March, researchers are moving faster than ever to understand the virus — so fast that it may be compromising some of the rigor…”

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