It could be said that great shifts require greater upheavals to propagate. And it is true chaos precedes change and that change is a double edge sword with every solution giving birth to a new problem. You discover fire which gives you warmth and with it comes the smelting of weapons. You discover a cheaper more efficient method to power cities and you spark an arms race just like ironically you give people rights and they give them away.
Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
If there was one word you could pick to describe the year of 2020 it would be “Fear” and it seems from the moment the clock struct 12 ushering in the new year that the world has been gripped in a state of panic and for the first time in a long time that fear has reached the first world.
Fires, floods, locusts and now an epidemic emerging across the world dubbed Covid-19 Aka Coronavirus which slithered out of a Chinese wet market in Wuhan and quickly spread across the globe.
Disrupting supply chains and bringing China to a near standstill and with it global trade and manufacture which over the last few decades has become increasingly centralized to the Chinese mainland and surrounding regions triggering the mother of all supply line disruptions we are now seeing.And ironically in the process highlighting the importance of decentralization and the positive roll it can play in the world.
Labeled “Public enemy #1” by WHO officials we are now only a few months in and with statements from health officials like Johns Hopkins senior Dr. Amesh Adalja.
It’s going to become a part of our seasonal respiratory virus family that causes disease
I think we can expect to see some big changes occurring in the coming months and as The world holds it’s breath to see what will happen next as politicians and health officials alike call for calm we can do nothing but hope for the best and keep ourselves as healthy physically and mentally as we possibly can.
But even more alarming then the disease it’s self is the writing on the wall that is beginning to emerge. The unique abilities of the virus to be highly contagious whilst asymptomatic as well as it’s ability to survive outside of a host for up to 9 days has given rise to a heightened probability of rapid spreading and already we are seeing drastic measures taken to prevent this.
The first thing that caught my eye was a video clip of Chinese bank clerks spraying bundles of cash with what seemed to be disinfectant.
This was only shortly after we learnt that the virus could survive outside of a host for days and it wasn’t long after the above video began circulating that articles began to pop up with headlines reading.
The People’s Bank of China announced the measure on Saturday, with the aim to contain the virus.
Now even the WHO itself has expressed similar views on the way banknotes could be spreading Covid-19 adding even more writing on the wall for the coming “cashless age” that has been such a Buzzword the last few years.
Dirty banknotes may be spreading the coronavirus, The World Health Organization suggests
In Singapore AI powered body scanning at airports is being rolled out to support the “Fight” to stop the spread of the deadly virus developed by its healthtech agency IHiS and a local startup called Kronikare it was certified as a Class A medical device by the Health Sciences Authority in early February.
The device has seen interest from others including shopping centres and banks.“There’s a bank which’s studying this product as well,” IHiS’s CEO said.
While on the other side of the world in South Carolina. Other uses for similar technologies are being explored and trialed. In this case the fear of mass shootings prompted two schools in the region to swap metal detectors for AI powered body scanners in a bid to curb violent and deadly incidents.
“That’s the thing about this new system, is they monitor everything,” Kitchens added. “They definitely have a lot of other different technology devices implemented to make it feel like they’re watching us." said WFHS student body president Ella Kitchens
All these advancements in the security and medical sectors can be viewed as exciting and perhaps is even a sigh of relief for many throughout the world. But does the danger of overreach and out right abuse of such powerful surveillance tools outweigh their positive attributes?
Recently circulating the inter-webs were headlines of Amazon removing products that even mentioned coronavirus. This rumor was later confirmed when it recently blocked or removed more than 1 million products for suspect or misleading claims about COVID19 and it’s treatment and prevention.
Highlighting the importance that Private Blockchain E-commerce solutions like Particl and Openbazaar can play in the future by offering us uncensorable decentralized platforms for buyers and sellers to trade undisturbed.
Earlier this week a group of bipartisan lawmakers proposed a new bill. dubbed the Shop Safe Act, which would hold e-commerce platforms accountable for counterfeit goods sold on their sites and all this around the same time Facebook was seen banning ads on its platform that guarantee a cure, create a sense of urgency or otherwise attempt to cash-in on the COVID-19 outbreak.
Consumer lives are at risk because of dangerous counterfeit products that are flooding the online marketplace,” Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., said in a statement. abcnews.go.com
It is certainly clear that Companies, governments, industries and institutions across the board are not letting this crisis and soon to be declared “Pandemic” go to waste. And it is clear that from this crisis new laws will be passed and yet more of our rights and freedoms removed. More surveillance and more data collection and once again less privacy for the everyday citizen.
Nobody knows what the future holds but I do know one thing and that is with Cashless societies emerging and wide spread AI surveillance on the horizon. privacy focused blockchain based networks are going to play an important roll in holding back the inevitable fact our world and the technologies that keep us in touch, keep us connected and now keep us safe are taking a dangerous swerve towards a true 1984 style dystopia.
One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes a revolution in order to establish a dictatorship.