Today on Cory Doctorow's Pluralistic

Pluralistic: 02 May 2020 – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow

++ The mistrust epidemic

The pandemic isn’t the only disease that’s annihilating our society: alongside of it, there is an epidemic of mistrust in institutions and a growth in conspiricism, a panic to save yourself and let everyone else fend on their own.

Blaming Big Tech for the collapse in trust and commonly held truth is backwards: Big Tech’s bigness is en effect, not a cause, of the corruption that made our institutions so untrustworthy.

++ Prisons, meat packing plants and nursing homes

Coronavirus outbreaks are concentrated in three places: Prisons, meat packing plants and nursing homes – industries that are built on treating people cruelly, like disposable components.

“Public health has always known the truth. The care of the most margnialized members of society is important for fighting infectious diseases.”…

… the GOP’s emphasis has been on shielding employers whose employers or customers die of coronavirus due to unsafe conditions. These industries are designed to run in unsafe ways and can’t conceive of operating safely.

++ Contact tracing apps could be worse than useless.

Too many false positives and false negatives. It’s like those security warnings you see on websites that are so noisy that everybody just clicks past them and ignores them.

An exposure-notification app that forgets to notify you when you’re at risk AND often notifies you when you are not at risk becomes a worse-than-useless frippery, as well an expensive boondoggle and distraction.

And security defects in those apps could literally increase a population’s exposure to terrorism, crime, election fraud and authoritarian governments.

However, contact tracing can be useful and safe, with the right precautions.

++ Ticketmaster sold a $500M stake to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who ordered the murder, torture and dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

++ And a hopeful note from Kim Stanley Robinson.

Mitch Wagner @MitchWagner