In this interview with Emergence Magazine, author David Quammen talks about the nature and emergence of the novel coronavirus, and how human activity has been instrumental in its spread.
No, it was not our desire to socialize with others that enabled the coronavirus to spread around the world. Quammen narrates that it is our disruptive activitities -mining of mountains, the cutting down of trees, the eating of exotic animal meat, to name a few – which has allowed the coronavirus to evolve, and finally infect humans.
And though we already knew about the possible danger of the virus to human populations as early as 2015, but no country or company was willing to fund research to understand its nature and develop possible cures. Human activity, couples with our society’s stress on profitability has led us to where we are today.
Implications for AI
As long as we utilize the same framework for conducting our business and political affairs, new pandemics will arise as the climate crisis worsens. But we need to continue to believe that we have the capacity to turn the tide around.
If we gain the willingness to make educated decisions based on an image of the future that we wish to create, we will find creative solutions that never existed before.
As Rahm Emanuel said, let us not let this crisis go into waste. Let us seize the opportunity to demand for substantive change from our leaders. Let us make this a drastic leap towards a future where humans live in harmony with the earth, a future where the real purpose of the human being will find its completion.
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