Wired USA – May 2020
We’ve never shown fear of the future at wired. Times of great change, of apparent chaos, are just punctuation—the end of one paragraph and the beginning of a new one. Our stories, our design, even our vocabulary has always encrypted a message: Don’t be scared. Be excited. Living in the future is fun.
You’re frightened now. So are we. At the time of this writing, half a million humans are confirmed to have the disease Covid-19. More than 20,000 have died. By the time you read this, those numbers will seem quaint. But our message has not changed. Don’t be scared. Hold the line. Hold, also, to this: When humanity hits a crisis, it always looks to science for help. Not because scientists are perfect, or even smarter on average than other humans, but because science is one of the best ways humans have come up with to reliably understand how the world works and how to fix it when it’s broken.
The really important thing about science, though, is that it lets people understand the world together. Scientists don’t just discover things. They write about them in agreed-upon formats, construct experiments and collect data in convincingly logical ways, and use a vast distribution network to share what they know. Science is a force for civilization.