What Coronavirus Reveals About the Economic Model That Shapes Our Lives

By Cengiz Salman and Anna Watkins Fisher

Photo by Christopher Corneschi (License: CC BY-SA 4.0)

The US is often imagined as a nation of abundance, even excess. However, mere days into the coronavirus crisis, reports emerged of abrupt shortages: shelves without toilet paper, bread, or flour. More concerning still was the lack of disinfectants, sanitizers, and necessary medical equipment such as masks, gloves, gowns, and ventilators — and, we would learn, state and local governments and health systems were being forced to compete for medical and personal protective equipment, even relying on private donations to fill the gap between need and supply.

For many, the country’s ill preparedness…

The M.I.T. Media Lab’s Ties to Epstein Lift Into View a Cynical Feedback Loop Between Activism and What It Seeks to Combat

Earlier this month, The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow revealed evidence that M.I.T.’s famed Media Lab had failed to disclose the full extent of its financial entanglement with ignominious financier Jeffrey Epstein. Despite the knowledge that Epstein had pleaded guilty in 2008 to a felony charge of solicitation of prostitution involving a minor, reports claim, the Media Lab continued to accept financial gifts from him and those in his network, to consult with him on the allocation of such…

Anna Watkins Fisher

Assistant Professor of American Culture and Digital Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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