A Critical Perspective
In a world where an epidemic (“among people”) has become a pandemic (“all people”), an organization that thought naming a virus - Novel Coronavirus(2019-nCoV) was a smart idea, now gives us infodemic (“informed? people”).
Well, we are off to a stupid start. I suppose it is not surprising that etymology is out the window. For the record, you don’t really need to say “global pandemic” it is a bit like “DL list” in baseball. Also Corona virus is really just SARS the sequel. SARS it appears is now a racist term… I thought in meant severe acute respiratory syndrome? But the WHO decided that we needed a new name as not to scare Asia. Think I am making this up? READ
They have also decided we need a new name for “Fake News”. I suppose Trump made that racist, too? Any how, a perfectly good term was replaced by “people WHO can’t name anything in a meaningful or easy way” (now shortened to just WHO) with a term that is misleading and confusing. Gee… I wonder why they are struggling with communicating clear information to people?
Infodemic is a stupid word.
Moving on. We have a lot of stupid words. What harm could this one do?
From the people accused of creating “fake news”, on platforms designed for sharing pictures of your kid’s ballet recital or a dumb 30 second dance you just invented, in partnership with a dying industry incented to sensationalize every headline, comes the clear answer…?
I am sorry. For a guy who has spent three decades delivering complex data to hundreds of companies, thousands of executives, and likely a million employees — this is heart braking. If that same guy also spent years trying to improve Data Science & Analytic education for the masses — doubly so.
Folks we are drowning in data… although good data on Covid-19 is actually really hard to come by. I linked to a great article on Medium yesterday — but today it leads to a 410 Error. I guess the social media war on the Infodemic has begun?
BUT, the answer to drowning is not draining the ocean. It is learning to swim! It is also not about assigning lifeguards from among the lands of journalism, social media, or government — they can’t swim either! This is a problem of education. Learn some damn research skills, apply math & logic, read more, learn a little economics. For pete’s sake — don’t delegate responsibility to groups clamoring to have it. That is the proverbial fox guarding the hen house.
Thanks for reading. Stay safe. More importantly — stay informed!