things to think about


today i am thinking about: SWINE FLU
May 5, 2009, 5:52 pm
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This is what I think about it:swine_flu

  1. The US government is not calling it swine flu any more, but Influenza A (H1N1.) This is because the pork lobby is mad about the bad PR. (link) No really — go to the CDC website. It’s H1N1 flu.
    1. Do we really want to live in a world where our first concerns about potential public health crises have to do with branding?
      1. Douglas Rushkoff has a really interesting book out about over-obsession with branding and monetization that I think relates. You can read about it at http://www.rushkoff.com. I am definitely going to get it when it comes out.
        1. Do I need a website like that?
        2. Should I be worried about my own branding?
        3. Should I be worried I worry about my own branding?
        4. Follow me on Twitter! http://www.twitter.com/arielariel
  2. Man the pork industry must be really worried if they think this can sink them.
  3. They already think swine flu is calming down. Is this an eerie parallel with the 1918 Influenza Epidemic or is it just a tribute to Tamiflu and better public health protocols?
    1. I love guessing URLs and being right on the first try, a la http://www.tamiflu.com
    2. See a.i.C, above. Oy vey.
  4. Did you know 36,000 people die of flu complications a year in the US? It makes this seem less dramatic.
  5. http://www.boingboing.net the best blog on the internet has these posts that you should read:
    1. Q&A with Maggie Koerth-Baker, who maybe one day will be my mentor and we will write genius science explanation writing together.
    2. Cory Doctorow does the math: we are not in fact all gonna die. Of the swine flu. I mean, we are in fact all going to die.
  6. I guess that is part of it, right? We are in fact all going to die. And people are still riding the subway and people are still going to parties and that’s pretty cool. I approve of this. I imagine I would be much less calm if I personally felt more threatened — that’s just honest, right. But I am comforted by all this nature around us that could kill us at any time — all those Hs and Ns recombining. Maybe it’ll be H2N1 that gets us. Who knows? I don’t know! But I like knowing that no matter how hard I try, I can’t make the world safe. Swine flu will get me or a piano falling will get me. Maybe we would all do much better if we accepted we can’t control everything that might kill us. Respecting it would probably serve us much better in the long run anyways.
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