Experts said our interconnected world was going to make outbreaks like H1N1 far worse than those that came before. But author Steven Johnson says that information spreads faster than people do, and that's what will keep us safe. This is thanks to what he calls "information ubiquity," which is the same force behind the decline of newspapers and the rise of e-readers like the Kindle. Johnson is the author of a recent book about the 1854 cholera epidemic in London called The Ghost Map as well as Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software, and his most recent book is The Invention of Air. He is also the founder of hyper-local reporting site Outside.In.
"We don't have national headlines about car accidents, but we about child abductions, ironically, because they're unusual and because they're so dramatic. So we're drawn to those things because they're unusual and dramatic, but the instill in us a wrong sense of where the actual threats are." —Author Steven Johnson on the spread of information
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