Disruptive Innovation Will Not Solve The Pandemic

Santiago Zabala in The Philosopher:

This pandemic is closer to a disruption than a crisis or emergency. While all three refer to unexpected and dangerous events requiring immediate action not all involve a rupture. Crises and emergencies have become chronic conditions in finance and politics. This is why we prepare for them through financial contingency plans, safety drills, and disseminating information for the public. These, according to some political scientists, can also socialize people into better democratic habits and attitudes. Disruptions, by contrast, are meant to tear apart our existence. To take a prominent contemporary example, think of the industries that Uber and Amazon have disrupted by offering cheaper services and products.

According to some experts the current pandemic is affecting our lives to a greater degree than the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the economic crisis of 2008 combined. This is why many say that we are “at war” with the virus. But of course a virus does not pursue political victories or demand changes in our foreign policies. Thinking in these terms is likely to lead to muddled and ineffective responses. Just think of a similarly misguided war, specifically the “war on terror,” which has trapped us in an ineffective cycle of militarized responses to a problem that cannot be solved by military means.

This same logic should also be applied to those politicians, business leaders and entrepreneurs who think the Covid-19 virus must be approached through “disruptive innovation”.

More here.