I find this little nugget fascinating:
The history of passports – which were introduced as a seemingly temporary measure during the first world war, but were retained in response to fears about spreading the Spanish flu – shows that pandemics can significantly influence our social infrastructure.
The temporary becomes the norm.
I had not really thought much about the tech firms in this light before - of the undue control they have on computing infrastructure. (I think the author here including both hardware and software platforms in 'infrastructure').
In all the global crises, pandemics and social upheavals that may yet come, those in control of the computers, not those with the largest datasets, have the best visibility and the best – and perhaps the scariest — ability to change the world.
I don't know if it's a bigger problem or not than surveillance capitalism though. They both seem like big problems, in tandem.
The distinction between harvesting data and running the platform seems pretty neglible, too. Unless maybe he's talking about things like Amazon Web Services more than things like Facebook?