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How to avoid a techno-apocalypse brought on by the internet


Scientist

How to avoid a techno-apocalypse brought on by the internet

New stories by authors including Neal Stephenson, Rose Eveleth and Robert Harris imagine a techno-apocalypse precipitated by the internet. Some even hint at how we could dodge it Humans 24 June 2020 By Sally Adee A banner about fake news at an anti-lockdown protest in CaliforniaStanton Sharpe/SOPA Images/Lightrocket via Getty ImagesTHE nuclear blast that takes…

How to avoid a techno-apocalypse brought on by the internet

New stories by authors including Neal Stephenson, Rose Eveleth and Robert Harris imagine a techno-apocalypse precipitated by the internet. Some even hint at how we could dodge it



Humans



24 June 2020

By Sally Adee

New Scientist Default Image

A banner about fake news at an anti-lockdown protest in California

Stanton Sharpe/SOPA Images/Lightrocket via Getty Images

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THE nuclear blast that takes out Moab, Utah, in Neal Stephenson’s 2019 novel Fall; or, Dodge in Hell is “epistemic ground zero”. That is because it doesn’t actually happen. It is an online-only 9-11, a viral conspiracy theory that becomes the fault line along which the US fractures in two.

On one side, the people who believe that Moab is a no-go zone, and that the event has been covered up by swamp-dwelling politicians. On the other, the people who can freely travel …

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