Jun 4, 2017

We've always been afraid of technology

Technology evolves fast. We are hearing a lot of questions about where we're headed as a society, and whether or not robots will take over our lives completely. Automation can disturb us and, sure, driverless cars are a little frightening. But our fear of technology has been around since we began to invent -- it's not known for sure, but the Bronze Age-wheel, too, must have troubled some people. The Pessimists Archive has a collection of some of the best reactions to new inventions and gadgets.

Furby toys, 1999: "Hot toy turned electro-menace." NYT called the toy "a threat to nothing but the wallets and emotional equilibrium of desperately shopping parents."

The Internet, 1996: Iranian government officials wanted a "spiritual hold" on the Internet and they thought kids would be able to be brainwashed by things they saw online.

Radio, 1927: It was blamed for a murder after one teenager, who committed a double murder, said listening to the radio made him "feel queer inside." It was also blamed for causing "a tremendous amount of friction between parents and children."

Buses, 1926: Railroad employees demanded restricted bus services so that the "bus menace" would take their jobs.

Electric lights, 1914: Although we all rely on this today, people were not happy about it when electric lights were introduced. One professor argued people would become addicted to the "night life" thanks to the "great white ways." And they were blamed for people staying up later.

Automobiles, 1911: "The Devilish Devil Wagon." They were the original driverless cars, at least to those who drove horse-drawn carriages. People were so afraid they shot at them. One pastor called them "a menace to the church and the country's financial integrity." A brain specialist argued cars would make people have elongated brains. "It remains to be seen how fast the brain can handle traveling."

Recorded music, 1906:

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 857,487 — Total deaths: 42,107 — Total recoveries: 178,034.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 188,172 — Total deaths: 3,873 — Total recoveries: 7,024.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans.
  6. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam pleaded with the U.S. Navy for more resources after more than 100 members of his crew tested positive.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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World coronavirus updates: UN warns of recession with "no parallel" to recent past

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus pandemic is the "greatest test" the world has faced together since the formation of the United Nations just after the Second World War ended in 1945, UN chief António Guterres said Tuesday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 856,000 and the death toll exceeded 42,000 Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 12,000 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

White House projects 100,000 to 240,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths

President Trump said at a press briefing on Tuesday that the next two weeks in the U.S. will be "very painful" and that he wants "every American to be prepared for the days that lie ahead," before giving way to Deborah Birx to explain the models informing the White House's new guidance on the coronavirus.

Why it matters: It's a somber new tone from the president that comes after his medical advisers showed him data projecting that the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health