Monday, 13 May 2013
Disease has long changed human history, from the Black Death to brain altering parasites. One problem with a lack of diversity and monoculture around the world, coupled with fragile political and financial institutions, is that a pandemic (or fears of one) can cause disruptions that terrorists could only dream of. As gaps between upper and lower classes grow, so does the lack of medical care. The classic Edgar Allen Poe story "The Masque of the Red Death" comes to mind, as decadent aristocrats hide within walled keeps as a plague devastates the country around them. As climate change accelerates and home biotech gets cheaper, designer diseases and basement bugs may give nature a kick in the pants.