Significant innovations often require “epistemological ruptures,” a notion introduced in 1938 by the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard that was recast as “paradigm shifts” by Thomas Kuhn in his 1962 book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. As relevant as the expression may be to describe the unexpected advent of an invention or innovation, it does it from the point of view of the inventor/innovator or as an after-the-fact observation.
When planes hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, so many people were sitting at their desks trying to find out what was going on that many large news websites crashed. Although the commercial internet had been around for a decade or so, it was very much in its infancy.
The tech companies insist that the corona pandemic of 2020 will not be a repeat of the US presidential election of 2016. With millions of lives at stake, economies collapsing and hunger spreading, they will not rake in the advertising revenue generated by fake news and Russian disinformation this time round. They are responsible corporate citizens. Or so they wish us to believe.
A quick adopter of social technology, the Canadian Consulate General in Hong Kong uses social media channels to get official information out to Canadians across the globe. The consulate runs active bilingual accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. While their pages are normally filled with tasty Canadian treats, Canada has harnessed the power of social media to provide instant up to date information on their consulate services and advice from the Canadian home office.