The times we live in are crying out for reliable guides. Which sources covering Covid-19 are crucial, and which are pointless? The amount of information is overwhelming, the topic too complex, the "experts" numerous. So who to follow, how to act?
Technology critic Evgeny Morozov’s brainchild The Syllabus should be essential reading. Morozov sends out a special Covid-19 newsletter every day with a diverse list of articles, podcasts and videos, selected from tens of thousands of international sources. And it’s available in six languages.
The Syllabus is not about the latest news or hard medical papers. Instead, it gives insightful background information to the pandemic – publications that try to fathom its structural effects and offer sharp analyses of an uncertain future.
A small selection from the past week:
- Why it will be disastrous if African countries follow western countries’ approach to tackling the virus.
- What this crisis means for the Achilles’ heel of modern capitalism – the immense mountain of debt.
- The emerging opportunities for telehealth (care at a distance).
One of the interesting features of The Syllabus is that it breaks with the laws of the attention economy. Sources are not selected by popularity or engagement but by relevance. The system behind The Syllabus searches the web for a combination of themes, words, sources, and authors. An editorial team led by Morozov then assesses which content is worthwhile.
Mainstream journalism is not ignored. The major newspapers, broadcasters and sites are included in the selection. (Pieces by The Correspondent are also tipped.) But you can also discover lesser-known sites, blogs and podcasts.
The sources that The Syllabus provides are generally progressive and critical of the status quo. They offer perspectives that help you better understand what’s going on now while pointing to a different, perhaps better future.
Earlier, I wrote a long read about the genesis of The Syllabus. You can read that story – one of the most extraordinary I have ever worked on – here.