I'm just as guilty of drive by affection as the next person, but these things creep into my thoughts regularly, and trouble me. I struggle to know who do I invite to a party, based on real life versus Facebook ties, and what does a given person feel about me in real-time versus the way they Like me online?
Various agencies designed to deal with such emergencies were already being stretched before Ebola struck. Equally frustrating is the fact that this crisis graphically demonstrates how the lack of reliable communication today is a matter of life and death, but communication infrastructure lags behind human need.
There are limits to connectivity maps. As one scientist put it, so far they give information only on the level of interstate highways and major cities; smaller towns and roads are not yet on the map. Other scientists wonder which should come first -- the maps or the specific questions we hope to answer with them.