In this episode, we meet up with Audrey Tang, Taiwan's Digital Minister, to discuss how Taiwan eliminated Covid-19 with only 7 deaths. Find out how information technology was instrumental in Taiwan's success, from helping source and distribute masks, to enabling citizen engagement through direct democracy. And finally, we dig into how this ongoing experiment with direct democracy in Taiwan has helped avoid the deadly plague of conspiracy theories, social polarization, and what some people are now calling the 'epistemic crisis' we're experiencing in the West.

In this Stolen Headlines, we invite show supporters Tim Reutemann and Mendel Skulski to discuss Coronavirus - how various world governments have responded so far, and the role information technology has played in detecting, containing and eradicating the disease. Tim introduces the informal hackathon he's initiated along with this wife, as a platform for people to do something about the virus.

We discuss: how Taiwan has approached containing Coronavirus, and whether the surveillance provisions set up in order to contain the disease could persist after it's resolved. And we argue about whether modern, data-driven totalitarian societies like China are proving themselves more efficient than free-market economies in addressing Coronavirus, and whether this points to any unexpected advantages this new state form may have over the Western model in the future.

Tim brought the stolen headlines for this show (via Google Translate). The first piece we discuss looks at how the first Swiss citizens became infected with the virus and how the Swiss government has responded to the infection.

The second is a detailed reflection from blogger Alex Kunz on his experience of Coronavirus in Taiwan.

Joey & Tim's Coronavirus Hackathon is organizing itself via Discord. There's already a couple of investors staking cash to help the best ideas get realised. If you'd like to help out, you're welcome to join -- you'll also find me there! Come say hi at: