The most important expertise failures of 2022


The affect of those applied sciences may very well be measured within the variety of individuals affected. Greater than a billion individuals in China are actually being uncovered to the virus for the primary time; 335 million on Twitter are watching Musk’s antics; and fentanyl killed 70,000 within the US. In every of those messes, there are vital classes about why expertise fails. Learn on.

The FTX meltdown

Night time falls on made-up cash

Think about a world during which you can also make up new varieties of cash and different individuals can pay you, properly, actual cash to get some. Let’s name what they’re shopping for cryptocurrency tokens. However as a result of there are such a lot of varieties of tokens, and so they’re laborious to purchase and promote, think about that an entrepreneur creates a non-public inventory market to commerce them. Let’s name {that a} “cryptocurrency trade.” As a result of the tokens don’t have any intrinsic worth and different exchanges have gone belly-up, you’d make sure that yours was ultra-safe and properly regulated.

That was the idea behind FTX Buying and selling, a crypto trade began by Sam Bankman-Fried, a twentysomething who touted subtle expertise, like a 24/7 “automated danger engine” that will examine each 30 seconds to see if depositors had sufficient actual cash to cowl their crypto gambles. Know-how would guarantee “full transparency.”

Behind the façade, although, FTX was seemingly simply old style embezzlement. In keeping with US investigators, Bankman-Fried took clients’ cash and used it to purchase fancy homes, make political donations, and amass big stakes in illiquid crypto tokens. All of it got here crashing down in November. John Ray, appointed to supervise the bankrupt firm, stated that FTX’s expertise “was not subtle in any respect.”  Neither was the purported fraud: “That is simply taking cash from clients and utilizing it in your personal objective.”

Bankman-Fried, an MIT graduate whose dad and mom are each Stanford College legislation professors, was arrested within the Bahamas in December and faces a number of counts of conspiracy, fraud, and cash laundering.

To study extra about cryptocurrency promoters, we suggest if Wolf of Wall Avenue had been about crypto, a satirical video by Joma Tech.

From drugs to homicide

How fentanyl turned a killer

Again in 1953, the Belgian physician and chemist Paul Janssen set about creating the strongest painkiller he might. He believed he might enhance on morphine, designing a molecule that was 100 occasions stronger however with a brief length. His discovery, the artificial opioid fentanyl, would turn into the painkiller most generally used throughout surgical procedure.

Right this moment, fentanyl is setting grim information—it’s concerned within the unintentional dying of round 70,000 individuals a 12 months within the US, or about two-thirds of all deadly drug overdoses. It’s the main reason behind dying in American adults beneath 50, killing greater than automotive accidents, weapons, and covid collectively.


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