The Week Unwrapped: Health data, green banking and flawed maps
How will we deal with knowing so much more about our health? Should central banks seek to fight climate change? And is Google Maps leading us astray?
Arion McNicoll and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days.
In this week’s episode, we discuss:
Health data omniscience
A “revolution” in human biology means we may all soon have access to unprecedented levels of information about the state of our health - including our personal risk of any number of illnesses. But while this new era of personalised medicine brings the power to take action before disease takes hold, are we ready to make these potentially life-saving decisions?
Green central banking
The Bank of Japan has recently unveiled a plan to give cheap funding to projects that are considered to be environmentally beneficial. It’s the latest example of a trend towards governments giving central banks responsibility for what would once have been considered political decisions, including job creation as well as broader economic stimulus.
Scottish mountain rescue teams have warned hillwalkers attempting to climb Ben Nevis that they shouldn’t rely on Google Maps to guide them to the top. They say they were increasingly worried that people were using their smartphones to follow what appeared to be a footpath that “goes through very steep, rocky, and pathless terrain where even in good visibility it would be challenging to find a safe line”. Is this another sign that we’re too willing to trust our digital devices?