In Rewired’s second issue, we seek to capture our physical and digital circumstances in a single word: Viral. Departing from our inaugural issue, Governance, which honed in on a particular topic, Viral emphasizes form — the systems by which people, things, and ideas are intertwined. With the pandemic rippling through communities and media permeating digital networks, Viral interrogates the intricate, dynamic, and unexpected connections that technology makes possible.
We invite you to reflect upon the missteps of the tech sector’s pandemic innovations. We offer a topsy-turvy look at today’s scourge of viral content on social media, which, bizarrely, has influencers moving onto LinkedIn and tech founders moving into TikTok houses. We ask you to consider how addictive technology has transformed us into “digital zombies” in need of a cure.
Yet, there is no easy panacea for our contemporary virus — just as there is no single, defining malaise in this era of Covid-19, viral media content, and pathological ideology. This, however, does not absolve us of personal responsibility. Whether by wearing a mask or fact-checking a post, individuals should practice stewardship over the digital and physical communities to which they belong.
The immense power of viral networks rests upon individual agency, and Viral urges us to recognize our active roles in their creation and nullification. Our modern contagions call for prudence.
— the Editors, Winter 2021
Editors: Jason Zhao, Irene Han, Ben Esposito
Design: Crystal Nattoo (Lead), Jessica Chen, Anna Greene, Ji Hong Ni, Cameron Linhares-Huang, Kaylie Mings
Tech: Rayan Krishnan (Lead), Anne Li
Business: Enya Lu (Lead), Elaine Park
Staff Writers: Nic Becker, Tanvi Dutta Gupta, Shana Hadi, Peter Maldonado, Christopher Maximos
Contributing Writers: Dr. Jen King, Cooper Raterink, Will Shao, Adriana Stephan, Jake Zawlacki
Advisor: Mark Gardiner