Editor’s note: Our reality is virtual

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Stuart Elliott
A few weekends ago, sheltering in place from the coronavirus, witnessing  the looting in cities amid peaceful protests and watching the first manned commercial spaceflight in history, I thought how future generations would probably look back on those few days as historic. 
While seemingly disparate, the thread that runs through those events, that undergirds them all, is technology.
Staring at our screens for most of our waking hours, the transformations of our lives wrought by tech are already a given. But the extent to which tech is shaping our life, and the real estate we live and work in, is even more profound than we realize. Everything traces back to it.
The outrage over George Floyd’s death — and the ability to highlight police misconduct in general — has only been possible because it has been caught on video, because everyone has a smartphone these days.
More broadly, everything in our society, from businesses to schools to supply chains of basic goods, has been able to keep functioning during a pandemic thanks to technology. Even Congress has changed its centuries-long protocols to meet the digital age. Imagine if the crisis had happened 25 years ago, with no widespread internet or …

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