Paul Higgins: Agree to some extent Stowe but overreaction in this direction is partly because it was overbalanced in the other direction. Seen plenty of examples where medical profession are treated as gods not to be questioned, or where service is poor or non existent. Relationship cannot be a purely commercial one but the healthcare sector truly needs some “consumer lessons”
Paul Krugman cuts to the heart of the health care debate, and indirectly makes the case that some activities in the world should be outside of marketplace forces, which is why we don’t have to haggle a price when we call 911, and why America’s (generally) believe that public education and federally supported highways are a good idea.
But the GOP is skewing the discussing about health by calling patients ‘consumers’:
How did it become normal, or for that matter even acceptable, to refer to medical patients as “consumers”? The relationship between patient and doctor used to be considered something special, almost sacred. Now politicians and supposed reformers talk about the act of receiving care as if it were no different from a commercial transaction, like buying a car — and their only complaint is that it isn’t commercial enough.
What has gone wrong with us?
The idea that all this can be reduced to money — that doctors are just “providers” selling services to health care “consumers” — is, well, sickening. And the prevalence of this kind of language is a sign that something has gone very wrong not just with this discussion, but with our society’s values.
Paul Higgins: I think that they have to some extent but as I understand it not as strongly entrenched in the constitution and culture as in the USA. There is a lot less of this sort of money and influence in Australian politics although it is increasing.
“Every fact of science was once damned. Every invention was considered impossible. Every discovery was a nervous shock to some orthodoxy. Every artistic innovation was denounced as fraud and folly. The entire web of culture and ‘progress,’ everything on earth that is man-made and not given to us by nature, is the concrete manifestation of some man’s refusal to bow to Authority. We would own no more, know no more, and be no more than the first apelike hominids if it were not for the rebellious, the recalcitrant, and the intransigent. As Oscar Wilde truly said, ‘Disobedience was man’s Original Virtue.’”—
Cities are trying to tap into information generated by mobile phones, but that approach threatens to leave poor people behind.
Citizens are becoming the source of a lot of information that helps cities improve how they provide public services. For example, Boston just unveiled an iPhone app that uses the device’s accelerometer to detect possible potholes in city roads. Housing officials in South Africa use information from mobile phones to track conditions in temporary settlements. But although these technologies can help direct officials’ attention to problems they need to address, designing government initiatives around them could fail to account for the people who lack the latest devices.
“Customers will be able to check out a Kindle book from their local library and start reading on any Kindle device or free Kindle app for Android, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone,” the company said in its announcement. “If a Kindle book is checked out again or that book is purchased from Amazon, all of a customer’s annotations and bookmarks will be preserved.”
Paul Higgins: A very interesting development. If Amazon can guarantee people the security of their own notes then the e-library you borrow from becomes and extension of your own library of books
Climate deniers got you down? Check out this lecture with what seems to be some high quality data used to debunk the debunkers. Starts slow, but then shifts to grab your attention. Last month, Dr. John Mashey broke down the climate denier claims with an intensity and depth that has yet to be…
Paul Higgins: Great Post from Fred Wilson about how Kickstarter is being used in ways that were not originally envisaged - helping support all sorts of projects:
Our best investments have emergent use cases that the founders never considered when they launched them. Kickstarter is showing that in spades right now. When Perry initially imagined Kickstarter almost ten years ago now as a way to raise money for a music festival, he certainly never thought a golf pro would use Kickstarter to raise the sponsorship money he needs to play a season on the pro tour. And yet that is exactly what is happening right now.
“News.me is a newsfeed that uses artificial intelligence to monitor what people are reading and learn what they like to read; it then provides articles and links that will probably be of interest. The service will also display popular articles that are ricocheting around the Web through sites like Twitter and allow its users to save interesting articles to read later, using Instapaper, or share them through Facebook, Twitter and e-mail…. News.me also features another interesting twist… the company will pay publishers according to how many times users read an individual article from their site from the weekly fees paid by those readers”—News.Me, Social News Service, Debuts for iPad - NYTimes.com - Excellent, this uses Readability’s model for dolling out a share of revenue based on readership. Much fairer than the old way. I think I will actually subscribe and try this… (via interestingsnippets)
In what felt like a campaign stop, streamed live on the White House’s Facebook page, Obama discussed the budget deficit, fiscal responsibility, investments in technology, health-care reform, the housing crisis and the power of social media.
Paul Higgins: Umair Haque (@umairh) referred to this on his Twitter stream as:
"A well-intended, and possibly interesting, but dangerously vacuous stunt.."
I agree to some extent but also believe that the person on the street is a lot easier to communicate with politically when they feel connected. The problem with a lot of politics today is that politicians seem (and can be) far too distant from the lives of real people. If this sort of communication effort bridges part of that gap then that is a good thing. That bridge is a delicate thing though. It can be destroyed by one moment of Orwellian double talk as seems to have happened a couple of times this week. Once on tax hikes (which Obama referred to as a reduction in the tax code rather than cutting tax breaks to the rich-see Daily Show: Slashdance - Democratic Deficit Reduction Plan for Jon Stewart’s skewering of this) and once on an announcement of an investigation into energy speculators.
The single biggest way that the iPad is setting the stage for the decline of the PC is that iPad is winning the hearts and minds of children. […] If you’ve got kids, you know that children are obsessed with the iPad. The brand mindshare for iPad on America’s playgrounds is shockingly high, right up there with Disney. These kids will never, ever have any interest in using a mouse.
Open access services are thriving, however; they just aren’t thriving in libraries. BioMed Central, a commercial venture, created an author-pays model for open access that has now been widely imitated. BMC, of course, was subsequently acquired by Springer, among the largest publishers of scientific research. The Public Library of Science has established a highly regarded open access service, and they have done it entirely outside of libraries. Now PLoS has attracted many imitators: Wiley Blackwell, BMJ, and, in the social sciences, SAGE. Most intriguing is an open access service from AIP, which seems likely to create competition for the library-sponsored physics arXiv at Cornell. What we have seen with open access publishing is that publishers, rather than being disintermediated, are learning how to coopt it. With open access publishing, libraries have succeeded in disintermediating themselves.
In the book world, there are signs that publishers are indeed being disintermediated; the question is how exceptional are these instances of disintermediation. An established mystery writer named Joe Konrath decided to move his books over to Amazon’s self-publishing service because of the promise of earning higher royalties. I doubt that there is a trade publisher in the world who has not been following Konrath’s career closely, praying that he will fail. Even more fascinating is the case of a young woman named Amanda Hocking, who came to self-publishing with no prior publishing experience. Her young adult novels earned her a small fortune, attracting the interest of major commercial publishers, one of which has now signed up Hocking to a million-dollar contract. One emerging pattern seems to be that publishers are initially threatened with disintermediation, whether through open access or self-publishing services, and then find a way to reinsert themselves into the value chain. Having a big checkbook helps.
Interesting and pretty nuanced article about what is happening in the book value chain. Well worth reading!
(I have a million comments about this but this is just Tumblr… right?)
A new European project enables high effective networking based on cheap wireless sensors in a wide range of business applications — from more comfortable and energy-efficient environmental controls to precision monitoring of agricultural resources.
Fracking fluids spill onto farms, leaks into a creek. Residents are evacuated. No injuries. Suspected equipment failure. Happened in northern Pennsylvania. Video, here, here. Story, here. County location, here.
I gave a presentation to the Leadership Victoria 2011 year group last Saturday which centred around similar themes but broadened them out to apply to government and not for profit organisations.
It started with a quote from Marshall Ganz:
Leadership is: taking responsibility to enable others to achieve purpose in the face of uncertainty.
and went on to say that is this is leadership then we need more of it because there is going to be a lot more uncertainty. I looked at why and then at some of the forces that are driving both that uncertainty but also opportunity.
Half of federal agencies will be in the cloud within 12 months, according to an InformationWeek Government and InformationWeek Analytics survey.
The Obama administration’s “cloud first” policy requires agencies to use cloud services where possible for new IT requirements. It’s an alternative to capital investment in systems and software, as agencies look to eliminate 800 data centers over the next four years in accordance with the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative.
“Unlike existing traffic-alert solutions, we’re helping take the guesswork out of commuting. By actively capturing and analyzing the massive amount of data already being collected, we’re blending the automated learning of travel routes with state-of-the-art traffic prediction of those routes, to give travelers timely information that can help them make decisions about the best way to get to their destination.”—
“Most of the biosphere cannot see the infosphere; it is invisible, a parallel universe humming with ghostly inhabitants. But they are not ghosts to us—not anymore. We humans, alone among the earth’s organic creatures, live in both worlds at once. It is as though, having long coexisted with the unseen, we have begun to develop the needed extrasensory perception. We are aware of the many species of information. We name their types sardonically, as though to reassure ourselves that we understand: urban myths and zombie lies. We keep them alive in air-conditioned server farms. But we cannot own them. When a jingle lingers in our ears, or a fad turns fashion upside down, or a hoax dominates the global chatter for months and vanishes as swiftly as it came, who is master and who is slave?”—
THE reasons for owning a pocket-sized mobile 3G WiFi router are becoming compelling, and Australia’s telcos are not missing the chance to flog them.
These little credit-card sized devices beam out a WiFi hotspot wherever you are.
With a SIM card, they glean the internet from Australia’s mobile networks just as your phone does, and rebroadcast it to your iPads, tablets, netbooks, laptops and internet-enabled cameras as WiFi, wherever you are.
Paul Higgins: I quite happily use my Android phone as a WiFi hotspot for my iPad and it works fine. You do have to watch the data download but that is true of these routers as well. Don’t think I will be using one any time soon
Two places left for free access to our scanning tool
We have two places left for our beta testing on our new premium scanning tool.
We are expecting to sell access to the service to people who:
· Have to write an article for an internal organisational or industry publication that is focused on future challenges for the organisation or industry. · Are thinking about a strategy for their organisation or group area. · Are about to enter a strategic planning process · Want to generate some ideas and thinking generally · Need to present to their board, their bosses, or their direct employees on the future of their organisation · Consultants looking to conduct an environmental scan for their clients.
If you help us test it out we will give you free access for a year