On the pursuit of becoming an ‘Internectual’

Here is a potential ‘Disruption’ that is probably already happening around us: Let us say you wear a Smart Watch that sends signals on key health parameters like Blood Pressure, Temperature, Blood Sugar levels, Breathing, Heart Rate etc. to a local Medicaid hub. The staffers are not MD’s but instead students of pharmacology or similar qualifications. The Hub is supported by a Big Data and Analytics application in a Cloud. Your medical inputs are processed real time by the Hub application and your case is mapped against millions of similar cases within the database. It is able to prioritize the symptoms with causal data as well as prioritize the remedies that worked best on similar cases. Your prescription with recommendations and notes is transmitted back to your Smart Watch.
It’s easy to see how such a change could  impact Walk In Clinics, Pharmacies, Private MD Offices, Drug Stores etc…and that is precisely what Disruptive Innovation is all about!
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Originally written on Thursday, March 25, 2010
We live in a world where all the rules have been turned upside down. The 12 months it took to run out of pages (those faux re-prints from Matisse, Van Gogh et al) in the old calendars we once hung on walls are now done in 3 months or less (from a pure ‘space/time’ perspective), thanks to the concept of the ‘Web’ year. The ‘airmail’ letters we sent as recently as the early 90’s, were reduced to gnarled, weatherbeaten, crumpled wrecks  by the time they arrived at the addressee’s location (sometimes several months later). Today our very thoughts, whims and/or video images  wing their way thru cyberspace in emails and twitters, blogs and text messages at the effortless click of a key. Invariably through an increasingly compact and vastly more efficient variety of media devices. The techno-pundits have gone on record to affirm that there is a whole new generation of youth out there who may completely miss the PC/Laptop phase, as we continue to make breakthroughs in  ‘Smart’ Technologies.
Books had pride of place on bookshelves in our living rooms and halls. Leatherbound tomes, glossy paperbacks and the hardcovers with their removable, 5 colour off-set printed jackets.
Today my entire collection of 600 books or thereabouts nestle snugly within the simple leather-bound  confines of my Kindle reader.
All knowledge was acquired through the double-whammy of books and school. Books that we poured through, read and re-read, thumbed, dog-eared, page indexed, underscored and highlighted. The knowledge acquired thusly always ‘validated’ or certified through those magnificent edifices of bricks & and mortar… the schools, universities  and other shrines of learning that became home to most of us for well over a third of our lives and then some (if your particular academic pursuit required longer bouts of classroom  pedagogics).
Which helps me segue into the idea that triggered this blog in the first place. You see I read recently that the experts were concerned at our falling  ‘reading’ rate in the North Americas. The statistics were fascinating. They had figures for average books read per person per year, per 6 month, per quarter? These gems of of data were cross referenced and analyzed to the point where the only possible inference and/or implication was doom and gloom for mankind in general if we didn’t put on those reading glasses and get back to basics i.e, start reading books again!
On first glance, this assessment seemed to make sense to me as well. However, upon further a re-examination this seemingly irrefutable assumption appeared to have more than just the single obvious conclusion arrived at above i.e read more books?
Shouldn’t we be evaluating the supporting data that would demonstrate the time we now invest on  what I will refer to as ‘Competing Intellectual Media’ or CIM for short?
Is there a correlation between the access we have to The Internet, TV programming, Smart devices that now contain multi-function and diverse channel capabilities (Smartphones, PDAs, etc), and the falling reading rates across the North Americas? Can we posit that any learning for  present and future generations cannot/should not be envisaged without the active and aggressive utilization and deployment of the World Wide Web? (i.e dispense with the notion that all knowledge can only be obtained via the medium of books and academic institutions alone!)
In my humble opinion there can be  no holistic, definitive assessment  concluded on the subject of the negative impact of reading fewer books today, without factoring in the alternative information/knowledge sources that are available to us today as suggested above…the brave new world of  CIM!
(Definition of the word ‘Internectual’: A word meaning someone who has cultivated a substantial body of knowledge via ‘Wiki’ and the Web – one that could easily pass any ‘Pygmalion’ test)

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