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Saturday, June 18, 2005

Internet, Wikipedia & The Next Pandemic

Stephen o'grady writes,For all the innovations in medicine since the 1918 flu, our ability to successful treat suffers would have improved little given that in many cases survival depends on the availability of ICU beds. It's a problem of scale, not medicine. Bureaucracy and deliberate obfuscation confront the researchers and doctors on the front lines of the battle against the next great pandemic. As with SARS, reporting of Avian flu H5N1 (an often cited potential pandemic agent) incidents in the far east (principally China and Vietnam) is spotty and often incomplete.
One researcher is (via the Coming Influenza blog, and for those with an interest in the subject, there's an Avian Flu blog as well). Citing the impact that Wikipedia had post-Tsunami, Dr. Lucas Gonzalez of the Canary Islands in Spain is attempting to use the publically authored and edited site to help prevent, slow and survive an outbreak. it's shows how different a world we live in.

In 1918, the US government fearing panic, the government cracked down on the media, using official and unofficial channels to suppress and control content they believed to be objectionable or incendiary. The unfortunate result of all of this was that the public completely lost faith It's great to see the internet allowing specialists in fields outside of technology with informal and low barrier to entry collaborative technologies such as blogs and wikis to bypass some of the traditional obstacles to multi-organizational and multi-national communication. It's clear that we're just beginning to see the impact of a new generation of network collaboration tools. Just as we're still finding new ways to use "old" technologies like HTTP (i.e. Ajax).
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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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