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Monday, August 20, 2012

The Myth of Nuvo Quo

The older I get, the better I was.

A legend in his own mind.

Five miles to school, uphill both ways.

Memory is selective. From time to time, story to story, we remember the parts that support our chosen message.

Nuvo quo is when we selectively improve what we remember of the old status quo.

Nuvo quo can keep you warm in the glow of past accomplishments, but shouldn’t be used to hold off the future.

I like libraries, places of inventory and quiet. Reference librarians were always faking. They projected a deep knowledge of everything, By second year of high school, I was ahead of them in many areas. I figured I should always ask first, just in case, and then dive into the research. That’s where I learned that with any technology, you have to navigate for your own best results.

For all practical purposes, Google has obliterated the need for reference librarians, except the ones who know something important and don’t choose to write it down. A protective perversion of knowledge. Google has won.

I attended Wikimania 2012, the global convention of Wikipedians this summer. Wikipedia has won as the primary source of knowledge research except among the academicians who have already been largely replaced by Wikipedia. They are fighting a valiant rearguard action and wasting everyone else’s time.

Shrieking (shrinking?) mass media is trumpeting that new medicine will not be like old medicine. Well, no kidding and thank goodness. New technologies might free us from ignorant, overworked physicians, well meaning but perpetually fogged technicians, oversized medical facilities that can never deliver cost effective healthcare and maximize unforeseen problems to threaten patients on a terrifying scale.

Based on previous experience, we can predict the first versions of new technology won’t necessarily outperform existing, and also predict that in an unregulated marketplace, new technologies will cost less, give better results, and be available to many more users in a short period of time.

We need the new technologies, and with any technology, we have to navigate for our own best results.

Oh Lord, if there’s gonna be a change, let it begin with some other guy!
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