Monthly Archives: June 2008

Back Surgery Research – New England Journal of Medicine

There’s a wealth of information in the peer reviewed papers at nejm.org that I plan to read over the following few days.

Surgical versus Nonsurgical Treatment for Lumbar Degenerative Spondylolisthesis – May 2007

Back Surgery — Who Needs It? – May 2007

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis – February 2008

Surgical versus Nonsurgical Treatment for Back Pain – September 2007

Surgical versus Nonsurgical Therapy for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis – February 2008

Spinal-Fusion Surgery — Advances and Concerns – Februaru 2004

Surgery versus Prolonged Conservative Treatment for Sciatica – May 2007

A Comparison of Physical Therapy, Chiropractic Manipulation, and Provision of an Educational Booklet for the Treatment of Patients with Low Back Pain – October 1998

Spinal-Fusion Surgery — The Case for Restraint – February 2004

Technorealism? Social Software thought of the week

I had a GED, was struggling with homelessness, and was a telemarketer at Sears Product Services selling maintenance agreements. But I had access to Compuserve, AOL, and Usenet via dialup accounts work and at home. For me, the Net was an important route to a new life – a career I love – software engineering.

You would think that I would be a techno-utopian. A true believer that the Web, the Net, will be a tool that will help lift humanity out of its troubles by helping us be better informed and connected.

And I was for a while there. But time and experience has tempered my enthusiasm with a recognition that human nature is a hell of a lot more robust then we give it credit for. That, as Dave Rogers might say (and has I think), that technology may change what we do, but not who we are.

Now, for me, recognizing that, doesn’t eliminate my belief in the Web’s potential to enrich our lives and be an instrument of tremendous positive change. But it does force me to ground it – the Web is a reflection of who and what we are, the good, the bad and the ugly. Whenever I recognize successful social software it reinforces this to to be true to me.

What brought about this round of reflection?

Author and blogger Nick Carr wrote a provocative cover article for this month’s The Atlantic, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”.

It’s worth a read. It’s over the top for sure. But maybe it needed to be so in order to draw attention to the fact that all is not as rosy with the Web’s potential as we’d like to think.

This same discussion has cropped up again and again, only to be dismissed by not only the digerati, but the mainstream media.

An example, in the wake of the publishing of David Shenk‘s “Data Smog”, back in 1997, a small discussion formed around similar concerns, that some branded as a movement called Technorealism. Read Newsweek’s put down of the discussion – labeling it as not worthy to have. As “glorifying the obvious”.

If it was so obvious, then why so much vehemence and venom in the face of it?

Related:

Kevin Kelly: Will We Let Google Make Us Smarter?

Andrew Sullivan: Google is giving us pond-skater minds

Rebecca Blood: Is the Internet making us stupid?

Burningbird’s RealTech: Timing

Infothought: Nick Carr: “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”, and Man vs. Machine

AKMA: Au Contraire

Publishing 2.0: What Magazines Still Don’t Understand About The Web

Slate: David Shenk: Was I right about the dangers of the Internet in 1997?

NYTimes: Excerpt: Data Smog: Surviving the Information Glut

Small Pieces Loosely Joined

the cluetrain manifesto

Four music links for today

LATimes: Sunset Strip Music Fest Photo Essay, Night One via tony pierce.

WNEW.com: Founding Father: Howlin’ Wolf

Mirror.co.uk: Interview: Iron Maiden: “That’s one of the reasons we’re now bigger than ever,” smiles Bruce, “whereas a lot of bands and people in general worry about what others think of them and change accordingly.” “We don’t because we’ve never really cared what others think. We always thought that if people don’t like it, that’s tough – we’ll just have to do it for a smaller audience. But the opposite has proved the case.”

Reuters.com: Q&A: Motley Crue still calling its own shots

Cremation and Catholic Faith – Research

Ever have “that talk” with your family or loved ones? The one where you discuss how you want your funeral to be? Yeah, it’s a morbid topic to be sure, but following are some links I want to read when I get the chance:

American Catholic: Cremation: New Options for Catholics

American Catholic: Cremation and the Catholic Funeral

USAToday: Catholic parishes yield to cremation trend

Catholic Culture: Cremation Ashes to Ashes

Programming and Development links for today

PIBlog: Building a Python Web Application, Part 1

A Student’s Guide to Software Engineering Projects – Free eBook for Students

Raible Designs: Building high-content web applications (I wonder what we can share from work? I need to ask…)

Raible Designs: Spring MVC vs. WebWork Smackdown at OSCON (likewise, I need to check what we can share from work).

IBM developerWorks: An introduction to Model Driven Architecture