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Should Kids Read Paper Books, Or Are iPads And Kindles Better?

My son has always loved books. They were among his first objects his eyes fascinated and focused on. He’s learning to read right now and his love of books remains as strong as it was in his infancy.

It’s clear that books – the traditional kind: made of paper and ink and labor – are being replaced by digital media. The Kindle and the iPad and other tablets are making it easier to acquire and consume material once only available on books.

For children today, the iPad is very intuitive. In fact, some parents have reported that their children have become so used to the iPad screen, that they “pinch” pages in books – expecting them to zoom-out.

Perhaps some parents believe we can let books go and just let our kids skip them in favor of digital media without any cost. They *may* be right. Or they may not.

As for me, books are still a critical foundation for civilization.

Neurons are amazing things: the more they’re used, the better they get (generally). So as a child grows, the more exposure they get to different kinds of learning and feeling and experiences, the healthier their brains grow. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Phil Baumann*

Can People Really Be Themselves In Social Media?

“The world will be better if you share more.” That’s what Mark Zuckerberg claims. And it’s part of a general philosophy of many fans of social media: that they help us to be more “social”, friendlier, cooperative, collaborative…in other words better.

But what – in truth – is the default mode of social media? On the surface, one would think “social”. That can’t be true though, for no technologies have social implanted in them – by definition, human-social belongs to humans.

So when I dip into my Twitter stream, for instance, I see huge volumes of people saying nice things, quoting positive aphorisms, replying to each other with accolades. If you didn’t know any better, you might conclude these are conversations between people who’ve know each other for decades. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Phil Baumann*

Nursing Perspectives: What Social Media Wants

Kevin Kelly wants us to undertand what he calls the “technium” and outlines his life’s work in What Technology Wants. I’d like to riff on the way Kelly uses the word “want” with respect to Social Media, and ask: “What does social media want?”

Social Media wants…

  • Your time
  • Your attention
  • Your friends
  • Your brand
  • Your business
  • Your data
  • Your privacy
  • Your publicity
  • Your location
  • Your behaviors
  • Your wants
  • Your life

There’s nothing wrong with “want” in itself – maybe it’s OK that Social Media wants all these things – and more.

The more critical question, rather, is: What do you want?

As the power of technology increases the number of choices we can make, we will have to intensify our awareness of who we are and where we’re headed.

Whatever Social Media wants, what you want determines how much it gets.

@PhilBaumann

*This blog post was originally published at Phil Baumann*

Nurse’s Life Changed By Twitter

Dear @Twitter,

I so totally know how this sounds to write to a service, but I must confess: your little wings have changed the trajectory of my life and – for the most part – I think it’s been for the best.

I’ve been around for over 40 years, have seen many things, met all sorts of people and have – mostly – enjoyed my life. But I think every several hundred years, a tiny and almost insignificant tool comes out of nowhere and changes the world – like the wheel and zero, both of which are truly “nothing” (both are each shaped the same way). And yet the each not only changed the course of civilizations but also created them. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Phil Baumann*

Social EMR And “Teh” Three Internets

There are three Internets. Here’s some Venn goodness (note  that “The” was spelled “Teh” on purpose):

When it comes to “sEMR” (Social EMR), we are somewhere in the middle of the Web of “People” and the Web of “Things,” in case you’ve been wondering. Read the rest of the story over on Health Is Social.

*This blog post was originally published at Phil Baumann*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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