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Latest Posts

Are Social Networks Being Used For Psychomanipulation?

This Techcrunch post, The Illusion of Social Networks, is worth thinking about. The author Semil Shah suggests that we have a tendency to use social networks to create illusions for our audiences.  And over time these illusions compound to create something that may not reflect real life.  It’s a type of socical psychomanipulation.

But I wonder if Shah overstates the shady side of human social conduct.  I’m more optimistic about the promise of human connectedness.  The crowd is smarter than we think.  And while we can create any story possible, it’s ultimately the responsibility of the listening masses to decide what’s real.  It’s our job to ask the hard questions.  Be it television, the web, or our own homes, we’re individually responsible for who we let into our world. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

Is There Social Health Psychomanipulation?

Last week Michael Arrington wrote an important piece in Techcrunch, “Blogging and Mass Psychomanipulation.” It details how as bloggers we play to our readers for positive regard. We give ‘em red meat.

I think there’s social health psychomanipulation. Many of us indulge the obvious social health memes. We universally bash pharma, blindly buoy the empowered, and champion just about anything at the intersection of digitally democracy and health care. Too many want to be accepted, retweeted, and linked by an evolving hierarchy of power brokers looking to advance one self-imposed new standard.

And every now and again I fall into the trap and offer bread and circus.

If you’re preoccupied with traffic metrics and the blind need to belong, go ahead and jump on the bandwagon.  Push those big red “easy” buttons of social health. Contribute to the echo chamber. Then read Michael Arrington’s piece and look in the mirror. Who (or what) are you really trying to advance?

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

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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