The right to know is like the right to live. It is fundamental and unconditional in its assumption that knowledge, like life, is a desirable thing. GEORGE BERNARD SHAW (1913)

Today’s title is something I heard and said often as a  Physician Assistant (PA) resident in training. As testimony to this maxim we all rounded with our white coats’ pockets stuffed full of reference books, quick-guides, lists, and if you were really “on the cutting edge,” the new Palm Pilot. That was just ten years ago.

Palm Pilots quickly became old technology and today we enjoy amazing resources for increasing knowledge not only in medicine, but in literally every human discipline, and most of  it readily at our fingertips here in the US and other parts of the world. All serve to radically increase human knowledge, and therefore our ability to serve one another.

“New” ideas are generally not entirely new, but rather spring from existing ideas, which are either combined in new ways or built upon by experts who bring new insights to them. So, the iPod was born by combining the notion of miniaturized data storage with online music services. From that has grown the “podcast” phenomenon of broadcasting video/audio interviews to MP3 owners who can view this information at convenient times. And so on, and so forth. ROGER Z. GEORGE, Meeting 21st Century Transnational Challenges: Building a Global Intelligence Paradigm (2007)

How else could someone like me write and publish information as diverse as diet and spirituality, fitness and orphanages in Mexico, or quote Umberto Tosi, Winston Churchill or Roger Z. George? Trust me, it’s not what I know, I just know where to find it.

I’ve been able, over the past two weeks, to come to work with a particular thought in mind, expand on it via an internet search or two, find pertinent quotes, and write my ideas down here. Not  entirely new ideas, just ideas that “are either combined in new ways or built upon,” and given new insight (I pray) from any expertise I might be blessed with.

I love learning and sharing what I learn. So much so, that I have, and will continue, God willing, to hyperlink names of people I have quoted to a wikipedia page in many cases, or other resources in other cases. If you check today’s hyperlinks and any of my past links to wikipedia, you will see the image I’ve placed above, as wikipedia and others are on “strike” today, protesting legislation that may limit or halt our ability to find and utilize information. Tomorrow the links will be back in operation. Find out why many resources are “striking,” Google search SOPA BLACKOUT or simply check my links from this blog! Have a great day, and stay informed! Joe H

P.S. Roger Z. George’s quote was taken from the CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence. The article sited the Intelligence Communities need to use a global “open source” collection model, involving non-government persons from many diverse disciplines worldwide in an effort to find and mitigate “new threats which are more diverse, less visible and less predictable!” Ironic I think. How will this be accomplished without the unrestricted, OPEN SOURCE, flow of information?

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