As the prior blogs in this series emphasized, the distinctive feature of the post-information age is that everyone has personal access to compuational power, communications, and information. In the post-information age, individuals will use these empowering tools to be innovative and productive, without being employed by bricks-and-mortar institutions.
Who gets to be a player in the post-information age?
In the U.S., the lingering impediment to being a solo information expert is medical insurance. Here, health insurance coverage is something that is usually received through employment. Individuals who are not part of an empoyer's group can be denied health insurance by the insurance agencies, for almost any reason. Because medical care is extravagantly expensive in the U.S., it is very important to have a health insurance provider. Many people hold onto unrewarding jobs, just for the available health insurance (for themselves and their families).
It's really an enormous waste of potential talent, because many of the opportunities for innovation are best accomplished by small groups of experts (maybe 1, 2 or 3 people) who might be geographically dispersed. Contries that guarantee health care to their citizens (e.g., the EU), will have an enormous advantage in the new post-information age.
- Copyright (C) 2008 Jules J. Berman
key words: biomedical informatics, medical informatics, health coverage, health insurance, medical insurance
Science is not a collection of facts. Science is what facts teach us; what we can learn about our universe, and ourselves, by deductive thinking. From observations of the night sky, made without the aid of telescopes, we can deduce that the universe is expanding, that the universe is not infinitely old, and why black holes exist. Without resorting to experimentation or mathematical analysis, we can deduce that gravity is a curvature in space-time, that the particles that compose light have no mass, that there is a theoretical limit to the number of different elements in the universe, and that the earth is billions of years old. Likewise, simple observations on animals tell us much about the migration of continents, the evolutionary relationships among classes of animals, why the nuclei of cells contain our genetic material, why certain animals are long-lived, why the gestation period of humans is 9 months, and why some diseases are rare and other diseases are common. In “Armchair Science”, the reader is confronted with 129 scientific mysteries, in cosmology, particle physics, chemistry, biology, and medicine. Beginning with simple observations, step-by-step analyses guide the reader toward solutions that are sometimes startling, and always entertaining. “Armchair Science” is written for general readers who are curious about science, and who want to sharpen their deductive skills.