Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

El planeta se está disminuendo

Your Internets changed the world incredibly fast, by a lot, and we hardly noticed it. I remember when I first got access to medline oh, a decade ago I suppose, and I thought to myself, "Holy collapse of the space-time continuum Batman, here I am sitting on my ass in Boston and I'm in the National Library of Medicine." Then it just seemed perfectly normal and pretty soon, if my Internet access went down, I couldn't get any work done.

This and all the other millions of weblogs, the new kinds of relationships we make with people thousands of miles away, the erosion of the power of the corporate media, and yup, the demolition of distance and national borders in the sphere of information are all a big deal. Riverbend appears to have stopped writing her blog -- which makes us all worry -- but she had a huge impact on many people's understanding of the war in Iraq.

I have had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Dr. Kanthraj Garehatty Rudrappa, a dermatologist from India, who shares my interest in language barriers in medicine. Dr. Kanthraj, in an Indian journal, has described the sorts of problems that arise in India's multilingual society, which are very much like the problems we encounter here. It would please me greatly if weblogs such as this one, Effect Measure, and the many other blogs devoted to public health (there's a good start at a listing on Effect Measure) could facilitate international communication, since public health is inescapably global.

If anyone out there is from outside of the U.S., please introduce yourself! Let us know what's on your public health agenda, and what we yanks can learn from you. If not, I'd be interested in anybody's ideas about how we can globalize the sorts of conversations we have here.

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