Oral Health Group

After Recess: Change the World

February 5, 2012
by ken

By   Published: February 4, 2012 – Sunday Review – NY Times

A BATTLE between a class of fourth graders and a major movie studio would seem an unequal fight. So it proved to be: the studio buckled. And therein lies a story of how new Internet tools are allowing very ordinary people to defeat some of the most powerful corporate and political interests around — by threatening the titans with the online equivalent of a tarring and feathering. Take Ted Wells’s fourth-grade class in Brookline, Mass. The kids read the Dr. Seuss story “The Lorax” and admired its emphasis on protecting nature, so they were delighted to hear that Universal Studios would be releasing a movie version in March. But when the kids went to the movie’s Web site, they were crushed that the site seemed to ignore the environmental themes. So last month they started a petition on Change.org, the go-to site for Web uprisings. They demanded that Universal Studios “let the Lorax speak for the trees.” The petition went viral, quickly gathering more than 57,000 signatures, and the studio updated the movie site with the environmental message that the kids had dictated. “It was exactly what the kids asked for — the kids were through the roof,” Wells told me, recalling the celebratory party that the children held during their snack break. “These kids are really feeling the glow of making the world a better place. They’re feeling that power.” Read entire article

I don’t see myself as an anarchist…well maybe, but rather as a student of history and the realization, that the world since time immemorial has been a playground for the “Captains and the Kings” (Taylor Caldwell of blessed memory). What I do believe in is participatory democracy and the power that the Internet brings by providing a facility to write/right wrongs, effect and affect change and to include and incorporate even those who choose by design or default to fly below the radar. The impact these lurkerlemmings have in some cases is even more injurious that those who act overtly and with personal bias. Dentistry is at a crossroads today more than at any time in it’s history. Market in many ways drives science. The method and means of continuing education has been subverted by corporate need and greed in much the same way that Political Action Committees are influencing and misguiding the electoral process in the United States. Provincial associations are acting as central control for message dissemination and event registration for their component societies; a corporate model if ever there was one, but does that allow the society to act based on the needs of the membership? No, because the actual number of potential members is restricted to the component society executive by the Privacy Act. Thus even a simple component society lacks the ability to outreach to the entirety of it’s potential membership without the involvement of the parent association….there is something inherently wrong with this picture.

The point of this babble is the fact that no one in Canadian dentistry is moving to my knowledge to the creation of a Canadian dental Internet. The potential exists with the simple migration of iTrans into something that would represent the truest form of intranet for Canadian dentists. Common domain, common database – enough with Survey Monkey already, shared encryption potential, etcetera, et al and anon………the cost reduction, the security potential, the efficiency and the incredible potential for true collaborative efforts on behalf of the Canadian populace are staggering. This is a country whose population is less than California and we’re not going broke. Dentistry may not rank up there with universal health care or fixing CPP, but it’s about a 7 or 8 billion dollar a year business in Canada and that ain’t necessarily chump change…..it’s time the CDA made it’s bones and gave Canadian dentists access to a common digital resource. Mandate connectivity…….and then let the cards fall as they may……a small huge country, we are a contradiction in terms, since our elections run through three time zones, the vote out west counts for little, we are a resource rich sector that is just now waking up to the reality of changing our primary trading partner which should have been apparent to anyone visiting Vancouver in the last two decades, although granted Peter McKay doesn’t fish in BC so the overflights weren’t in that general direction, but surely to goodness, we should be taking advantage of our broadband system…and giving Canadian dentists a new voice in governance, a new modality for continuing education and a means to stay linked regardless of the time of day……….

Granted this may sound like blather to many – a mandated Canadian Internet – part of your annual mandated dues to the CDA, no worries about encryption or whatever as EHR facility is part of membership…and all the value added geegaws that would come with this initiative, well then…………….do read the following……it may clear the air……Russia, sort of but not really……