Twitter has almost totally leveled the influence of news and information web sites (and blogs).
I get bombarded all day on Twitter with links to information that looks interesting and valuable in the context of 140 characters. I click on a bunch of these links every day.
I often end up on small web sites with very valuable information about healthcare or glaciers or dogs or social data or food recipes or why I should ditch my diet and receive all of my nutrients from kale. Depending on the day of the week I am assailed with information about a Kardashian or three, the student at Duke paying her tuition by appearing in porn, or the obscenity of Putin’s tanks.
Without the constant bombardment of links I never would have discovered my favorite bloggers (@DrJenGunter, @hansbuskes) or many of the thought provoking liberal “get them GOP idiots” cartoon sites or many of the conservative “get them liberal Dem idiiots” cartoon sites. Without Twitter I would not have paid attention to the consistently great information on the web sites of Scientific American or Discover or Al Jazeera or the BBC or the Association for Psychological Science or the Mayo Clinic or many small regional news outlets including those of more than 100 countries. Without Twitter I would be actively selecting the very few giant media web sites from which I would get my information — the New Yawk elitist times, the la-la optimist times, CNN (the original chicken noodle network), Fox (the we eat chickens network), NBC and ABC and CBS (and the other three and four letter news oligarchies). Without all of the constant links I would not learn about all of the human rights violations worldwide or the most recent breakthroughs in dozens of professional fields (healthcare, medicine, astronomy, physics, nano technology, image processing).
Without Twitter I would probably spend little or no time on the web sites of news organizations based outside the USA or know about Indie films or see great pictures from outer space.
WOW. There are zillions of great information producing web sites out there, many with such small budgets that they could not even afford a print ad in the New York Times.
Along with the testimonials to “a grapefruit saved my life,” the latest zit removal miracle, and unapproved medical therapies, there are diamonds out there that can expand your views greatly. At times there is TOO MUCH INFORMATION but you can’t find the jewels without going into the mine.
Democratization of the world’s information is a great thing.
Health and other research does NOT PROVE or SHOW anything.
In a world of “statistically-based confirmation” of research hypotheses, a “significant” result that shows or proves something does not exist. A study — absent from methodological flaws, the wrong statistical tests, a small sample, and poor validity and reliability measurement — can SUGGEST or moderately suggest or weakly suggest that a preliminary theory MAY be supported.
Write or report on TV that a study “suggests” or “mildly suggests” a finding of interest to the public and you will be doing the public and science a huge favor, make your reporting more accurate, and help avoid false expectations or a skepticism that researchers have “proven” the obvious.
I know that you probably did not hear this in a statistics class in such a straight forward way. Scientists rarely do either.
Change one word and the public is better informed. SUGGESTS, not proves or shows.
Change that one word to “suggests it may be possible that” and you will be even more correct.
Back in 2012, I published a mind map on this blog suggesting that giving people one chance to learn (as in, you only get one taxpayer-subsidized educational opportunity) or to receive free treatment for drug abuse (as in, if you can’t quit the first time you are morally undeserving because you do not have the moral strength) or to receive specialized behaviorally-related healthcare (as in, you let yourself get fat or nicotine-dependent or out-of-shape so you pay the consequences) is an obscene abuse of other individuals,
It’s just as true now as it was then. I know more about mind mapping now and am even more irritated by those who want to balance the budget by not helping others enough, or even at all. So I thought I would revise my mind map and make this a post a lot more angry that we do not give people second (or even eighteenth chances).
Show me a drug abuse treatment provider who says you can go through treatment one time and it will “stick” and I’ll show you a snake oil salesperson who is trying to sell services to 18 year old entertainment industry billionaires surrounded by a media feeding frenzy. Do you really want to deny additional free education to someone who realizes in their 30s or after going to prison or after achieving a stabilized life without drugs or while serving our country in the Armed Services that they need more education to get good jobs and be successful and much better citizens? Mental health services should not be denied or limited to tossing people pills because someone lost the genetic lottery and has a life-time disease or experienced trauma (like a rape victim or maybe somebody unlucky enough to have lived in an earthquake or hurricane zone or in a dangerous neighborhood or in an Armed Services encampment in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Vietmam).
Enough said. The picture will tell more than 100,000 words ever could. And if one fails after 18 chances?
Well, there’s always a 19th chance or a 36th chance waiting. [And a special ring in hell waiting for those who would only offer people one chance at happiness or productivity or health. Or the politicians who supported this position to get (re)elected.] Oh, and if you were one who denied others a second chance, you have a second chance to act in a more moral and supportive way and give others that second or 18th chance.
Click on the image to expand. Then think about whether we should invest in people and families or in creating the wealthiest uber-class in the history of the United States?
Just seeing this set of pictures and the brief comments will probably elicit a large number associations and feelings you have about each of these public figures. The pictures make the associations strong and emotional.
I also expect that today’s Boomer Generation will have a very broad range of reactions to these stimuli for extracting memories. I certainly find the memories flooding back as I look at this map.
I believe that picture mind maps are very powerful tools for helping people recall memories from throughout their lives. Many maps of this type might be quite useful to those experiencing cognitive impairment or early-mid stages of dementia. The pictures can be associated with many events in a lifetime, most of which have nothing at all to do with the president’s smoking behaviors. [And yup, in addition to claiming “I did not have sex with that woman,” Bill also claimed he did not inhale [marijuana].)
You heard it here first …
Taking information from a dubious (wrong!) source and putting it into a mind map does not make the information more credible. Bad advice is bad advice whether is is well-formatted and pretty or not.
Talk to a healthcare provider or seek medical and psychological information, whether in a traditional form or a mind map, from a highly credible online source or a highly credible book.
P T Barnum would have used mind maps. After all, there is a sucker born every minute.
Know the source behind the map.
Click image to expand.
Collectively, these programs will enable you to do many types of visual thinking.
Click image to expand.
Addition: September 19, 2014
- With some enhancements in the past six months, I believe that BigHairyGoal has surpassed scapple as a design-research canvas. A++ for BHG.
I would add iMindQ to the mind mapping program list.
The combination of iMindMap Ultimate and BigHairyGoal is an excellent one for a Mac Visual Thinking Environment. BigHairyGoal is a generally unrecognized program. It is exceptional as a canvas on which to assemble all of the information necessary for a research project. Anyone conducting research assembling text, images, links, and information such as that to be read in a specific word processing or display program should be using this program on a Mac. While iMindMap Ultimate incorporates many of the features of BigHairyGoal, they are far better realized in BHG and the two programs should be used in tandem, perhaps with results from iMindMap displayed on a BigHairGoal canvas with source information ringing the mind map.
The golden rule of using mind maps in healthcare settings is to provide information to a patient, the patient’s family, or another service provider. It’s all about customizing any “standardized” templates used to fit the patient’s needs, beliefs, behaviors, priorities, and background. Click mind map to expand.