The People Geography of Healthcare | Human-Centric Thinking (Part 2)

Is it more important to have the right answer or to ask the right question? After the past few weeks interacting with our healthcare system, specifically its oncology components, it has become abundantly clear to me we are asking the wrong questions. A few years ago, at TEDxAustin, I reflected in my talk on the fact that we had to carry a CD of my wife’s tumor images from Austin to Houston for our discussions at MD Anderson Cancer Center. After these past few weeks, I wish that was the only challenge we have in moving information around the healthcare system to provide the right care to a patient.


Gary Thompson @ TITLE Boxing Club – West Loop, Chicago

This system is broken, and physicians, health care providers and many, many others, beyond the patients, are incredibly frustrated by it all. As Maureen’s oncologist was kind to note about my work on CLOUD, “You may be doing more good than most can imagine.” Continue Reading →

What is the Next Mosaic Moment for the Internet?

About a year ago, Susannah Fox “penned” another one her thoughtful posts, this one was about health data, “Thinking critically about Big Data and health care” in response to an article in the New York Times, “Sure Big Data is Great. But So is Intuition.” I drafted a View from the CLOUD in reaction. Susannah has a habit of great trend-spotting, as well as provoking the rebellious innovator and “meme-breaker” in me. Continue Reading →

Penang Monthly | Gary Thompson on the Internet’s CLOUD-y Future

On October 12, 2013, CLOUD co-founder, Gary Thompson, had the privilege of starting his TEDx World Tour at TEDxWeldQuay in Penang, Malaysia in tribute to his honored hero and daughter’s classmate, Kethan. Following his talk at the Whiteaway Arcade, Ch’ng Chin Chin from Penang Monthly caught up with Gary for an interview on his talk, his connection to Kethan and the implications of CLOUD for the future of the Internet. Ch’ng Chin Chin beautifully captured the story in this article recently featured in Penang Monthly:

Gary Thompson on the Internet’s CLOUD-y Future

Trophic Cascades, A Human Ecosystem, TED, Love and Cancer

Before I talk about the trophic cascade, I need to provide a little locational context. I am sitting next to the woman I love. Let me repeat that, I’m sitting next to the woman I love.  Unfortunately, we are at Seton Central hospital after some outpatient day surgery. This great piece, “Marriage Is Not For You,” reminded me exactly what it means to say this word: LOVE. For 23 years, the best of times are the ones when I’m totally and completely focused on Maureen, the woman I love, or the kids we’ve had the privilege of bringing in to the world.

IMG_0003Ten years ago, we heard different words, words that started us on the journey that has me sitting next to her again… in a hospital room, waiting for her to recover from yet another procedure, this time, a biopsy. What were those words? They were “you have cancer.” My words right after she heard those were “I love you.” Take the time to read “marriage is not for you,” because it really captures the essence of what it means to be in love. I will admit to not always getting this right over the last 23 years, but boy, when I do, I am the absolute happiest man in the world. To know our story with cancer, I point you to this piece I wrote a few years back, “Survivorship is Not a Phase.” A couple of weeks ago, we learned that this stupid cancer had “snuck out” of the Herceptin box we’ve had it in for the past few years. It has found its way to a few new spots, and this biopsy will tell us what this round of cancer cells look like now, so we can beat cancer back again.

So, what in the world does any of this have to do with a trophic cascade? Continue Reading →

Building the Digital Fabric at the Heart of the Knowledge Navigator

Gary Thompson, is not only the curator of The End of Linearity, but the co-founder of CLOUD, Inc. CLOUD – Consortium for Local Ownership and Use of Data – will be the manifestation of much of the thinking embodied by the End of Linearity. Those posts that relate more to Gary’s thinking than just CLOUD’s thinking are shared here.

As Apple builds out iCloud, we at CLOUD are building out something equally exciting: the next Internet. A few months back, I posted a discussion here asking how Knowledge Navigator connected the Amazon and the Sahara data sets.

I loved Knowledge Navigator’s vision and remember showing this video during customer events frequently when I was in the sales office in Chicago for Apple in the late 1980s to early 1990s. Siri, the iPad, FaceTime… so much of Knowledge Navigator has come true. With all these advances, there is still an underlying need for something like HTML but for privacy, security, identity and data to create the digital fabric underlying Knowledge Navigator.

If you visit CLOUDCircles, my TEDxAustin talk, “Reweaving the Fabric of the Internet to Transform Humanity,” is available in the videos. I know my ability to Think Different is driven by my over a decade at Apple.

(Gary was at Apple from 1987-97, and 2003-2006)

A View from the CLOUD – Has Communication Really Changed? (Part 2)

There was a wonderful show in the late 1960s and early 1970s called Laugh-In. As a young child at the time, it was my first memory of watching television with my mom and dad. I can’t remember if it was shown on the same night as the Muppet Show, but they both seem to go together in my memories. They were both quick and witty, and they made me laugh, even at the jokes only my mom and dad seemed to get.

Laugh-In featured many guests in addition to its hosts Dick Martin and Dan Rowan. One of those guests was Lily Tomlin who played Ernestine the Telephone Operator. She was famous for the line, “one ringy dingy.”

That line kept popping up in my mind as I prepared to write a follow-on blog post to A View from the CLOUD: Has Communication Really Changed (Part 1)  The Laugh-in video of Ernestine the Telephone Operator is worth a quick watch now, both for a good laugh and to frame the rest of this blog post. In addition to laying the foundation for a piece on communication, it quite surprisingly also raised issues of privacy and security… Lily calls it omnipotent (that’s potent with an omni in front). I’ll tackle those in a separate post… Continue Reading →

Reweaving the Fabric of the Internet

Weaving is an art practiced since ancient times.  Fragments of fabric dating to 5000 B.C. mean  this art pre-dates the fabrication of papyrus in 3000 B.C. in Egypt.  The art of weaving, its cultural and economic ecosystem, and the tremendous volume of innovation over the centuries that stems from weaving  make for an apt and powerful analogy to understand the potential of the next phase of Internet and economic development.

In weaving, threads and yarns are essential. Threads are hooked to the physical loom, converting them into warp threads.  Each warp thread passes through a heddle, which lifts and lowers the warp threads, creating a shed. The shed allows the weft thread to pass back and forth through the warp threads on a shuttle to create fabric.

Over time, looms become faster and mechanically driven and their complexity increased.   Continue Reading →

Set the Default to Open

Nowhere is the end of linearity more important than our individual rights, and Set the Default to Open takes a new look at this issue from both a legal and technology perspective.

From the introduction to the article in the forthcoming Texas Review of Law and Politics, Volume 14, Issue 1:

Rugged individualism and religious and economic freedom are among the most important factors that have contributed to the growth of U.S. global power and prestige and the welfare of its citizens since the founding of the original colonies. The trajectory of freedom has not always been smooth; however, the United States has remained a powerful example of the benefits and resilience of constitutional democracy. It has weathered a civil war and two world wars, grown from the shores of the Atlantic to the northern reaches of the Pacific, become a global economic and technological powerhouse, and even treated the great wound of slavery.

In the midst of this success the underlying tension in constitutional democracy—the force behind U.S. power and prestige—has the capacity to muddle the national vision. Tension between individual rights and the state is not new. It stretches from antiquity to the Renaissance to the modern world. The U.S. Constitution represents an attempt to codify the social contract between the government and its citizens in an enduring document that supports a functioning government and society. Continue Reading →

WIRED | Is Online Privacy a Generational Issue?

  • October 1, 2009  |
  • 9:00 am  | Categories: Electronic Geek

    “It seems like every time I talk to people about privacy, there’s a feeling that younger users of online tools simply don’t care about the issue. Often, I am asked why privacy advocates like CDT push government and industry to protect privacy more robustly- when ‘no one cares’? In short, people seem to be asserting that digital natives like myself do not value privacy online. While this point is oft repeated, I think that this argument is flawed, and does not address the subtleties of privacy in the cloud, social networks, and other new online technologies. Simply put, these technologies are giving digital natives (really, all users) greater control over their information – and we use it.”

    CLOUD Take: CLOUD, Inc. agrees with Heather West, policy analyst at the Center for Democracy & Technology, and writer of this guest post at Geek Dad.  The time for greater control of our information has arrived, and the locus of that control should not be at the website but instead at the user, the individual.

    Continue Reading →

    Combining Health and the Vast Power of the Internet

    Advertising Age reports that the FDA will hold hearings on how drug companies use Web 2.0. And just in time, too, as the world marches toward Web 3.0. Don’t tell the FDA, but their regulations could be obsolete if Web users unite behind a new standard that puts individuals — not companies — in charge of their own data. CLOUD has published two papers on the standard as work to move from the Internet corporate Web paradigm to the Internet personal connection paradigm proceeds apace.

    Consider this as you watch the FDA’s work in this area: Why limit improving health tools to the Web alone? The Internet’s power to connect people goes far beyond the browser paradigm. Check out CLOUD’s perspective from a higher altitude.