Richard G. Petty, MD

Turning One Hundred

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” –Chief Seattle (Native American Leader of the Suquamish and Duwamish Tribes who became a Roman Catholic and Cooperated in Creating Peaceful Relations with European Settlers, c. 1786-1866)

I know that the Chief was not talking about the Internet or the Blogosphere, but his comments could easily be applied to both.

I was astonished when Carol Kirshner, my web mistress (I’m STILL not sure if that’s politically correct term for her!?) told me that this was going to be my one hundredth post. I hadn’t realized that I was that garrulous, or that there was so much need for a balanced presentation of some of the issues that we’ve been discussing.

So I thought that it would be a good moment to look at blogs and their potential impact on our lives. In some ways they have recapitulated the early days of the Internet. Many blogs have been little more than graffiti, but with the passage of time, I think that we are seeing a rapid maturation of the Blogosphere.

If you have not yet read the book Naked Conversations, I think that it’s a must-read. There’s also an extremely interesting discussion about the ideas raised in the book here.

I’ve been particularly impressed with the way in which many individuals are using blogging to rapidly spread useful information. There are thousands of examples, but here’s one that I particularly like.  And the recent attempts to explore blogging for medical purposes.

One of the fascinating things to someone who’s taught neurology for years, is the way in which links are developing in almost exactly the same way as occurs in the developing brain, and the same principles apply in the Blogosphere, and in the brain of mature individuals as they learn new information. As such, it tends to be an organic self- correcting system. When information is published that is wrong it us usually corrected very rapidly.

Because I am an integrated physician committed to empowering people to help themselves, I see blogs as one of the quickest and most efficient ways of achieving that aim. Using blogs has enabled me to disseminate interpretations of new insights and information. I think it is this: it is the interpretation that is crucial. Anyone can do a quick online search for information about an illness, a new health plan, or techniques for personal development. The trouble is that not many people have ever been taught how to interpret medical and scientific information: it is a skill that take s abit of time to learn.

My eclectic medical interests are well known, so I get a great many items in the mail that promise extraordinary benefits from eating this or doing that. There will often be some reference to a research paper. Yet when you check the reference, it often says something completely different! Let me give you an example of something that I cited in Healing, Meaning and Purpose.

“The precise amounts of a supplement are important, as is the combination. I want to give you an example of this. I have recently seen supplements being sold that claim to improve sexual performance. Some contain the amino acid L-arginine. That’s fine; L-arginine is a precursor for the vasodilator nitric oxide, which is involved in the mechanics of sexual arousal. There is just one problem. For L- arginine to work, you need to take about 9,000 milligrams. Most of the supplements give you only 200-500 milligrams. I have also seen supplements that contain mutually antagonistic vitamins, and others that are missing key components, for instance calcium supplements that do not contain magnesium.”

It seems to me that blogs, if they are done well, are an ideal medium for the rapid dissemination of interpreted information, correcting errors and helping people make rational decisions.

“Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than in the one where they sprung up.” –Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (American Physician, Writer, Poet and Speaker, 1809-1894)

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About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

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