Open Source Diagnosis

This is a great example of the power of collaboration and the spirit of open source at work.

Sunday morning Lessig tweeted that JZ was ill and why was a mystery — all true. The blog produced some amazingly helpful comments from people and doctors at large, including references to two discrete academic journal articles — one from a Korean medical journal from 1994! Thanks to the Net I had a copy on my PC and then e-faxed to the nurse’s station on my floor in a matter of minutes. In the meantime, over the course of today (Monday the 15th), additional results have come back to help narrow the diagnosis in a properly documentable and formal way — one that’s converging, it seems, to the obscure Korean article. To be clear, the terrific doctors here have been methodically arriving at this diagnosis already.

It goes to show how the ‘many eyes’ theory can be effectively applied in numerous areas and situations to solve problems. Yes, the tenets and virtues of open source are well publicized in the technology/software world, but the application of its spirit and thought process certainly should not be limited to this world.