Web Secret #129: Crowd Accelerated Innovation describing the new concept that human beings across the world could access the same video resulting in rapid innovation.
This was right before Apple released FaceTime in the App store.
It is now almost 10 years later, and what we hoped would happen then is in full flower today.
No series best showcases the promise of the crowd than Netflix' Diagnosis.
The premise of the show is that Dr. Lisa Sanders finds medical cases that stump professionals. She then creates a video broadcast that describes the patient's medical problems and makes all performed tests, labs, etc. available to the world. Viewers have up to two months to respond.
And the world answers, solving the mystery, and providing the patients with a diagnosis, a treatment path, and support from the medical community and beyond.
It's exhilarating, inspirational.
Many of the patients featured in the series are bankrupt because of their medical bills. One of the arguments made for not offering universal coverage in the US is that we have to pay to provide the best medical care in the world.
That is not true - if it ever was.
One patient's problems are solved by a revolutionary lab in Italy. Cost to the patient: zero. Everyone in Italy gets free health care.
Here is another sad fact: a third of Gulf War Veterans suffer from Gulf War Syndrome - that's 100,000 people - caused by exposure to Sarin, a lethal chemical, and other poisonous substances. Decades after their service, veterans experience the horrific fallout of that conflict.
While I was watching the series, I came across a video on YouTube that consists of a graphic showing the countries who who had the greatest military expenditures from 1914 to 2018. In 1914 the country in first place is Germany and the US is in 6th place. By 1918, the US moves into first place, and for the rest of the 20th century we stay in the top three (except for a brief time, pre-World War II.) Starting in the 1990s we remain in first place, spending more money on our military than the rest of the top 15 countries put together.
Can you imagine if we put some of that money to provide universal health care and job skills for the millions of people we imprisoned for minor drug possession charges and other non-violent crimes?