Continuing the historical and medical theme… I refer you to the celebration of the 200th anniversary of New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). My own experience with that venerable journal was to read an article on malaria treatment after a trip to the tropics… to learn that the medicine I was given was obsolete for most of the world, including the region I had visited. Fortunately, I was well, and there was no harm in this misinfochronism (information incorrect only because of its timing, not inaccuracy to fact or infidelity to intended transmission).
The NEJM is decidedly unique in that it fights against specialization, striving to publish high quality articles having the broadest impact across specialties. In this sense, it is perhaps something like SCIENCE, both broad in reach and venerated.
To give a flavor of the fascinating article:
“From the meticulous description of angina pectoris in the first issue to the early descriptions of AIDS in the early 1980s, there has been an ongoing recognition that therapeutic approaches must await the sharp articulation of symptoms.”
“No one having looked at the last 200 years of medicine — in which changes came so quickly and dramatically — would hazard a prediction about the next two decades, let alone the next two centuries.”
I will hazard one guess about the future. Use of decision support systems will become the norm… yet we will still want human practitioners to treat us, to meet us in our individual arcs through our lives when we have medical needs, to provide not only medicine, but to give medical CARE.