About

Hi. For those of you who know know me, glad to see you. For those of you who don’t, a little background follows…

My name is Jaz-Michael King, and I’m an Internet guy who happens to work in health care. I work on stuff like health care transparency, which includes publicly available report cards on the quality and price of health care, open communities of practice for health care professionals to share best practices and generally improve the quality of the health care they deliver, and public speaking on consumer access to health information and the like.

As of this posting, my main activities are building the New York Health Care Report Card and running Jeny, the quality improvement community Web site.

I also have a rich history of hacking and computing, I’ve done the requisite Internet startup thing, I’ve been an Internet consultant and all that, so I write about Internet issues and the people like me who work in the field.

I’m very passionate about health information technology, I do things like go to doctor’s offices and help them figure out how they’ll convert to electronic health records, I worry about patient privacy rights, and I follow clinical data exchange projects.

I’m a tireless supporter of open source, fueled by the belief that all information wants to be free, so I’ll just help it along from time to time. And when I say “open source”, I don’t just mean open source software like Linux and Apache, I mean everything: open source business modelsopen source beeropen source sandwiches and open source cars.

I believe in the duality of academia working alongside meritocracy; I fervently believe that one way the Internet has truly changed us as a species is the newfound power to have the world’s knowledge at your fingertips – I don’t think that’s really sunk in for a lot of people yet.

I tend to run my own Web servers and I of course have my own Web site, so why am I blogging here on Blogger?

Well, there are many reasons, but they all boil down to one easy answer: my personal life is such that I feel it’s in the best interests of what I do for a living that I should separate my fun from my work, at least, in presentation. (In real life, my work *is* my fun…)

I thought to myself that if I was going to splinter off my professional musings then maybe it’s about time I started participating in the Web 2.0 buzzarama, so here I am. I’m dubious about ceding control of my precious data to a strange, foreign server but hey, it’s Google right? They can probably look after my stuff just fine.

I haven’t generally appreciated the blogging community. I’m a dinosaur in Internet years, I pine for Usenet and the glorious days of the last millennium when we Webmaster types, masters of HTML, were the elite. Now it’s “blogerati” this and “intelligentsia” that and frankly it feels like we got kicked out of our own house in some ways; but in other ways I’m proud to have been a part of the revolution and even if I’m feeling a bit crusty joining the blog rolls, I’m curious too.

So if you’re looking for the old me, he’s still cranking out high weirdness at Beer, Cheese and Monkeys, and I’ll probably cross-post a lot until I can figure out how to subscribe myself to myself and automagically feed this blog into my own, but for those of you looking for a little peek into my thoughts on health care, health IT and the Internet in general, this is the place to be.

I’m going to cheat and populate this blog with content I feel is more relevant here than back on mynameismonkey.com, I have no idea what the blog etiquette is, but then again, I’m not known for my sensitivity.

Enjoy.

Oh, yeah, the funny title.

“A Scanner Brightly” is a reference to one of my all-time favourite books, Phillip K. Dick’s “A Scanner Darkly“, in turn a reference to Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. My hope in my work is to help the average health care consumer become a well-informed health care consumer, not seeing “as through a glass, darkly”.

Bah, it’s funny to me.

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