Conspiracy thinking and partisan conflict

Wikipedia describes Sam Harris as “an American neuroscientist, philosopher, author, critic of religion, blogger, public intellectual, and podcast host“. In his Making Sense podcasts he converses with a wide range of people whose experiences, thinking and analysis of what is happening in the world today have much to offer us.

A recent conversation with Renée DiResta explored the methods used by Russia to influence society in the United States. She gives a very clear explanation of how these are made possible by the way social media have developed and discusses the main lines of attack, which are to increase the polarisation that already exists in society and to amplify conspiracy thinking.

A recent newsletter from Plymouth Social Enterprise Network introduced its board members. I was interested to see that one of these – Dave Kilroy – is an NHS Digital Innovation Associate and that, according to his LinkedIn profile, in this role he is involved with LiveCode, OpenEHR and the Code4Health platform.

OpenEHR was at the heart of a project I managed from 2001 to 2003; our purpose was to demonstrate the feasibility of creating an Electronic Health Record  by gathering together clinical records and messages already produced within the care pathway. Although widely used in research programmes, at that time OpenEHR had not been deployed in many operational systems. There are now more, one of them being OPENeP – a paperless prescribing and medications administration (ePMA) system being implemented by Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust.