Thursday, April 17, 2008

Do the sheep dogs think they are sheep?

My best explanation for the inexplicable survival of the east african plains ape is that the shepherds are keeping us around. (For mutton or for wool? The Bible is silent on that distinction.)

Shepherds, of course, make use of sheep dogs, which falsely think of themselves as more sheep than wolf.

I thought of that as I described John Halamka for a lecture I'm giving on technology for health record interoperability. From my graphic:

  • "John D. Halamka, MD, MS, is Chief Information Officer of the CareGroup Health System, Chief Information Officer and Dean for Technology at Harvard Medical School, Chairman of the New England Health Electronic Data Interchange Network (NEHEN), CEO of MA-SHARE (the Regional Health Information Organization), Chair of the US Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP), and a practicing Emergency Physician"
  • sleeps 4-6 hours a night
  • wears an RFID chip in his shoulder
  • climbs ice-covered cliff faces to relax
  • flies 400,000 miles a year
  • tries to be nice

Sounds like a sheep dog to me. I'm sure he thinks of himself as human though.

PS. I realized after posting that I should clarify that I'm a major Halamka fan and read everything he writes. It's actually kind of nice to have "the bar" set so high that I can relinquish any competitive aspirations.

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