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Showing posts from September, 2013

Out of Place, In Our Element at Medicine X

I don't remember the flight to San Francisco the first year I went to Stanford for Medicine 2.0 conference. I don't remember the car we rented. I do however remember the drive to Palo Alto, highway lanes crowded with 5 p.m. traffic moving purposefully like so many industrious bees, in and out of lanes, swiftly circumnavigating the bay, heading south, south, into the city suburbs.

As we turned east toward Palo Alto, the commuters' sense of urgency gave way to tree-lined streets and bungalows with practical but well-landscaped yards. I'd first read about the digital Mecca in WIRED magazine in the late 90s, and then, as one of Douglas Coupland's wanna be Microserfs and an intellectually-endowed teen living in a rural Southern community, had daydreamed about as a place where the local chamber of commerce must have erected signs saying, "Welcome to Palo Alto! Nerds are safe here."

I'd imagined more habitrails and Legos, more glass and steel. And grass... I…