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On being grateful

On being grateful
So many people to thank

On being grateful


The start of the new year is a sensible time to look around and consider how many good things we have, and to be grateful for some of them. Bandolier is grateful to be able to search for evidence so easily from its desk. A question is asked, and we can seek the evidence, download the papers, appraise and analyse them, compute results, and perhaps add a seasoning of wisdom added.

We call it "bandoliering" a topic. This month, for instance, we bandoliered heat for pain relief, because someone asked and we didn't know. But, depending on your connections and permissions, almost any topic can be bandoliered. Wouldn't it be something if this entered the language, like hoover, or thermos. To bandolier (verb), etc.

So many people to thank


The list is long. Top of it are PubMed and Cochrane. Online searching allows us to identify so many reviews and trials quickly. They (trials and reviews, that is) may be rubbish, but even knowing that only rubbish exists is empowering in itself. Issue 4 of the Cochrane Library has details of 463,763 controlled trials. Finding relevant material has never been so easy, and it is made available to us, free. Amazing.

What it means for us, though, is that we have no excuses for not managing our ignorance better. Forget knowledge management, because it is like herding cats. As soon as you have a handle on something, the ground changes because of innovation or policy.

But ignorance, now that's something you can really depend upon. Ignorance is constant, always with us. So we have to find ways of managing it better. It's when we pretend we know something that the trouble starts. All this whizzo information technology we now have should make managing ignorance easy, just as long as we start, not just by acknowledging ignorance, but by glorifying it.

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