2020 in retrospect and future directions

rocky slope covered with greenery near turquoise lake
Photo by Julia Volk on Pexels.com

Year end retrospective ideas are usually a reflection on the collective progress. I would refrain from the usual platitudes. While it might benefit the readers by linking to most read stories, I think the key essential argument is that I have been able to get a variety of stories. Blogging here serves as a raw template for layering of my ideas and helps my creativity. It helps me to see patterns in random events because nothing is truly absolute and random but occupies a space between these two states.

While I eschew the idea that a dedicated newsletter would have been a better option, it requires a higher commitment than my current workflows allow me to do. A newsletter is a more intimate form of discussion and frankly, I don’t believe in subscriptions to “support” the effort. I have been strongly influenced by the ideas of “copyleft” and “open source” to believe in “open access” that I abhor at the idea of paywalls for the content which otherwise is freely available (even though it is ad sponsored). I find the relevant content through my methodologies (which I have detailed here) and there is still a huge scope for the improvements.

Communities usually have a few outspoken users and a vast, silent majority who often refuse to take part or just stand by the sidelines. I have had an experience in managing several; it is not workable to give a 100% commitment- especially with the digital distractions happening around us. Social media helps most users to gain visibility (and is an anathema to recluses like me) because the message gets lost in the medium (even though I know that most of the users congregate online). There are other efficient ways to achieve the same result, but inherently we require social exposure and validation.

The downside of staying quiet is possibly “irrelevance” but I have realised that it is the actions that speak louder than words. Those who keep the quietest are often the ones who have something more valuable to say, and it requires an active listening skill. Through my travails, I have realised that it is a desirable skill.

I really hope that more medical professionals take to blogging because a diverse perspective helps us to grow.

I can’t look too far in the future since I am not aware of what’s going to come the next moment. However, I thank all the readers (and those who prefer to get the blog updates through email) for their continued attention. I don’t have access to the email databases as WordPress handles it from its backend. There might be some readers who read through the RSS feeds. Thank you too. I would continue to persist with the same format for the time being. Stay tuned for some article collections later in 2021, which I annotated and highlighted. I will enclose the summaries too for your quick perusal. I also hope to work on an automated system for paper recommendation that would make things easier for all of us.