Firstly, some of you will notice that things have been a bit quiet on the site this last 10 days. That’s because we’ve migrated the whole shooting match over to a new paid site. We have a new look, new functions, and a much more stable site that, we hope, will be much nicer for you to use, and easier for us to manage. Huge thanks once again go to our good friend Sofia Woods from Shortie Designs for helping us with all the technical things. Our own Jo Bloggs will be posting more about the upgrade soon.
Since we’ve been away for a few days, I thought it might be nice to recommend a few things to make your week a little bit more critical, because everyone should make time for at least one critical thing each day:
- Take a walking seminar and follow in the figurative and physical footsteps of astonishingly brilliant philosopher and author Annemarie Mol’s doctoral students (link). Annemarie Mol is a professor of anthropology in Amsterdam and the author of some powerful writings on complexity, mobilities, diets, weight, care and a whole host of other subjects (link). Gather up your friends, colleagues or students and take them on a walk to inspire them to think anew about their plans and projects. Walking is a surefire way to change people’s perspective. (See also Harries and Rettie’s recent paper below).
- Talk about what physiotherapy is going to be like when robots and assistive devices take over medical care, routine rehabilitation, assessment, diagnosis and a lot of traditionally routine treatments (see here, here or here, for example). But rather than focusing on all the negatives, think about how these technologies might liberate you from those tasks that anyone (or anything) will be able to do in the future. How might these innovations make it possible for you to focus on those things only a well-trained, engaged practitioner could do? You might be surprised by the things people are prepared to let go of in the name of better care. And don’t think these things will be someone else’s problem. Many of them will be a reality by the time children entering school today become physiotherapy students.
- And perhaps try taking a dissenting view. Critical thinking is so much more than deciding whether a research study is reliable and valid. See, for example, the recent paper by the biggest group of collaborators since Earth, Wind and Fire played a gig with Slipknot (McKay et al, 2016, see below). Who could possibly disagree with the idea that we should establish reference norms for the musculoskeletal and neurological dimensions of a range of bodily constructs (dexterity, balance, ambulation, joint range of motion, strength and power, endurance and motor planning)? Well try it. Why might it be problematic to define people in this way? Whose interests might it serve? What ways of thinking and speaking about bodies, health, movement, function…being alive, might this privilege and what might it deny?
So there are a few critical activities to try with you friends and family over the next few days. For those in the North enduring cold, windy, stormy weather, keep safe and warm. For those in the South, enjoy the summer while it lasts. Changes is always just around the corner.
Harries, T., & Rettie, R. (2016). Walking as a social practice: Dispersed walking and the organisation of everyday practices. Sociology of Health & Illness, n/a-n/a. doi:10.1111/1467-9566.12406.
McKay, M. J., Baldwin, J. N., Ferreira, P., Simic, M., Vanicek, N., Hiller, C. E., . . . Burns, J. (2016). 1000 norms project: Protocol of a cross-sectional study cataloging human variation. Physiotherapy, 102(1), 50-56. doi:10.1016/j.physiotherapy.2014.12.002.