Do We Need A Gnome Of Broken Internet Links?

OK, this is too good to pass up. We need a Gnome of Broken Internet Links to fix the problems I’ve been having lately. I’ve found broken links about delirium management on my posts about the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). I sent NICE an email message about it and got  a reply that their response could take up to 18 days. You can read my short post about this from last week. I checked a few other links on NICE..the problem is worse than I thought.

Now, I’ve found another broken link, this one on the National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative NNCI web site, which is on the home page, no less. It’s supposed to point to former National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Director Dr. Thomas Insel’s blog post about NNCI. Too bad. The link takes you to that annoying “404 Error, Page Not Found” message.

Fortunately, I was still able to locate a working link to Dr. Insel’s post. I tried to send an email message about the problem with the NNCI link to them…but the message got kicked back to me as “undeliverable” because the email address is “incorrect.” Maybe that’s why it’s grayed out!

Good thing I copied the message to one of the Advisory Board members. She just happens to be my colleague in the Psychiatry department at The University of Hospital and Clinics. Maybe by the time you read this post, the problem will be fixed.

I’m not sure how long the working link above will remain active, though. If you read the Clinical Psychiatry News article, “Battle continues over NIMH’s mandate as new director steps in,” you could get the notion that it might not be long before that link breaks too.

Broken links and broken email addresses. They seem like unavoidable internet hazards. But if we had a Gnome of Broken Internet Links (GnoBIL) we might get a break. GnoBIL is not a common name for a gnome. On the other hand, gnomes are known to be tinkerers and fixers, and are sometimes said to hoard knowledge, including knowledge for fixing broken links I hope–the sharing of which would be noble, indeed.

In general, I think it’s more noble to give knowledge away freely, which I’ve been told that NNCI leaders plan to keep doing.

On the other hand, when I tried to get a look at one piece of the NNCI module which might speak to the potential problems of the internet in disseminating knowledge,  “Why Reading and Writing on Paper Might Be Better for Your Brain,” I couldn’t directly access the media piece offered in the module. I got the “404 Sorry we haven’t been able to serve the page you asked for.” And I was even logged in.

Maybe that was the point. Fortunately, there was another way to electronically download all of the materials relevant to the central point of the module. On the whole, the electronic delivery of the course module seemed ironic.


What’s happening, dude?

Then again, maybe GnoBIL’s advice might be to go back to the drawing board.



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