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Ordinary Openness

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Here's an example when I used open information and hardly thought about it.

I had an acute attack of sinusitis recently. I know that as it's a viral infection the GP won't be able to do anything about it, so I looked up the NHS website advice. There I found openly shared information. The site suggested a remedy you can make cheaply at home.

Screenshot of NHS website advice on sinusitis

The NHS are testing a new information site - it's clean and easy to read with good clear links to follow.

By comparison here is a USA website with 'free' information about sinusitis.

Screenshot of US website advice on sinusitis

To access this open information, you have to leave yourself open to advertising. There's more, though. They recommend proprietary products to help with your sinusitis, rather than something you can make yourself at home.

Screenshot of US website recommendations on sinusitis

'Open' doesn't equate to 'free'. The UK website isn't really 'free' either, it relies on government funding raised through taxes.

Both sites can argue they are influenced by the wish to help people get better. The UK site is also influenced by a wish to keep government spending on public health down, the US site by commercial interests. The UK site can then focus better on helping people rather than commerce.

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