Joey DeVilla's favorite amalgam of "Google" and "Blogger" is "Booger". Yeah!
There is one thing, I think, that Google and a blog hosting engine inside the same trust boundary can do that would be somewhat difficult otherwise: making backlinks work really well, based on both linguistic analysis for relevance and, of course, PageRank. It's possible to use a trust metric to automate links between blogs in a more distributed context, but so far nobody's been smart enough and motivated enough to actually try to build it. It's probably a lot more likely to happen in a centralized, infrastructure-rich setting.
Here are two interesting and related interviews. The first describes how child psychiatry has a history of being science-resistant, but advances in the field are overcoming this. The second describes some of the cutting-edge research being done at the NIMH, and the palpable enthusiasm of Dr. Manji in being part of the community. I've long been fascinated by the signalling and computation that goes on in networks of cells, and found my interest rekindled by this interview.
This essay by Kanan Makiya is interesting. He's far from a disinterested party, of course, but I certainly agree that these kinds of discussions should be taking place out in the open. Real democracy is messy and unpredictable. Perhaps it's even true that, as the State Department under Colin Powell and the CIA believe, "it could have a destabilising influence on the region."