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Monday, August 04, 2008

Presidential Race 2.0: Does Technology Matter?

We've never had a president who fully embraced -- as a matter of lifestyle -- social technologies.

Some of that is simply because the technologies didn't exist in any mainstream way until very recently; however, we're now well into the second decade on the Web and it's high time to start thinking about the relationship our candidates have with technology.

The New York Times, which published a piece about McCain's analogy candidacy, makes a point that others in the technology sphere have said: If we live in a world where computers and computing is ubiquitous, is it rational to have someone who has no understanding of what that means running the country?

Setting aside the international implications of the presidency (because in the past four elections we chose a candidate with on foreign policy experience), understanding the economy and the implications that go with it -- education, legislation, training, policing -- is the top priority.

That's no small task considering the Intellectual Property-based companies make up, by some estimates, 40 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product -- and laws regulating the use of that IP estimate it generates $4.5 trillion in revenues.

Clearly no one person can understand the complexities that dictate a digital economy, but it's important to realize that the bulk of our economic engine depends upon successfully negotiating that terrain. And that doesn't mean that because Obama uses a Blackberry and McCain doesn't email that the Democratic nominee would make a better president (hopefully, they will appoint really smart economists).

The question is simply this: In an age when using networks and computers have become everyday activities for the bulk of the country, how important is it for our candidates to be verse in that world?

By Brad at 08:52 AM | Comments (2)

(2) Thoughts on Presidential Race 2.0: Does Technology Matter?

Those who embrace technology are those who understand that we live in a new century with an entirely new set of issues and opportunities. Not using or understanding even the most basic technology (Internet, email) is the equivalent of burying your head in the sand. International terrorists use the Internet, markets are 24/7 on the web, climate and energy issues are galvanized by global communication- do we really want someone who understand none of this as President?

Comments by Martin Edic : Monday, August 04, 2008 at 02:28 PM

Hey Martin:

I guess what I wonder is this: No president is up on every issue. I worked at Technology Review where we wrote about alternative energy development and research all the time.

Having read about it for 2 years -- and being reasonably smart -- I can tell you I still don't get it.

So I want my president who knows what he (or she) doesn't know -- and then finds really smart people who do.

Can we reasonably expect our president to know everything? And if not, what is the benchmark for knowledge they should have?

How do you measure ::critical thinking::?

Comments by Brad King : Wednesday, August 06, 2008 at 11:39 AM

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