Alex Blaze

Yes, John, technology is part of America

Filed By Alex Blaze | June 12, 2008 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: internet, John McCain, technology, web 2.0

McCain isn't into Mac or PC, he's into his wife:

Neither, I'm an illiterate that has to rely on my wife for all of the assistance I can get.

He's using a Google, which is remarkable, to search for a vice president:

We're going through a process where you get a whole bunch of names, and ya ... Well, basically, it's a Google. You just, you know, what you can find out now on the Internet. It's remarkable, you know.

He's not up on YouTube or Web 2.0, which is why he isn't familiar with the 21st century invention of "telling the truth" (from Jonathan Alter):

I don't think he's senile, I think that he is caught in an old politics where politicians routinely just said you know, black is white, white is black and blue is gray and they got away with it for many, many years [Alter tells a couple of anecdotes about a time McCain is more familiar with...before radio and the FDR era] So McCain just can't get away with this kind of thing anymore in the new era, in the YouTube era. And it's a learning curve for him to get up to speed, to recognize he's living with new rules.

McCain either doesn't like blogs or doesn't understand what we're doing:

Now he has introduced legislation that would treat blogs like Internet service providers and hold them responsible for all activity in the comments sections and user profiles. Some highlights of the legislation:

- Commercial websites and personal blogs "would be required to report illegal images or videos posted by their users or pay fines of up to $300,000."

- Internet service providers (ISPs) are already required to issue such reports, but under McCain's legislation, bloggers with comment sections may face "even stiffer penalties" than ISPs.

-- Social networking sites will be forced to take "effective measures" -- such as deleting user profiles -- to remove any website that is "associated" with a sex offender. Sites may include not only Facebook and MySpace, but also, which permits author profiles and personal lists, and blogs like DailyKos, which allows users to sign up for personal diaries.

McCain doesn't know how to read a teleprompter:

iPhone users: Click to watch

OK, that last one was a joke.

Seriously, this man seems like he doesn't either like technology or has a pretty closed attitude towards it (one might say... elitist?). No one's asking him to have designed his own site and run his blog, but he should have a basic understanding of computers. It's 2008, not 1995.

There are lots of people his age who are in touch with tech, so that's no excuse. Sure, my grandmother, at age 87 a few years ago, tried headphones for the first time and was amazed that she could hear the music but others couldn't. It's quaint for her, I guess, but she isn't running for president.

Maybe I spend too much time in front of a computer every day. OK, I spend too much time in front of a computer every day. But I still think that sending email, doing a Google search, knowing a few websites to check out for news or whatever, and understanding that blogs, social networking sites, and YouTube exist and what they do isn't that much to ask.

It isn't about understanding what the kids are doing or being a nerd; it's being a moderately aware citizen of the 21st century.

And for fun, here's this clip again.

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I really wish this story was getting much more (or any?) play in the MSM. You cannot be in a high position of public power in this country and not understand even the most basic concepts of the internet, blogs, e-mail, or "the google."

How can you realistically help usher this country into new and innovative technologies when you, yourself, have no grasp on the minimal basics of how a large chunk of Americans communicate with each other and form communities?

And no, bringing this up is not a swipe at McCain based on his age--- it's just a necessity in the time we live in. We cannot have more folks like Ted "the internet is a series of tubes" Stevens deciding our public policy as it relates to technology and the internet.

I'm not sure I want McCain (or Bush) to understand how the Internet works. If they did, we all might well be arrested as subversives.

A friend of mine referred to McCain as Grandpa Simspon

That's because he's so OOOOOOLLLLDDDD!