Sunday, July 13, 2008

McCain and The Internet

What I find most revealing about McCain's statement about "learning to get online" himself, is what it says about his engagement with the world.

Obviously, prior to being asked about it, McCain had absolutely no curiosity about, or interest in, this Internet thing that everybody has been talking about since the early 1990s. But, how can that be?

Long before I ever owned a computer, I remember the early-adopter types chattering excitedly about all the cool things they were doing "online."

One acqaintance couldn't get over the fact that there was a site that allowed him to look at an image of a coffee cup in England. Others spent all their time at work talking about the stuff they "chatted" about the night before while they were online.

These were the days when an e-mail address was a randomly-assigned series of numbers and letters, and you had to pay for your time online by the minute. Does anybody reading this even remember that? That's how long ago it was.

McCain has had time to learn about the Internet over the last 15 years, is my point.

Yet this man, the Republican Party's nominee for president of the United States, has just become aware of this technology that influences the lives of everybody on earth, even if they, like he, have never operated a computer.

How uninterested must you be in the world around you to end up in such a state of ignorance?

One of George W. Bush's greatest handicaps has always been his lack of curiosity, and look where that got us.

Compared to McCain, however, Bush is Descartes.

Can we really afford to go there?

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