wasting bandwidth since 1999

It’s Too Hard, So You’re Excused

When it comes to the major issues of the presidential campaign, the talking heads spend hours seriously analyzing the candidate’s statements on foreign policy, health care, immigration and all the rest.

When it comes to technology issues, however, it’s merely amusing if the president or Congressional leaders don’t have a clue.

As a nation, we wouldn’t tolerate such ignorance about any other area of policymaking. Would we be amused if it came out that Joe Biden, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wasn’t clear about the difference between Shiites and Sunnis or couldn’t find Sudan on a map?

So why is it so funny that the octogenarian Stevens, the top Republican senator on the committee that regulates the Web, doesn’t know the difference between the Internet and an e-mail?

Some presidential candidates — you know, the ones always talking about ensuring that the United States can compete in a fast-moving, tech-savvy world — seem to be getting a pass on technological literacy.

But this problem isn’t limited to our national leaders.

We give a similar pass to school administrators, teachers, and other adults who choose to remain uninformed about the technologies that are an increasingly integrated part of everyday life.

The writer of this opinion piece says that the US “can’t afford to have its leaders’ base of knowledge be rooted in the industrial era”.

However, shouldn’t that also be true of every educated member of our society?

candidates, technology, ignorance


  1. Carolyn Foote

    You are so right!

    I think we should be putting the word out for all the candidates that they need to take an interest in technology/education.

    (you would think the YouTube debates would cause them to take notice, yes?)

  2. Kathryn Peyton

    Well, certainly anyone with power of the purse, or power to amend, ban or choose any kind of technological services for the rest of us ought to understand what they are doing. I actually think this is changing for the better in the last few years, with some obvious exceptions, of course.

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