Technology Adoption and The Elite


  1. #1 Joe
    September 18, 2008

    I suppose what you are really asking is whether we can afford to have a national chief executive that does not have a certain minimal first-hand experience with Information Technology, e.g., e-mail. In my professional experience a more tech-savvy executive is a better qualified executive, so certainly the fact that John McCain is on par with George Bush in this regard does not help him with this reader. On the other hand, those that do hot have any IT background and who are skeptical of all that “Internet Stuff” may find comfort in McCain’s technological ignorance. Depends which way this country wants to go, I guess.

  2. #2 Dan J
    September 18, 2008

    It would be nice to have some of our elected officials be a bit closer to the norm in this society. It’s really disheartening to see so many of them who are either technophobes, Luddites, or simply wealthy pampered bastards. They are completely out of touch with the reality of the majority of the people in this country. How can a person like that represent me? Yes, some of it may be correlated to a person’s age, but there are a lot of senior citizens out there using email.

  3. #3 Alan Kellogg
    September 18, 2008

    Ah, assumptions. How do you know John McCain doesn’t know how to use email? Is not being able to use email due to a physical disability the same as not knowing how to use email? Is this iteration of the “doesn’t know” meme based on fact or the desire it be true?

    This is another version of the need to belittle trope which has hurt liberals, leftists, and Democrats for so long now. It sounds good, it satisfies the need to degrade the opposition, and it shows a lack of thought and critical thinking you’d hope well educated people would avoid.

    Greg, being cruel and unkind, this is beneath you. McCain has flaws that matter, focus on them if you must focus on his flaws, not on erroneous exaggerations of traits that really don’t mean a thing.

    And Dan and Joe? Assigning cognitive ability to a person based on your animosity towards that person says more about your critical thinking skills than it does about his cognitive ability; and none of it good.

  4. #4 Luna_the_cat
    September 19, 2008

    Alan Kellogg:
    “not being able to use email due to a physical disability”

    Ok, tell me, please — wtf disability does McCain have which prevents him from using email? He can’t move his fingers?

    We deal with a blind student. He uses email. We have dyslexic students. They use email. My supervisor is actually quadriplegic. He’s never bloody off his email. The technology exists. So tell me, what physical disability is it that makes it too difficult for McCain to use email?

  5. #5 Luna_the_cat
    September 19, 2008

    Sorry, let me just make clear: voice-to-text programs not only exist, they are also pretty good these days, and they don’t exactly break the bank. You do NOT need to be able to type to use email. Using your wife to read things and type things for you is just laziness, frankly.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    September 19, 2008

    Alan, it was reported on the news at some point in the recent past that Obama would be the first executive with actual email experience, and I believe that was at a time when there were evenmore people in the race (but not Sarah Palin, we know she uses email).

    I don’t see where I’m being cruel here at all. Rather, I’m pointing out the u -shaped curve in technology adoption and its possible significance.

  7. #7 Joe
    September 19, 2008

    How do I know that McCain does not use e-mail? He was asked in an interview whether he prefers a PC or MAC. His answer
    “Neither. I’m an illiterate that has to rely on my wife for all of the assistance I can get”. See for yourself if youare interested. Link below.

  8. #8 BAllanJ
    September 19, 2008

    I’m going to have to quote Marshall McLuhan here with “the medium is the message”.
    McBush may be getting the content when he has someone else email for him or google something for him, but that doesn’t mean he gets it.
    The importance of the internet isn’t the content. It’s that it changes everything about how people are informed and how they interact. If he doesn’t do it, he won’t get it.

  9. #9 travc
    September 20, 2008

    Not directly meaningful, but perhaps illustrative.

    I would love to have the candidates in an intro biology section for a day. One of my methods was to include quiz question which was well beyond what the students had any reason to know, but which they could make a reasonable guess about based on what they should have learned. It really sorted the wheat from the chaff, even though very very rarely did anyone get the ‘right’ answer.

    It is hard to gauge how well someone incorporates new information and synthesizes. An unwillingness or inability to use unfamiliar technology is probably a decent negative indicator.