Gongol.com Archives: August 2008
Brian Gongol

August 23, 2008

Broadcasting Show notes from the WHO Radio Wise Guys - August 23, 2008
How iTunes threatens Communism...Seinfeld shills for Microsoft...the electronic bomb...and a podcast

Science and Technology The Obama VP text: Smart, but is it smart enough?
By building all kinds of buzz about how supporters would be the "first to know" about Senator Obama's running-mate choice, if only they would sign up to receive text-messaging alerts, the Obama Presidential campaign has made a smart move about applying technology to its advantage. After all, who didn't think that the announcement would be leaked first to the news media, or that CNN wouldn't have the announcement the moment it was made anyway? It's hardly like anyone missed out by finding out an hour or two later by checking the news in their e-mail inbox than by getting it immediately on their mobile phone. But in the meantime, the campaign has accumulated a mountain of verifiable voter contacts that they otherwise would've had to pound pavement to get. And let's not forget that the National Do-Not-Call Registry doesn't prohibit political calls. So when November rolls around and the campaign is in need of a last-minute push to the polls, they now have probably thousands of phone numbers on hand that they can use to push people to the polls. But for all the intelligence it has shown about marketing, has the Obama campaign (or the McCain campaign) shown that it really understands the role that technology is going to play over the next five to ten years in changing culture? Sure, "Change we can believe in" is a fine platitude, but which candidate is aware of the problems with the nation's electrical infrastructure? Or the threat of an EMP attack against the US? Or how the law will have to deal with meat from bioreactors and replacement organs from a petri dish (and how Medicare is or is not going to be able to pay for them)? Or of Chinese and Russian cyberwarfare practices that have been actively used against us and against our allies? Or how trade and technology are going to put some people quite visibly out of work, but simultaneously make lots of us better off in tiny ways that we're rarely aware of?

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