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Cybertubes and the end of politics as usual

Senator Ted Stevens is getting body slammed on the "the Internets" for his embarrasingly Neanderthal comments about how cyberspace works (hint: something to do with tubes).  Meanwhile, other people are framing a view of the Internet that is vastly more sophisticated.  I’ve ordered Chris Anderson’s book The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More.  Chris is the editor of Wired Magazine, obviously at the other end of a spectrum from Ted Stevens. 

Howard Kurtz is a mainstream media guy, but he seems to get the potential power of the Internet to influence politics, especially a new phenomenon called You Tube.   Eventually, we’ll all "get it."  I’d like to be around to see Ted Stevens finally grasp the power of these ‘tubes’ that he thinks are at the heart of the Internet.  George Bush should know about YouTube, well, actually he should know about a lot of things but you can’t teach a dumb dog much, especially about cybertubes.

Addendum: if you want to hear the eloquent Ted Stevens’ comments about the Internet, click here.  One other thought.  I love Robert Scoble, and I think he has some great observations about the development of technology.  However, saying that HDTV will make soccer more popular in the United States is way over the top.  Let’s all try to be realistic.  To sum up: the internet is not a series of tubes, but, let’s also remember that technology is not going to make human beings suddenly become more open-minded.


P.S. If you appreciate these kinds of observations, you might want to read this as well.

4 Comments

  • Sophmom says:

    In my world of baseball, soccer is the “S Word”.

    As for the failure of these decision makers to “grasp the power of these tubes”, I believe we are seeing the very last of their kind in any kind of position of power. I believe that we’re riding the curl of an information revolution like none before, only comparable with the invention of the printing press. How can tyranny and injustice prevail when geeks in Pakistan and geeks in China and geeks in small Eastern European countries are forming relationships with geeks in the UK, US, New Zealand and Brazil on Orkut? How can injustice prevail when a handful of smart people (despite Thomas’ sniping) are publishing for the whole world from New Orleans, LA?

    While Google has made some mistakes with Orkut (like needing to own the content), my guess is that in the course of their little experiment, they’re learning a great deal about the viral nature of the spread of information. You’re right that it won’t open closed minds, but there is huge power in like-minded people in community based on ideas.

  • Marco says:

    The money’s in the NFL, MLB and NBA. Until then,if that ever changes, the USA will not field world class soccer teams.

  • Thomas says:

    Ernie generally I respect your POV. That said I am not a Bush fan in the least, but your comments in regard “can’t teach a dumb dog” carry alot of weight from a man living below sea level who made a choice to move back to New Orleans. Kettle say hello to Pot. You really think him that much of an idiot fine, but with you moving back you don’t far much better.

  • Dave! says:

    Nor will technology make soccer interesting… ;)Sorry, the Midwestern, basketball raised boy in me just can’t get into soccer. Even in HD.

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