We live in a world of information cascades, of dominos toppling at Mach 2 speeds. Internet maven Cory Doctorow recently quipped that he no longer tries to predict the future because it’s not as stunning as ‘predicting the present.’ This is a corollary to William Gibson’s remark that "the future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed."
Where does this leave politicians? Probably somewhere the future has not yet reached. Most politicians understand that the Internet (or ‘the Internets’) distributes information at hypersonic speeds, but many of them seem not to grasp the many ways the Internet distributes information. John McCain is the latest victim of this shortsightedness, but I’m willing to bet (by predicting the present) that other politicians in the presidential race will learn not to fall asleep at the switch. The crowd is wise, and eager to make its presence known.