Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I need to start reading New York magazine more

G.G.: Yeah, to me there's a disconnect in McCain's approach to tech. He's obviously smarter about it than he seems (given his time on the issues in the Senate), but the fact that during the last decade he never sat down on a Saturday afternoon and said, “I'm going to teach myself how to use the Web and send e-mail,” is troubling. It just feeds the out-of-touch-ness. Obama on the BlackBerry himself is a powerful image.

M.Y.: It really does make you wonder what he was basing his policy decisions on. You'd think he'd be curious, right? He's voting on these bills, and his office has computers in it. Still, to me the most remarkable thing isn't about McCain personally but how slowly our definition of the "important issues" shifts — the whole idea of the information economy still isn't much more than a throwaway line as far as political campaigns are concerned.

A really interesting discussion between Matt Yglesias (his Atlantic connection makes him automatically rule) and Garrett M. Graff, editor of the Washingtonian and the first blogger to get credentialed by the White House. Just by the looks of his resume, he seems pretty awesome, too. I just plucked out the section on McCain and technology--they make a really good point on how it's not brought up in this campaign, though it should be, as technological progress has been and will continue to define the future of the country.

Later, there is talk of making Americans sacrifice, criticizing President Bush for encouraging Americans to shop as a response to September 11 than to do anything. I've always agreed with that statement--as a kid I always was swept up when hearing historical narratives that dealt with sacrifice in terms of war, be it WWII, the Civil War, or the Revolution. It seemed so exciting, working for your country, doing good! Shopping is frivolous, nothing like planting a victory garden, and I've been eagerly wanting to do something.


John said...

I always thought the shopping thing was an attempt to keep people from panicking. Since the markets plunged after 9/11, companies would have gone under if people had started curbing their spending and squirreling all their savings away in their mattresses. Of course, they'd be ahead of many of us right now if they had done that. Still, there's something to the fact that the only thing we've had to sacrifice during the Global War on Terror has been the lives of American soldiers. It makes the war less real, in a way.

mikhailbakunin said...

I'm pretty sure Matt Yglesias blogs for Think Progress now.

Either way, he's a tool.

MediaMaven said...

He does. I linked to his current blog. I've only read a few things of his over the last few months, so I haven't developed an opinion on him, but why is he a tool?

Also, he's 27. I feel the need to state that.

mikhailbakunin said...

I used to read Yglesias's blog from time to time (when he was still with The Atlantic).

He can be insightful, but he's also prone to rhetorical flourishes and fuzzy logic. For example, he often takes out-of-context quotes from John McCain and holds them up as proof that the Republican nominee wants every American to "go to war and die."

I've never understood why Andrew Sullivan is so impressed with him. From what I've read, Yglesias is extremely self-righteous, partisan - and not at all self-reflective.

His arguments often rely heavily on ad hominems and "if-then" statements that, while logically consistent, don't really account for any kind of moral complexity.

On an unrelated note, can I start blogging at Wit War, too? Who do I have to bang?