This week in Time I wrote a column about whether it matters that McCain doesn’t really use the Internet. The shocking conclusion: yes and no!
I think what most concerns me about McCain’s lack of skillz is that without actually spending time as part of a network, you can’t really understand what a network is and how it works. And the network is the key structure, or paradigm, or whatever you want to call it, of this century that we are currently in. We do our businesses over networks, we socialize over networks. We’re fighting a war against a network (i.e. terrorism). And networks are weird: they’re centerless, they’re independent of geography, information spreads over them in weird ways, they do weird things to people and businesses. They just don’t make sense unless you’ve actually used one.
And McCain hasn’t. And that worries me.
Shortly after this piece came out McCain released his actual technology platform. The focus is on improving the climate for innovation by lowering taxes, un-breaking the patent system, and supporting education. I find it a little weird that somebody who has never sent an e-mail is promising to “lead by example” in “ensuring America is a connected nation.” But I don’t really do politics, except the regular way, by voting.