The Internet Politician: When?

In his recent column, Republicans, Democrats, Internet Tubes, Gak!, John Dvorak talks about the lack of technology-savvy politicians in our national government. This should come as no surprise, considering the average age of a Congressperson is 56, and most 56-year olds I know are not very computer literate — at least not beyond the basics.

Dvorak goes on to wonder when we’ll see a tech-savvy person in Congress, and he figures it won’t be until 2035. His figure is based on an entry age of 40 (which is plausible), which is about 40 years beyond 1995 because…

[b]y my calculations, the first generation of kids who were totally immersed in the computer age was born somewhere between 1984 and 1995.

Now hold on just a second there, John! Of all people you should know better. I was one of those “kids totally immersed in the computer age”, and I was born in 1970. Since I was nine years old I had a computer in my house (the first was an Atari 800), and I was well entrenched into the development of everything that we take for granted today: spreadsheets, graphical user interfaces, online communications (first bulletin boards, eventually the Internet)… My generation was among the first to take advantage of pagers and cell phones because we were the first who were of the age to understand them and afford them.

In my opinion, you’ll see a truly tech-savvy politician in the next ten years… That is, if you could pry them away from the technology field, which is a heck of a lot more interesting than politics.

One thought on “The Internet Politician: When?

  • Thanks for the link! I think the most interesting aspect about the Ted Stevens ‘the internet is a series of tubes’ episode is that he was the chairman before the 2006 election that regulated communication, including the internet. It’s amazing that someone who knows ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about a subject can rise to the rank of regulating it on a federal level. And also, kind of scary.

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