21 July 2008

Qualifications

It turns out that John McCain has great taste in movies but doesn't know how to use a computer. The folks at Yahoo! asked him, “Mac or PC?”
Neither. I'm a ... a ... illiterate that has to rely on my wife for all the assistance I can get.
Matthew Yglasias observes that this is no small thing.
Do you have to use a computer to understand how it shapes the country? I think you might. If we had a president who didn't know how to drive a car, that would probably strike us as pretty odd. But I think you could plausibly claim that you don't necessarily have to have a driver's license in order to understand how automobiles shape the country. But that's because we assume that even someone who doesn't have a license has still been in cars sees highways, onramps and offramps, parking lots, quiet winding roads, overpasses, bridges, etc. If you hadn't done any of that stuff, then I think it really would be difficult to understand the implications of the technology.

But while people ride as passengers in cars all the time, I would imagine that someone who doesn't use a computer doesn't peer over the shoulder of his staff either.

1 comment:

Shataina said...

Wow. This really highlights the age differences between his constituency and Obama's, doesn't it? I'm betting that a huge proportion of people around McCain's age are okay with this, indeed see nothing wrong with it and would be bewildered at the assertion that the President really ought to know these things.