To be technically challenged

Mikey 9 comments
To be technically challenged

Tell me why the people elected into high positions are usually the ones most technically challenged? And then tell me why these same people, who find trivial things such as sending an email or burning a CD to be a personal technological milestone, are often the same people in charge of regulating the Internet?

As this phenomenon is becoming disturbingly more common, I thought we could take a moment to reflect on some of our more recent technically challenged leaders. Here they are, in no particular order.

Richard Alston.
Australia's former Minster for communications was responsible for a lot of proposals that clearly indicated he didn't have even a basic clue about the Internet or its underlying technologies. Alston originally opposed a nationwide broadband rollout because he thought broadband was nothing more than a platform for delivering porn. Alston was incidentally unofficially branded the world's greatest Luddite.

Justice Virginia Bell.
Although not the first Judge guilty of this, Bell proposed that the entire Internet be purged of any information that might influence a jury. Furthermore, she said it would be fine to put the information back onto the Internet when the trial was over.

"It sounded more like something you'd here from let's say a crazy old man in an airport bar at 3am..."

Senator Ted Stevens.
When they were handing out Internet clues, Stevens was at the end of the wrong line. In what is probably the most publicised botched description in history, Stevens describe the Internet to a packed room full of cabinet members as 'a series of tubes'. This would have been fine if he were using that as an analogy, except I don't think he was.

"Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got... an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday, I got it yesterday. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially...

... the Internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes. And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material" (Listen to Audio)

Jon Stewart summed it up perfectly in the video below when he said "It sounded more like something you'd here from a let's say a crazy old man in an airport bar at 3am..."

The Bush Administration.
I nearly fell of my chair when I read this. Bush and Co want all ISP's to keep a record of who uploads images and video on the off chance the police find something illegal and need to investigate further. If anyone of them has even the slightest clue just what that would involve, they would die of embarrassment the moment they realised. They must think all Internet technologies and servers reside inside the USA.

With people like these making Internet related policy, it's no wonder we still have far to go. At the moment it seems the only qualifications a person needs in order to be placed in charge of technology and communications is the ability to check their hotmail.

I am sure I have missed many, so feel free to comment.


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Monday 12th March 2007 | 02:46 AM

The Host of the Daily Show is not John Stevens, it's Jon Stewart.

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Monday 12th March 2007 | 07:51 AM

Now why on Earth would I have had a has-been 80's singer on my mind?

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Monday 12th March 2007 | 09:47 AM

You must have combined John Stewart and Ted Stevens in your mind ;-)

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Monday 12th March 2007 | 01:36 PM

You gotta love ted stevens. How TF did he get into such a position anyway. We can all at least take solace in knowing he is a big laughing stock.

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Wednesday 14th March 2007 | 01:07 PM

Its a scary world we live in where morons are put in charge of the things they are most ignorant of.

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Thursday 15th March 2007 | 01:31 PM

If someone doesn't know much about technology, wouldn't that mean they're technologically challenged? I'm not sure saying they're technically challenged quite conveys the same meaning...

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Saturday 17th March 2007 | 10:30 AM

@ Peather: I had this discussion ages ago and we reckon both 'technically challenged' and 'technologically challenged' had the same meaning when used in the right context.

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Tuesday 20th March 2007 | 06:18 PM

I think my girlfriends parents are related to Ted Stevens or just missing the gene for technological comprehension. :-P

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Saturday 31st March 2007 | 10:54 AM

Just the other day I got an inner-nets in my email.

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