More from the floor at Corante’s Social Architecture meeting in Cambridge (details above).
To illustrate his contention that politicians use a different "operating system" from the rest of us Andrew Rasiej said that he asked Mayor Bloomberg about a wireless New York and the Mayor replied (something like), "oh, that’s great. Would we have to dig up the streets for that?"
As funny as this is, there is a larger problem here. It’s the "they just don’t get it" accusation that certain parties like to level against the political and the power incumbents. Sometimes this is exactly right, and it makes it clear that nothing less than a fundamental cultural shift and change of incumbents will get the job done.
But sometimes, this language (and the terms that just were used by someone asking a question from the floor, "technophobic," and "techno ignorant") actually obscures the opportunities for rapprochement. There is a larger performative objective here that I dislike, that with this language we construct, we annoint ourselves as smart, attached, people who truly "do get it." This is self congratulation and when it licenses a refusal to engage with power incumbents, well, it’s just stupid. I do not level this charge against Rasiej who runs for office and advises politicians.