Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Obama: "information becomes a distraction, a form of entertainment..."

You might want to check Larry Dignan’s piece today on Zdnet, “Obama’s information distraction riff: a real issue?” link here.

At the Hampton University Commencement (in Tidewater Virginia), Obama said

“You’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t always rank all that high on the truth meter. With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations, — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation.”

Information as a form of entertainment? Well, maybe “command of knowledge” gives people a “false sense” of independence from the need for other people when they don’t want them. That sounds like what he is talking about. Hence, you have the family dinner hour (or Mormon family home evening), where all electronics are put away. The here-and-now of family is all that matters. The wars and bad things outside don’t. But, of course, if you stayed a singleton and “stand alone” you may want to stay in touch with “The Outside” at all times. Hence the blinker on your Blackberry (the president has one, remember) tells you, somebody remembers you.

Here’s the Whitehouse YouTube video of the speech.

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