Paradigm Shift

I see where Lindsay Graham–the new Chair of the Senate Committee on Technology–has never used email. And of course, I’ve posted before about James Inhofe, the climate-change denier and evolution skeptic who inexplicably heads up the Senate Committee on the Environment.

Shades of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, who described the Internet as a “series of tubes.”

Perhaps the most penetrating description of John McCain during his campaign for President was “An analog candidate for a digital age.” It summed up a problem we encounter in times of paradigm shift, when people living in a rapidly vanishing world can no longer communicate with inhabitants of the emerging reality.

We have lawmakers who might just as well occupy different planets, so different are their frames of reference and worldviews. No matter how well intentioned, no matter that they have some abstract understanding that new technologies are creating new cultural norms, it is simply not possible for such people to make rational decisions about realities with which they have no firsthand experience. (Think Ted Cruz’ embarrassing comments about net neutrality–comments that clearly demonstrated his total ignorance of what the issue actually was about. Or Presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who demonstrated his lack of comprehension by saying  “The idea of regulating access to the internet with a 1934 law is one of the craziest ideas I’ve ever heard”–then multiply that cluelessness by the number of elected officials who are similarly rooted in another era.)

As a site called “The Big Blue Gumball” noted in a discussion of paradigms and paradigm shift:

Among the biggest paradigm shifts of the last 10 years have been the transitions from analog to digital, and from wired to wireless. These revolutionary technological changes have led to major sociological and behavioral modifications that impact our everyday lives – from the way we live and work, to the ways we entertain ourselves and engage with others.

But not the way all too many lawmakers understand the world.

We’re in big trouble.


  1. For a long time I have questioned the mental competency of those (public figures especially) who post ugly, untrue and/or stupid information on their E-mails and web sites then are totally amazed and disbelieving when the information goes viral and causes them problems. They have no understanding why the public is upset or why they have legal problems for not thinking before they post. Look at the local VA counselor who posted those ugly “jokes” on her E-mails and who will now -hopefully – lose her position as counselor to anyone. That is how the internet works and there are always hackers – and phishers – who worm their way into our private sites. Possibly the winner of the highest form of stupidity – or ignoring reality – are those police officers who use unnecessary violence, including killing – when almost everyone around them has a camera phone. The law has yet to catch up with technology so hackers continue to hack and phishers continue to phish; most of the time it results in unnecessary problems we must resolve on our PCs. There are times when vital information is put before the public and we can begin attempting to resolve serious problems within government and local community problems.

  2. I have finally figured out what elections are all about. They are a nationwide effort to keep comedians employed.

  3. One little Republican from the South said:
    “We need to stop being the party of stupid”
    No Yet.

  4. Graham knows full well what e-mail is, and he knows how to use it. Graham is smartly being advised not to touch e-mail so he can outright eliminate a potential source of controversy and scandal.

  5. The Luddite Republicans are preening for their supporters. Of course they know how to use technology, ala Anthony Wiener. They just need to appear stupid to curry the support of their base.

  6. First, Gopper, thanks for the Steve’s video on Iran yesterday. It made it perfectly clear how being condescended to by knuckle headed US Congressmen would be received there.

    “Lindsey Graham: As president, I will unleash the full might of the U.S. military upon Congress”

    Kerry teaches Rubio the basics about the Middle East

    The references are endless. There is so little respect from any direction for the Congress that we elect that we have to be considereed democracy’s death rattle.

  7. I must agree with daleb; especially that last sentence. Their supporting base is one of following their basic stupidity; “water seeks it’s own level”, “birds of a feather”, “like seeks like”, et al. Years ago I read a very wise statement, “Loneliness is not a longing for company, it is a longing for kind.” I deeply long for my “kind” of politician; those from both sides of the aisle whose aim in life was to serve their constituents, their government and their country to the best of their ability. I found this same longing by Barack Obama while reading “The Audacity of Hope”. We are stuck with fools such as the Republican presidential hopeful (I have blocked his name from my mind) who states he will resort to a military coup to get Congress to do his bidding. The GOP not only seeks war against Iran, continuing war in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan but this fool would wage war against his own elected officials. We musn’t forget the animosity from Putin; hopefully Sarah Palin is keeping a close eye on Russia from her back yard.

  8. Hmmmmm … Paradigm Shift

    My lunch salad was exactly $ 6.66
    Should I be concerned ?

  9. Certainly looks like a paradigm shift is needed alright…….out of reverse. But I’d settle if they would just go into neutral.

  10. We are in big trouble. I think to be fair you should have noted the fact that Hillary Clinton’s private email was supposedly used so she could use ONE piece of equipment. Last time I checked you can receive more than one email account on a smart phone…

  11. Thank you, Kateiscooking, for your simplified, direct, on target comment regarding the Hillary E-mail frenzy. She has been misquoted and misunderstood in her comment (paraphrased) “maybe it would have been better to use two devices”. I read between her lines that had she known it was going to cause so much bullshit to fly, she would have gone against her own instincts, preference and the simplicity of using one phone. The complainers have somehow missed the fact that she had government authorization to use only one as have other government officials (including Republicans) before her, simply for convenience. She also explained that all governmental messages were automatically “trapped” and forwarded to the correct protected government depository. Maybe it was the simplicity of her option that confused Republicans who do tend to become easily confused looking for hidden agendas. Look at the confusion Florida Governor Scott has caused with his confusing order to state officials not to use terms regarding “climate control”. He reminds me of the old fairy tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”; no one has told him his stupidity is showing so marches on, parading it before the world.

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