Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Monday, August 13, 2012
Microbes, Mohawks, and More Money: President Obama Calls to Congratulate Mars Curiosity Team
Our President is smart and funny. If our President was Mitt Romney, that wouldn't be true. Of course, the sharpness and warmth of the President's off-the-cuff riffing seems to be what folks are talking about, as with this charming cannelle: "If in fact you do make contact with Martians please let me know right away. I've got a lot of other things on my plate, but I suspect that that will go to the top of the list. Even if they're just microbes it will be pretty exciting." And Obama's prep-team obviously set up a winning throwaway genuflection to tween-twitterers in his comment about Bobak Ferdowski's hair and how "I in the past thought about getting a Mohawk myself but my team keeps on discouraging me." Much more to the point, however, I believe the President when he tells the Curiosity team of his "personal commitment to protect these critical investments in science and technology" just as I believe him when he says he expects and wants to live to see human beings land on Mars (and just as I believe him when he says he wants common sense gun regulation and to shift to a renewable energy infrastructure), but I also know he is short on details because he knows the form in which these commitments will express themselves in the real world will depend on the Congress with which he must collaborate. If you want the United States to invest in medical and scientific and space research and renewable energy and high-speed rail, then vote for Obama and for more, and better, Democrats in Congress and at every level of governance. Otherwise, soon enough, we won't have to go to Mars to find ourselves on a dead world.