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Old 02-12-2008, 06:38 AM   #16
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Agreed, I may be ignorant or ill-informed as to how much a president's attitude towards something can influence science and technology. I just can't see the world of electronic literature soar to new heights just because Obama may use a PDA and plans to web2.0 the white house website.

Thanks for an enlightening – and lenghty – reply, but maybe try to lose the attitude.
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:33 PM   #17
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As has been pointed out (simmer down, Spooky), the President can encourage or discourage specific research projects that are being undertaken by government institutions, or those the government finances or otherwise influences... which accounts for a lot of research, more than most people know (in OR out of this country). Bush's opposition to stem cell research is a good example of technology that was not only discouraged, but banned, by the President, affecting government and private institutions. The Kennedy-supported Apollo program is a good example of an encouraged technology.

In the case of e-books, no current U.S. government program is directly involved with digital literature... the furthest they have gone, so far, is the initiative to make all public documents and information available on the web to all Americans (an initiative that is still far from finished). This effort has affected the govt as they have tried to make legacy documents available in some format or another, and have therefore been exposed to the many issues inherent in digital document handling.

It is conceivable to have the President and the executive branch step in and attempt to modernize the present copyright system, for example, to better include digital documents (and other electronic files), presently a sore point within and without the country. Such a move could improve the prospects of e-books in general, more indirectly than directly.

Which brings us back to the candidates... wherein I can see Obama, clearly interested in change and, judging by his responses, probably more tech-savvy that the other candidates, would be more likely to see and understand the problems in national and international copyright law that are hindering the development of digital commerce, and digital documents, as well as the environmental and economic advantages inherent in digital documents, and be interested in making an effort to improve the current situation. (That's clearly conjecture on my part, understand.)
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Old 02-13-2008, 01:41 AM   #18
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Hey, hey! It's a mid-west swang, ya'lllll! And ain't gotta trip because I got tha hotlinks to da newezt Hillary Clinton campaign official viral videos hot off the proverbial presses of our democracy...VRML style, on da real, ho. Whatttuhhhhhhhhhhhhh..." class="wikilink" title="MR Wiki entry">..." class="wikilink" title="MR Wiki entry">..." class="wikilink" title="MR Wiki entry">...
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Old 02-13-2008, 07:55 AM   #19
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Pardon my French, but WTF?
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:25 AM   #20
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Hey, official back-up campaign manager: Back up.
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:41 PM   #21
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:04 PM   #22
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I have a feeling that this discussion is moving off-topic.
By all means, let's discuss the ramifications for ebooks, but this forum is not really the place for politics per se. There are plenty of other sites which cater for that.
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:47 PM   #23
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Well, I certainly don't expect this election to have any ramifications for e-books at all... unless the newly-elected President decides to work with the EU to revise copyright laws in this country along the lines of the effort the EU is putting in now, to create a truly international copyright system.

This could be seen as a way to encourage international digital commerce, so it is within the realm of possibility. It's focus may be music or other digital files, not e-books, but it would certainly have an impact on e-books down the line.
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:42 PM   #24
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What does an american president have to know with technology?
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Old 02-17-2008, 11:16 AM   #25
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The USA is still considered a technological leader in the world, one of our chief areas of trade and influence, and a major driver of American industry. Considering how much of a role technology plays in the operation of this country, and its status as technological developer and innovator with other countries, I should think they should know the subject very well.

Of course, a good leader should also put people in place who are even more knowledgeable on a subject, and be able to advise them effectively, to allow them to make the best decisions.
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:03 AM   #26
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Since there still seems to be loads of confusion about the role that our American president plays in the role of politics at home and abroad in relation to technology, I have created a cutting-edge piece of abstract art that will serve as a visual representation of this complex non-sexual relationship. This picture has four corners, and each corner represents a sector of the world economy, with America making up both left corners:

Obviously this is going to be a little too artistic for some people, but if that's the case for you then it's nothing that a little jaunt around the ol' political-art-related blogodrome won't be able to handle.
Overall, please keep an open mind about who you will vote for in the next elections!
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:50 AM   #27
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Well I would hope they would do absolutely nothing. When politicians say they 'favor' something, it usually means they want to take more money out of my pocket to pay for it.

I always go for the candidate who threatens to steal less of my money then the others. What else can I do?
Amen to that. Although based on your signature quote, it seems you're not a fan of Atlas Shrugged. That's too bad.

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While I'm sure it's plenty of fun to try and marginalize the importance of the United States and its government (I'll be the bigger man and not point out the fact that most of Canada's population literally lives right next to the northern margin of the US), the fact remains that, for now, we're still the single biggest innovator in the realms of science and technology.
As a result, the person who serves as the president of our county ends up becoming extremely important to the development of these disciplines not only the US, but also worldwide. The president's attitude toward science and technology is important locally because it significantly impacts the atmosphere under which new innovations are developed (or not developed). Most notably, his (or her?) appointments into various positions within the government can have drastic effects on how science-related research is supported both financially and legally. More directly, the president can veto legislation dealing with science and technology that he (or she) doesn't agree with. If I'm correct, I believe George W. Bush's first line-item veto was on a proposal about stem cell research, and his actions in relation to that topic have created a large emigration of intellectual capital to other countries throughout the world where the attitudes toward science are less repressive. There are, of course, many subtler ways that the President of the United States of America affects technology worldwide, economic policy (especially in relation to trade) probably being the most obvious.
Now, call me an arrogant American, but I'd say that the idea that the president of this country has nothing to do with technology is indicative of an ignorant or ill-informed attitude not only toward the very important relationship between US politics and science, but the similar role played by the government of any country and its leaders. How's that suit ya, fancy pants?
A good president will absolutely not "significantly impact the atmosphere under which new innovations are developed." Such are the things that should be left up to private enterprise. The only impact government can have if it decides to meddle in the affairs of others is a negative one. What Bush vetoed concerning stem cell research was public funding of it. I agree that we should not be publicly funding research, but we currently fund a lot of research (much if it less useful than stem cell research) with taxes. However, adding more wrongs to the already large pile held by the government won't eventually result in a right. So it's true that the president does have an impact on technology, but he should have nothing to do with it beyond his use of it.

In terms of e-books, it's seems that Obama would be more aware of the future impacts of the technology and more tech savvy, but this is mostly due to him being the youngest of the candidates. I think his policies would have a terrible impact on business, however, and what's bad for business will never be good for something like e-books (e-books are not yet important enough in the public conscious to warrant any kind of legislation). So which candidate will be best for e-books? The one that won't stick his nose in it and will let the business grow of its own accord. Wanting the president to have an impact on such an industry is wanting the president to decide what's best for consumers. Tsk.

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Overall, please keep an open mind about who you will vote for in the next elections!
I referenced Ayn Rand earlier in this reply and I find it apt to end it with one of her quotes
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[There is a] dangerous little catch phrase which advises you to keep an "open mind." This is a very ambiguous term—as demonstrated by a man who once accused a famous politician of having "a wide open mind." That term is an anti-concept: it is usually taken to mean an objective, unbiased approach to ideas, but it is used as a call for perpetual skepticism, for holding no firm convictions and granting plausibility to anything. A "closed mind" is usually taken to mean the attitude of a man impervious to ideas, arguments, facts and logic, who clings stubbornly to some mixture of unwarranted assumptions, fashionable catch phrases, tribal prejudices—and emotions. But this is not a "closed" mind, it is a passive one. It is a mind that has dispensed with (or never acquired) the practice of thinking or judging, and feels threatened by any request to consider anything.

What objectivity and the study of philosophy require is not an "open mind," but an active mind—a mind able and eagerly willing to examine ideas, but to examine them critically. An active mind does not grant equal status to truth and falsehood; it does not remain floating forever in a stagnant vacuum of neutrality and uncertainty; by assuming the responsibility of judgment, it reaches firm convictions and holds to them. Since it is able to prove its convictions, an active mind achieves an unassailable certainty in confrontations with assailants—a certainty untainted by spots of blind faith, approximation, evasion and fear.

Last edited by SpiderMatt; 02-22-2008 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:38 AM   #28
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In terms of e-books, it's seems that Obama would be more aware of the future impacts of the technology and more tech savvy, but this is mostly due to him being the youngest of the candidates.
I'd agree with that...

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So which candidate will be best for e-books? The one that won't stick his nose in it and will let the business grow of its own accord.
The government has allowed private industry to develop e-books on their own... for about a decade, now. Look where we are. At this point, I'll take government involvement over another decade of getting nowhere fast.
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Old 02-22-2008, 12:12 PM   #29
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Old 02-24-2008, 03:03 AM   #30
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The government has allowed private industry to develop e-books on their own... for about a decade, now. Look where we are. At this point, I'll take government involvement over another decade of getting nowhere fast.
We've gotten nowhere? And here I thought e-ink devices were making great strides in increasing the popularity of ebooks more than ever before. If the Kindle making the front page of Newsweek is "getting nowhere," then ebooks are doomed no matter what happens. Government getting involved wouldn't make most consumers like ebooks any more than they already do, anyway.
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