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Did I hear the President just drop iPhone, Facebook, Twitter and Google?

Aaron Tull September 25, 2009

It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.

Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama
Back to School Event,
Arlington, Virginia
September 8, 2009

And how.  We sure do communicate with each other differently now.  This speech even before being delivered caused such a stir and as an involved parent of a child in school I of course was naturally interested in what the president had to say and what he was going to say about learning in school.

But from a technology perspective think about how amazing that above quote is.  The president is immediately drawing a comparison between our founding fathers, the “Greatest Generation” and the Geeks that have changed us forever.

President Obama’s Message for America’s Students

Twitter is being used by Iranian demonstrators to organize, Facebook has changed the way we organize our lives, and Google helps everyone find what they are looking for.  I went to college in the early 90′s at the dawn of what I like to call the first Internet-based technology revolution and the dawn of the “internets.”  I can’t help but think that we are now involved in another.  Can you believe that information from http://www.whitehouse.gov can be disseminated via a RSS Feed, a Tweet, see pictures on Flickr, or watch a video on Vimeo.

Everything around us is changing at a lightning pace, what will the next tool be?  For those of us in the technology world when we are not shaking our angry fists into air complaining about some nasty serialization issue, I hope we all can take the time to think about what an amazing time we are living through and how these tools can be used to bring us all closer together.

So get out there kids and go create something that will make this crazy world a better place!

Full text of the remarks can be found here:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/MediaResources/PreparedSchoolRemarks/

  • Bobbi Jarvis

    I think what is going to be interesting is when ethics/morals catch up with technology, if that’s even possible. Yes, you can put a video camera in a phone – but SHOULD you? Keep in mind this is coming from a mom of a girl on the brink of being a teenager. From a product designer’s perspective- we’ve made everything so much “easier” but we have a nation of overweight,sedentary people. So geeks – please use your powers for good…..and please think twice about the evil. Daryl, great food for thought!!!!

  • Aron Buterbaugh

    Thanks Daryl for the interjection on my busy workday. As I did not actually watch the President’s speech, I did analyze it from the perspective of a listener of others who did. What’s interesting as I rode in a shuttle bus this morning and listened to WGAN (local conservative radio channel), I’m reminded we are a nation of individuals who are allowed to flex our freedom of speech. So, the big question is, with a country of 350 million plus citizens, what will the internet “revolution” do in regards to sending this “freedom of speech” to 350 million citizens. I mean, how many of that number actually use twitter every day? How many use RSS, and so on. It used to be we all sat in front of the evening news as a nation to get our daily update. We were solidified on the information presented, whether or not factual, and were united in our debate over what appeared to be facts. Now, with all of the media outlets and various speeds to which they are read/listened to, how united are we? For example, in HOlland about a year ago, the news broke out via TV, Radio, and Internet, that the President at Royal Ahold (large grocer who has interests here in the US) was making above and beyond a “reasonable” compensation package (Dutch law = no more than 8x lowest paid employee). Within a few hours the country was buzzing with controversy and discussion. Citizens were glued to the evening news, and by evening time the decision to not purchase anything at Royal Ahold stores the next day had been moved forward through mobilization of media voices and citizens. Next day Royal Ahold lost about 10 times the President’s pay for the year and by that evening the President was removed from his post and the board cleaned up the company’s policies.

    When we as a country are able to do good through the aid of various media outlets like this example, then I think we have made a breakthrough! Can the geeks deliver? I think it will be hard especially since the non-geek media conglomerates control the vast political purse strings.

    Now, start typing!
    Aron

  • http://www.hollisterukshops.uk.com/ hollister uk

    I think it will be hard especially since the non-geek media conglomerates control the vast political purse strings.