You would think that, in an age when the President is supposed to be encouraging innovation, that new high tech products that are selling in massive numbers and are creating new uses for technology and new ways to communicate and share information would be seen as a good thing. And, as a President often considered to be more "technologically savvy" than his predecessors (and who fought hard not to give up his Blackberry after getting into office) that President Obama would be careful before blatantly slamming some of the most popular technologies around. No such luck. Obama was known, back during his campaign, for occasionally arguing against video games for children, but now he seems to be going further. In a recent Commencement address at Hampton University, President Obama first admitted that he didn't know anything about some modern technologies, but that didn't stop him from lambasting them either
"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."
Huh? Yes, it may be true in some cases, but such a blanket statement across all of those things is blatantly wrong. Ridiculously wrong. Information can be a distraction, but it's also incredibly empowering, and yes, that includes on iPods, iPads, Xboxes and Playstations. In fact, turning information into entertainment is often a very good way of helping to empower people. While he's right to be concerned about false information that can be found online, as he discusses in the speech, the proper response is not a blanket attack on the tools people use to access the information, but on recognizing that you fight misinformation with better information. You fight ignorance with education. And you recognize that these kinds of technological innovations and tools can help
with that, in that they can spread good information and education, rather than being seen as part of the problem.