When the White House announced that President Obama would deliver his State of the Union message on Jan. 27—the same day Apple was planning to unveil its new tablet computer—many of us at Slate cringed. “What is Obama thinking?” one of my colleagues joked. “He’s going to be totally overshadowed.”
The idea of a product rollout trumping the president’s annual speech to Congress does seem funny. Maybe the tablet will be a bust. Maybe Obama will rock the world. But the opposite is at least as likely. This isn’t Obama’s fault. It’s just the way the world is going: Technology, as a driver of social change, is overtaking politics.
Sometimes it’s hard to take a wide angle view of what’s happening in our society, whether within our national borders or planet-wide. This piece by Slate’s William Saletan explores just how pervasive and entwined our First World society is with technology. It’s changing how we act, how we think and, of course, how we communicate and share ideas.
And for me, the Apple tablet introduction totally overshadows the pronouncements of our President.
Apple’s tablet will actually change the world, one way or another. Our President, a year into his floundering administration? Not likely to change much.
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