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Congress, Comic Books, Technology And Passing New Laws

The L.A. Times had this article Weighing High-Tech Bills in Analog that really got my attention. We have all of the “smart attorney’s” (insert sarcastic comment here) that have been elected to the United States Congress but they cannot figure out how to create legislation.


Maybe creating it is not the problem, understanding the issues is. I get that members of Congress may not fully understand online social networks, Internet gambling, and net neutrality but they should have some basic knowledge or at least have staff that do.


Apparently not:

The task is all the more difficult because few in Congress understand what those engineers in Silicon Valley actually do.

One of the leading gatekeepers for technology legislation, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), has been lampooned on TV and tech blogs after recently describing the Internet as "a series of tubes." The lack of high-tech understanding is so pervasive on Capitol Hill that Vint Cerf, a Google Inc. executive known as a father of the Internet, is considering creating a comic book to show lawmakers how the global network operates.

A comic book? We have to take our elected officials back to grade school? Apparently so because analogies do not always work:

Supporters have resorted to analogies — trucks on highways are a favorite — to simplify the movement of information online and the risks posed by creating Internet "toll lanes." But sometimes those explanations have only caused more confusion.

"I'm tired of talking about 18-wheelers," an exasperated Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Gold River) said at a House hearing this spring. "I'd like to know what we're talking about here."

And I would like to know that when they are talking about it that a few of them actually get it.


I understand the philosophy that sometimes it is best to re-elect politicians because it takes a while to figure out how the system works and to gain influence but if you are a career politician and that’s all you know then maybe you not qualified after all. Having some experience in the modern world should be a must have.


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