Technology and Power
David Pogue is the personal-technology columnist for The New York Times. Each week, he contributes a print column, an e-mail column and an online video. In addition, he writes Pogue's Posts, one of The Times's most popular blogs. David is also an Emmy award-winning tech correspondent for CBS News, a frequent guest on NPR's "Morning Edition," and a regular on CNBC.
With over three million books in print, David is one of the world's best-selling how-to authors. He is the author or co-author of seven books in the "For Dummies" series (including Macs, Magic, Opera, and Classical Music). In 1999, he launched his own line of complete, funny computer books, the Missing Manual series, which now includes 60 titles.
David graduated summa cum laude from Yale in 1985, with distinction in music, and he spent 10 years conducting and arranging Broadway musicals.
He's been profiled on both "48 Hours" and "60 Minutes." In 2007, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in music from the Shenandoah Conservatory.
David Pogue: I think new technologies have the power to change power structures. I’m not sure they’re doing it yet.
As everybody knows, things like governments and education and even corporate America tends to be several years behind the cutting edge; and there’s a lot of smart reasons for that. You don’t know if the cutting edge is going to lead you off a cliff or not. But there are definitely ways that we can and should be harnessing these things more.
I was just exploring the British government’s website. Do you know they have a website called e-petitions. It’s a Web 2.0 site meaning that the material there is provided by the visitors. It’s not something that the government hangs. It’s an empty space where visitors contribute. And e-petitions lets anyone start a petition about anything. It can be fix the pothole at the end of my street, it can be get out of Iraq, it can be whatever. And they’re non-binding. Nobody has to do anything about them. But the beautiful thing is that both the government and the people read over these things and they know what people’s interests are. They know what the zeitgeist is and what people’s feelings are.
And to my knowledge, we don’t have any equivalent system in this country [USA] yet. Write a letter to your congressman? Yeah, right.
So it’s a way to keep your finger on the pulse of the populace’s feelings and it’s a perfect use of Web 2.0 and it could change the power structure.
Recorded on: May 15, 2008.
Technology has the capacity to change power structures, says Pogue.
Normally, the landscape in this photo would be a white ice sheet.
- Climate scientists say that Greenland is experiencing ice losses that are unusually early and heavy.
- Two main weather factors are fueling the losses: a high-pressure system and the resulting low cloud cover.
- Greenland is a major contributor to sea-level rise.
One of Stephen Hawking's predictions seems to have been borne out in a man-made "black hole".
- Stephen Hawking predicted virtual particles splitting in two from the gravitational pull of black holes.
- Black holes, he also said, would eventually evaporate due to the absorption of negatively charged virtual particles.
- A scientist has built a black hole analogue based on sound instead of light.
It's a "canary in the coalmine," said one climate scientist.
- A team of researchers discovered that permafrost in Northern Canada is melting at unusually fast rates.
- This could causes dangerous and costly erosion, and it's likely speeding up climate change because thawing permafrost releases heat-trapping gasses into the atmosphere.
- This week, Canada's House of Commons declared a national climate emergency.
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