Old News and Obama

Old news first: a few months ago, I attended a really interesting symposium. Hosted at the Penn Stater Conference Center, the symposium was about teaching and learning with technology. There, I really picked up my interest in Twitter and got a chance to hear TheManHimself, Lawrence Lessig, speak about Free Culture and how copyright is hurting academia. Aside from all the glitz and glamor of attending a whole conference based on hurling insults at current copyright regulation (among other things, of course), I made my way into a podcast. A symposium staff member was going around with an iPod with a mic attachment, asking people for their input on the symposium. Incidentally, I was the only undergrad in attendance, so, of course, he had to seek me out. 

Well, I did a google search today for my name (if you haven't tried it lately, I urge you to do so, if only because it's fascinating). The first result was something totally new to me, an "on the street" interview. But, what that revealed was the podcast from the symposium with my somewhat-less-than-eloquent remarks and geeking over Lessig. So, check out the recording here, if you're so inclined (just follow the link to "Klunk on new media as literature").

Now, for the second half of the title. Obama. 
I've never made my affection for Obama a secret. I think he's the best candidate for the job (because, while I agree with some Libertarian principles, I also appreciate free public education and think that the "social welfare" model trumps the "Ayn Rand for president" model). So, yeah, I reregistered in PA so that I could vote for him in the primary and, yeah, I support his campaign (and found many interesting views on him while in Ireland). What I really love about him, aside from his ideals and his considerable skill at evading questions, is his ability to really embody exactly what I think of as a president. Case in point, his recent trip to the Middle East. No one will argue that Obama is charismatic, but subtly evoking Kennedy, as this NY Times article suggests, trumps even my highest expectations. Obama is wonderfully restrained without seeming apathetic. He is more or less religion-neutral, but has the high moral standards that I value over religious piety. 
And, to be superficial about it, he looks awesome in front of a sand-colored background (though maybe that's a function of the fact that he, himself, is not sand-colored).

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