Tuesday, January 08, 2008

"A vast band of young and practical idealists"

by shamanic

Thank you, E. J. Dionne, for including the word "practical". It's really a breath of fresh air for my generation and the one following (how long is a generation? I'm only 13 years past voting age) to be recognized not as loopy dreamers, but practical, idealistic doers.

I keep pondering the role that the Internet has played in shaping those young voters who turned out in Iowa. We'll see today whether it was an isolated circumstance, but if in fact America's 20 and 24 and 26 year olds have decided to turn out this year, I think one piece of that puzzle will be the fact that they have always had the option of creating whatever they wanted virtually. It's a tiny step to doing so concretely. It's a generation, I think, much more rooted in ideas than my childhood was, because television is no longer their primary medium for engagement with the culture.

Yes, tremendously great candidates and a terrible state of affairs remain the key, but don't underestimate what Time magazine noted last year: you are the person of the year, you are the content creators, you are the makers of this broad terrain of intellectual space and creative output and interaction across oceans and dreams. How is that generation not primed to remake the physical world, too?

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