Saturday, August 23, 2008

Gain from Obama campaign

Lately, I have been increasingly gravitating towards following Obama's talks in his presidential campaign. Needless to say his speeches are very enticing. His audacious "walk-through reasoning" approach is quite refreshing and rigorous and can stimulate lot of ordinary people to improve their efficiency in dealing with their day-to-day issues. He clearly stresses on a contest based on relevant observables and merit based on policies instead of fighting on something personal and irrelevant. Sounds like a computational guy to me. Alan Turing (a Computer Science hero) argued something like this on defining artificial intelligence and you can see a nice post on it by Scott here.

Now this is very refreshing to see a politician with such perspectives. A lot must be learnt from him by politicians in India and probably all around the world. To contest based on reason with rigor avoiding "easy" and "nasty" tricks is no simple task. In his interview at Google last year one of the audience asked him what he had learnt from past democrat candidates who lost the elections, he said the main mistakes were that they were not clear of what they stood for and hence became defensive when they were attacked and actually sounded like their opponents. Being clear and honest and courageous and rational all go together. It's takes a holistic approach to be rigorous and effective in getting things done.

He admits he may not be perfect and may make mistakes but will make his government very transparent that can actually unleash the true power of democracy. His repeated indications that a democratic government's success is measured by the standard of living (including freedom) of majority of the population show his strong understanding of the fundamentals. There will always be ordinary and extraordinary people in the world at any given point of time. It's the self-justified goal of humanity that the quality of life of all humans should increase. Simply speaking it should be ordinary that ordinary people should be able to dream, strive and hope to be extraordinary while pushing the bar being of extraordinary to next level. He is a great example to show subtle differences between idealism and extremism, between fundamentalism and being strong in fundamentals, between having true high-level knowledge and hand-waving.

For me Scott:Computer Science :: Barack::Politics. Scott's core love for science, his results and his talent in presenting the results and Barack's core love for democracy and his talent in pooling people together are truly truly awesome. I truly wish (unfortunately I cannot vote this time, not being a citizen) that he wins but we surely can gain a lot just from his campaign.

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