Barack Obama on sorting algorithms

February 3rd, 2009

No doubt about it, President Obama is a polymath.

Obama and McCain answer questions on Science policy

September 15th, 2008

Here are word clouds generated from the answers that US presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain gave to a set of 14 questions about science policy. Click on an image to see a larger size. Try to guess which is which and leave a comment. A link to the answer is after the word clouds.

“In November, 2007, a small group of six citizens – two screenwriters, a physicist, a marine biologist, a philosopher and a science journalist – began working to restore science and innovation to America’s political dialogue. They called themselves Science Debate 2008, and they called for a presidential debate on science. … Among other things, these signers submitted over 3,400 questions they want the candidates for President to answer about science and the future of America. Beginning with these 3,400 questions, Science Debate 2008 worked with the leading organizations listed to craft the top 14 questions the candidates should answer.

Candidate 1
Candidate 1


Candidate 2
Candidate 2


First Obama-McCain Twitter debate starts tonight

June 20th, 2008

The Personal Democracy Forum is sponsoring a twitter debate tonight on “technology and government” between representatives of Barack Obama and John McCain to be moderated by Time magazine blogger Anna Marie Cox. A note on PDF has the details:

“The McCain campaign will be represented by Liz Mair, the online communications director of the Republican National Committee. The Obama campaign will be represented by Mike Nelson, a professor at Georgetown University who served in the Clinton White House under Vice President Gore on tech policy issues. He is an outside advisor to Obama’s campaign on issues of technology, media and telecommunications.”

Of course, it remains to be seen what kind of debate can happen if short taking points are further compressed into 140 character tweeting points. It will be an interesting experiment.

“Mike, Liz and Ana will be using their personal Twitter accounts, @mikenelson, @lizmair and @anamariecox, and we’ve also asked them to tag their responses with the hashtag #pdfdebate. We suggest that readers who want to follow along use a Twitter application like to track the conversation.”

The debate will start sometime tonight (Friday 20 June) and is expected to run through the end of the conference on Tuesday 24 June and maybe beyond.