Clouded by ash: A tale of two countries

The Norwegian Prime Minister, having been grounded in New York by Icelandic eruptions, did the natural thing for a politician in a modern democracy. He called in the press.

The feature in the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet showed how he resourcefully had turned the hotel room into a makeshift home office, with the Lenovo Thinkpad neatly stacked next to a blue folder with “Confidential” handwritten in neat press-friendly letters. He was being a model Norwegian citizen by “working most of the day”, but spending some time shopping, getting himself an iPad. Doing his work from New York was no problem, but he had to get up early due to the time zone differences. He wasn’t too concerned about missing the Friday’s Council of State, but hoped to be home for his daughter’s dancing performance on Sunday. That covered the checklist, working effectively, but not too long, knowing trendy technology, while being relaxed and a good family man.

The American CNN had a feature as well, here the picture provided (by the Prime Minister’s Office, no doubt) was the Prime Minister at the airport actually handling the aforementioned iPad, or at appearing to do so. The tagline here was Running a country? There’s an app for that.

From a machine point of view the ThinkPad did all the work while the iPad got the attention. Though if truly seen from a machine perspective it would be the mobile phone, and all the hidden technology to make the human interface devices actually function, thus allowing the head of government of a country to stay away from home with nobody noticing. Nobody but Dagbladet, CNN, this blog, and a few hundred other media outlets that is.

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