On Christmas Eve, The New York Times reported that Republican legislation will soon allow electronic devices for the first time in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In a document known as the Speaker’s Announced Policies, it is proposed that “Members may use an electronic device on the House floor as long as it doesn’t ‘impair decorum.'” Brendan Buck, a Republican spokesman, said that “This is not free license to Skype or pay bills online. But we recognize that people consume information electronically these days. It’s just silly that the House wouldn’t accommodate that.”
The deeper purpose behind allowing the use of electronic devices in Congress is one of efficiency. It will give lawmakers the ability to fact-check a colleague’s statement on the spot or to keep up with the news. Additionally, the iPad’s bigger display could mean the paper bill’s days are numbered.
However, it’s possible that electronic devices in Congress could be used for more nefarious purposes—such as playing games or shopping on Amazon. It should be noted that many Congressmen have already been spotted using their devices during a session, among them Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts (and former Presidential candidate.)
Some hope that the new rules will boost representation at the House’s notoriously under-attended sessions. Jaron Lanier, the author of “You Are Not A Gadget: A Manifesto,” said “At least if they have a little game to play, maybe they will attend more.”
However, we here at Macgasm do not want Congresspeople to “have a little game to play.” Instead of allowing personal devices into sessions, perhaps the government could invest in (and impose restrictions on) a fleet of iPads for official use. That would ensure representatives inability to play Bejeweled, in turn forcing their concentration on more important matters. (Like the legalization of gay marriage, perhaps?)
Article Via The New York Times
Photo Credit: IntoMobile
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