Steven Spielberg’s terrific movie, Lincoln, is an odd-on favorite to win an Academy Award this year. We’ll see.
Meanwhile, in honor of President’s Day, the third Monday in February, here are 5 Cool Ideas on how Lincoln would have used a computer.
1. Imagine real-time Civil War reports.
Would Abe have preferred a Mac or a PC? Lincoln was a man of letters, but might have preferred the Mac for its superiority in handling photos and video as he monitored the Civil War.
2. Video is the best way to get the word out.
If he had the use of video and YouTube, Lincoln might not have needed seven debates to defeat Stephen A. Douglas during their senatorial race in 1858. His whiny voice would not have played well, but the Lincoln wit and charisma would have been on full display.
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3. You don’t need Powerpoint to leave a lasting impression.
Lincoln didn’t need Powerpoint to deliver his Gettysburg address. Elegant and brief, the 272-word speech was given without a bullet points, a fancy handout or even a microphone.
A man named Edward Everett spoke for two hours prior to Lincoln on that November day in 1863. No one remembers a thing he said. (Read Everett’s speech here.) Lincoln spoke for two minutes and made history.
4. The computer can save lives.
There’s no telling how much sooner the Civil War would have ended, if Lincoln has used e-mail to communicate with his Generals.
5. The computer is a very helpful search tool.
It took authorities 12 days to hunt down Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth. In the Computer Age, photographs and video of Booth would have been widely circulated via the Internet.
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