My overall operating thesis, as you many of you know, is that this century – indeed, this decade, if we’re not careful – is either pretty much the end of civilization or its new beginning . . . the suspenseful climax to a five-billion-year evolutionary story. I am reminded of this constantly, in ways little and big – just now with the announcement of IBM’s contract to produce a 100 teraflop supercomputer for the National Weather Service. According to IBM (as reported by Reuters), ‘A 100 teraflop machine can do more calculations in one second than a person with a calculator could make in more than 80 million years.’ And yet we still haven’t learned to feed and educate all our children or to live with each other in peace. This is why I think politics is so important, especially in America, and why I think supporting the right leaders has even more impact than supporting the right charity (even though that’s important, too). Politics in no small measure writes the story of America and America in no small measure writes the story of the world. It matters who’s holding the pen.


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