The Boy King plays at being smart:
What is quantum computing? It seems Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has at least some knowledge of the burgeoning technological field.
Before going into politics, Trudeau taught at the elementary and high school level in Vancouver, studied engineering and started a master’s degree in environmental geography. On Friday morning in Waterloo, Ont., Trudeau reached into that background in dealing with a reporter’s question about quantum computing.
I should not have eaten breakfast before watching. If you listen to the very beginning of the video a reporter is questioning Trudeau about Canada's response to ISIL. Not wanting to answer an actual question related to his job, the Son and Heir quickly pivoted to an earlier question about quantum computing. The video - as they say - has gone viral. The reaction of the world media has been grotesquely fawning: Handsome and smart is the new consensus opinion on JT. The actual explanation that Trudeau the Younger provided was rather less impressive:
“A regular computer bit is either a one or a zero, either on or off. A quantum state can be much more complex than that, because as we know, things can be both particle and wave at the same time and the uncertainty around quantum states allows us to encode more information into a much smaller computer.”
If you watch the video our current Prime Minister sounds like an overly excited fifth grader reciting lines in a school play. It was clearly memorized and very clearly rehearsed. The crowd burst into wild cheers after Trudeau completed the monumental feat of being a mouth piece for those smarter than himself. For someone who has so much practice at being a mouthpiece the surprise is how unnatural the performance came off. The reaction of the audience is also a fascinating glimpse into Trudeaumania 2.0. The Prime Minister spoke like a school child and the reporters responded like delighted parents. Look at our darling boy! Look at how clever he is! Look at how far he's come! He only stuttered once!
Those of us with adult attention spans will recall the Harper Era and what an actual Prime Minster sounds like. For all his many failings the Badly Coiffed One would never have tried explaining quantum computing. This is not because he was less intelligent than his successor - even the most ardent of Trudeaumaniacs would be hard pressed to argue that their boy is smarter than our man - but because Mr Harper understood that his job did not entail playing science teacher to the Press Gallery.
I can see Stephen Harper explaining the economic and social benefits of quantum computer - and how the federal government under his leadership would respond - but that's as far as it goes. Rather than playing at being smart he was smart, smart enough to know that a Prime Minister's job is politics and public policy. That was the old vision of governance now rapidly fading from view. The prospect before us is of an overly eager child playing at a game. The public is amused by his charm and eagerness but in time the novelty will wear off. When the real crisis comes the vacant rhetoric, the carefully crafted memes and the solidly staged sound bites will melt into air.
Gertrude Stein famously said of Oakland that there was no there there. That is the political epithet of the second Trudeau Regime.