A cheery message from Big Brother

Have you been to Reagan airport in Washington, D.C. lately? If so, you’ll have noticed the advertisements from IBM festooning the place. The theme is “smart.” “Let’s build a smarter planet,” they they, a big smile beaming through the schematic typography and bold, childlike colors. “Buildings monitor their own energy,” says one. “Nifty,” you think. “Rivers warn you before they flood.” “Wow!”

Business as usual in corporate pep talk. But how did this one sneak through: “The Halls of Government are Filled With Smart”? Really? Since when? And since when did IBM get on the “smarter government for a smarter planet” bandwagon?