Ashton Kutcher in U.S. tech delegation to Russia
The actor and tech venturist is accompanying tech luminaries in an State Department Innovation Delegation which will attempt to use technology to promote diplomacy.
Perhaps you, like me, were forcefully encouraged to see the new movie "Valentines Day" last weekend. In the course of diplomacy, perhaps you, too, said that it was a wonderful movie.
You will be fascinated, then, to discover that the movie's star, Ashton Kutcher, has become a U.S. government diplomat.
No, not one of those who takes an overseas posting, sleeps with women who are not his wife, and, having embarrassed himself by dropping his trousers at an official function, is forced to function at a slightly lower level for the remainder of his career.
According to the LA Times, Kutcher is being sent by the State Department to Russia as part of a tech delegation that aims to use its bits to foster diplomacy with that particularly bearish, bullish part of the world.
You may be relieved that he is not going alone. Or you may not. Accompanying him on the so-called "Innovation Delegation" leaving Wednesday will be such luminary diplomats as Twitter's Jack Dorsey, eBay CEO John Donahoe, Mozilla Foundation Chair Mitchell Baker, and the Cisco Systems CTO with the most diplomatic of names, Padmasree Warrior.
According to the State Department, these stellar actors on technology's stage will "discuss how social media and other innovative technologies can be used to strengthen and broaden ties between the United States and Russia, and how these technologies can be used to develop knowledge-based societies and economies in both our countries."
It seems that no special time has been set aside to discuss hacking, censorship or blogger imprisonment.
And I can find no specific reference to a meeting with Russia's most forward-thinking tech entrepreneur, Andrey Ternovskiy. Ternovskiy, you may be aware, is the 17-year-old creator of the Web's most mindlessly intelligent new Web phenomenon ChatRoulette, a site where you can have Webcam chats with all sorts of strange people until they get bored of you or you get bored of them. Which, to my mind, sounds very much like an official dinner at the White House.
One of Kutcher's tasks will, reportedly, be to tweet his impressions from Moscow and Novosibirsk and I believe he will not have fulfilled his task unless he tweets a picture of Vladimir Putin's rear end.
Please do not think, even for a moment, that I am being facetious. Kutcher made himself even more famous when he achieved what to many seemed impossible--tweeting a live, unretouched, unphotoshopped picture of his own wife's rear end.
It would be the absolute marriage of technology and diplomacy if he could persuade Russia's most powerful and handsome man to pose in a similar fashion to Demi Moore.