[funsec] Tweet This: I Don't Care
bkdelong at pobox.com
Mon Mar 16 22:27:43 CDT 2009
On Mon, Mar 16, 2009 at 5:49 AM, Rich Kulawiec <rsk at gsp.org> wrote:
> On Sun, Mar 15, 2009 at 01:06:35AM -0700, Paul Ferguson wrote:
>> I already have a blog, which allows me to publish content in more than 140
>> What is the allure? Please, tell me.
> Ah, it appeals directly to the "sound bite" crowd -- those who prefer
> information (including news) delivered to them in snippets, easily digested
> with the smallest cognitive effort. These are people who reduce politics
> to slogans and philosophy to bumper stickers. They're largely incapable
> and/or unwilling of reading -- let alone writing -- anything substantive,
> cogent and nuanced. These are the people for whom "Headline News" equates
> to "serious journalism", and whose attention span is so short that they
> require an "executive summary" for a one page document.
> And these are the people whose bloated egos are such that they imagine
> the rest of world is actually interested in their off-the-cuff random
> remarks. Oh, there *are* a few -- very few -- people whose wit and
> intelligence are such that their odd musings are possibly of interest;
> but most of those people have the humility to realize that even their
> prose usually requires care in composition and editing before publication.
This post has been full of nothing but sad curmudgeons grumbling about
"new-fangled technology" and "how good the old stuff works so why
change?" I must say I am incredibly amused at Rsk's particularly
troll-like brush of a statement claiming in short that the audience
for "micro blogging" is a bunch of vapid, idiots with no attention
span and gigantic egos.
Whatever. I certainly don't consider myself a part of that canvas.
Well, with the exception of the "attention span" part. I have ADHD. It
comes with the territory - it doesn't mean I'm less intelligent or
capable of deep, prognosticative thought (nor, it seems a bit of
grammaticidal word-play either).
The summer before college, being the geeky nerd I was, I got access to
my Net account before I got on campus and figured out what I had
access to. So when school started, I discovered a small group of Grad
Students, Staff and Researchers very enthusiastic about this World
Wide Web under development (1994). With the help of someone connected
to the IT group, I created a Web site in my student account space that
was an email directory for my entire high school graduating class - a
way for all my friends to find each other post college, thanks to the
LDAP directories easily accessible at most colleges and Universities
that most of them had absolutely no clue about when they were in HS
I "advertised" it on the local college UseNet group and when the IT
org discovered it, they brought me (my case) before the Provost for
non-academic use of the University's resources. I was not made aware
of this - members of the World Wide Web Working Group apparently went
in my stead. At that meeting, the Head of all University IT and the
Director of Networks said "the Web is a fad, it will come and go as
fast as GOPHER".
That's what this discussion reminds me of.
Now personally, I have a different way or working with information.
Because of said ADHD, I do require some systems that allow for the
avoidance of the tl;dr effect. I get a lot of email. So much so that
I'm at 83% of GMail account #2 since 1994. I subscribe to listserves,
email notifications for forums, blog posts etc. I absorb information
through categorization and prioritization. I listen to books on CD and
through various other mediums. But it doesn't mean when I need to sit
down on a cozy chair in front of a fireplace and read a book, that I
cannot. Nor does it mean if I am impassioned to author a thought-piece
on the ridiculousness of social media critics who claim the breakdown
of societal communications is due to a technological offering that
limits the amount of words in a single thought-post to 140 characters.
This is also tangential to an argument I have with a relative
regarding his belief in building and hosting open source or
duplicative versions of cloud or Web service-based offerings because
he does not trust 3rd party services. While I do not hold full trust
in "Do No Evil" and Facebook certainly tried to pull some massive BS
over IP ownership claims of user content, enough of that community
raised their voices instead of deleting and running away to a
different service or their own that they changed their mind - even the
big, bad Facebook.
But to suggest that I am seeking the least cognitive denominator or am
"incapable of reading or writing anything substantive, cogent or
nuanced is frankly an overgeneralized, elitist, poorly-thought out
statement. Just because I take a different cognitive approach to my
Web interactions does not mean I could not sit down and write a
Masters thesis or well-cited dissertation on any number of subjects.
The world is changing - regardless of how much umbrage you take with
this, it is not going to stop, slow down or go backwards because you
want it to. Now, while I do fancy making up the occasional word in
favor of a little bombast, I will not condone absolute grammatical
laziness when it comes to instant messaging or texting whenever
possible. Sometimes tweeting does not allow for that - so I simply
must figure out how to say what I'm looking for in the limited
characters I am allotted.
Nonetheless, knock it off with the trolling. If you're going to
criticize Twitter as a communications medium or even "microblogging"
and more future "Web 2.0" tools as a whole, please try to come up with
more intelligent critical thought that does not involve insulting the
intelligence and cognitive abilities of those who use and enjoy those
services. It just pisses us off.
B.K. DeLong (K3GRN)
bkdelong at pobox.com
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