30 July 2012

Even on Twitter

While I agree both in general and in particular with everything Francis says about Twitter, there are some exceptions that only prove the general rule. Here is one of them, by George Szirtes.

Vince Cable / remains relatively stable / exuding a strained bonhomie / despite the economy.
No rules for genius.

6 comments:

Pisa said...

I completely disagree with both you and Francis this time. Twitter is a fascinating place. You can learn more about a person from his tweets because a tweet is an opinion in a nutshell, without all the semantic frills that often sugar-coat the truth. I'd like to see someone trying to claim that his tweet was taken out of context...

So it's not a great communication tool for scientists, but is enough for the rest of us wee tiny people. Cluttered, yes, still better than having to read through pages of a boring blog post just to grab the essence of it, if any.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I wish I could agree. For me Twitter is a two-bit battlefield for people whose minds are already set and who air their opinions in public. No real dialog possible.

Imagine a stadium where 100,000 people shout - each one his own credo, without discussing and/or listening to each other.

Besides, truth is rarely a 160 letters sentence. Usually it's a bit more complex, I dare say.

shaun downey said...

It's not a bad as a news aggregator once you choose who to follow

Pisa said...

Of course truth is a bit more than a bit more complex, but in this case by "truth" I meant "their" truth, not THE truth. My point was that you can learn more about a person's beliefs from a tweet than a blog post, because those beliefs can't be hidden by a lot of meaningless, confusing words.
On a purely social level, Twitter allows people to release their mob instincts without physically harming anyone, which is good. It also feeds people a lot of highly concentrated nonsense, which is apparently useful for social interaction purposes, like small talk or gossip. Intelligent people are inclined to underestimate the power and importance of gossip, but the addiction of so many people to sites like Facebook or Twitter proves them (err...I mean us, of course)wrong. Communication works on many levels, it's not only about dialog (which, as you say, is nearly impossible on Twitter).
All being said, I hate Twitter myself. Maybe because I don't like mobs.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Aha!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

The problem is that once you have more than ten people in your list, the thing becomes overwhelming.