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Friday, January 04, 2013

I Still Think Twitter Is Stupid

Fine. I admit it. I am resistant to change. I kept the same ancient flip-open cell phone for 6 years. I had three cracks to get a state-of-the-art power wheechair, and I got the same chair--or close to it--each time. I want 2 things from a power 'chair: 1) Speed; and 2) Toughness. That's why a Quickie P-2 series chair is the one I like. You can't break it. Slam it into doors, walls, whatever you want. Metal foot-rests. With mainly metal parts. And batteries you don't have to think about. Other companies, take note. I digress.

All that is to say, I stick with what works. Feel free to dismiss me therefore as an unenlightened stick in the mud. Maybe I am. But at heart, a traditionalist is not afraid of change or of new things; on the contrary, the best of us help point the way to the future. A traditionalist does not uncritically adopt anything, but assimilates it as best he can with what he already knows.

The internet and all related technology is a great breakthrough. It's on a par with the printing press, in terms of democratizing information and ideas. Few things in life are intrinsically evil; most of the trouble comes when we use a good thing for a bad purpose.

Today, blogging is "old school". It was cutting-edge in 2001 or so, when I started reading them. It's true that anyone can write anything they want, and that isn't always good. But if the sharing of information and especially the reporting of news had become calcified, and a small cadre of elites was too comfortable in its cartel, bloggers came along as a corrective. There is absolutely no doubt that a blogger helped to bring down the presidential candidacy of John Kerry, and the career of Dan Rather. For all the sneering from "professionals," it's clear that aspects of its function as an information aggregator have changed the way we consume news, and there's no going back. I'm worried that most of the talk of "distributism" is in fact ignorance, nostalgia, and sentimentality. But that's an argument for another day.

Twitter is stupid. I've rarely said anything funny, interesting, or useful in 140 characters. Maybe it isn't stupid, but I'm not joining. My ramblings are inane enough without a character limit. Brevity may be the soul of wit, but a true educational experience needs room to breathe. [And you need room to do damage control.--ed.] Nah. There's nothing I've written here I didn't mean to say. I may feel differently now on some things, but I'm still just me.

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