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Patrick Swayze
01-07-2012, 02:58 PM
what do you think regarding the suggestion that twitter (especially as it becomes increasingly pervasive) is an agent of social stagnation a) through the use of trending encouraging hegemony and group thought and b) as described by noam chomsky through the 140 character limit only enabling the expression of already (at least relatively) established opinions ?

Sectionfive
01-07-2012, 05:21 PM
Both sound like bollox tbh. If anything it helps counter google's personalised filtering (http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?11908-Personalisation-%28and-its-repercussions%29&highlight=google) which is getting increasingly worse.

The benefits far outweigh it's problems for me at the moment though that could soon change (http://gigaom.com/2012/06/30/careful-twitter-remember-what-happened-to-myspace-and-digg/). They only real issue I have is the dominance it has along with Facebook and how both have laid waste to other communities. The main channels of interaction getting more and more centralised is a concern.

Patrick Swayze
01-07-2012, 07:08 PM
Both sound like bollox tbh. If anything it helps counter google's personalised filtering (http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?11908-Personalisation-%28and-its-repercussions%29&highlight=google) which is getting increasingly worse.

The benefits far outweigh it's problems for me at the moment though that could soon change (http://gigaom.com/2012/06/30/careful-twitter-remember-what-happened-to-myspace-and-digg/). They only real issue I have is the dominance it has along with Facebook and how both have laid waste to other communities. The main channels of interaction getting more and more centralised is a concern.

kind of hard to respond cos u haven't levelled any specific criticisms but then I didn't really explain much originally. do you not think trending simply gives already powerful figures in society (who inevitably gain followers at a far quicker rate) the opportunity to set the parameters of discussion online? (in addition to offline)

do you not see a problem with the 140 character limit? surely even if you split what you're saying into multiple posts it still has to be made up of sentences expressed in already familiar terms, lessening the chance of truly radical ideas a) ever being posted b) ever garnering much interest? the increased centralisation you point to will only worsen this as social networking in one form or another becomes the sole mode of communication rather than a means to direct readers to other more detailed sources of information

it also reinforces the 'celebrity' focussed culture that exists almost worldwide now and is inherently negative imo.

that thread about personalisation looks interesting thanks.

Sectionfive
01-07-2012, 08:33 PM
The limit is a bit of a non-runner imo. It's only occasionally frustrating but dont we always went further within or because of restriction? Without the inclusion of cats there is no formula for what will catch on but surely it's the succinct that spreads and goes on to last, FULL COMMUNISM if it were taken to be serious was only two words lol. Even then we all send and view pictures so what's 140 characters when you have a thousand words?

Underneath the Bieber fever distribution is twitter's almost unparalleled asset for the moment. That can be anything from Kony2012 to all the blogposts that went way and beyond the usual readership during the riots last year. It's not on the level of television but probably the best tool to disseminate ideas online. Radical or not but I don't think it hinders any of them.

What is interesting is the effect social media Paul Mason talks about having, or not on horizontalism and all that. Which is radical enough in itself I suppose.

Patrick Swayze
01-07-2012, 08:55 PM
FULL COMMUNISM if it were taken to be serious was only two words lol.

which two words?

and the fact that (if what you say is correct) it theoretically could be expressed in two words, but in reality requires many more, that surely supports the idea that radical/unfamiliar ideas take longer to explain?

Sectionfive
01-07-2012, 09:18 PM
radical/unfamiliar ideas take longer to explain?

I don't go with that but if so this is where the distribution potential comes in.

john eden
02-07-2012, 08:24 AM
If you can't express radical ideas in less than 140 characters - you are doing it wrong.

Dusty
02-07-2012, 08:45 AM
Forget about the 140 limit. For any real user of twitter they will know it is hardly a barrier to communication. I click on more links supplied via contacts in twitter than I use Google.

And don't forget you can always use the radical idea of spreading a message across two or three tweets. A 420 limit. *mind blown*

john eden
02-07-2012, 05:40 PM
Also trending topics are generally mundane which is why most ppl seem to ignore them. Or try to subvert them.

But surely the main point should be: twitter etc is where a huge amount of ppl go to converse. Should radicals reject this, or participate (critically)?

(although I'm off twitter myself lol)

Patrick Swayze
02-07-2012, 06:13 PM
If you can't express radical ideas in less than 140 characters - you are doing it wrong.


And don't forget you can always use the radical idea of spreading a message across two or three tweets. A 420 limit. *mind blown*


do you not see a problem with the 140 character limit? surely even if you split what you're saying into multiple posts it still has to be made up of sentences expressed in already familiar terms, lessening the chance of truly radical ideas a) ever being posted b) ever garnering much interest?

I really wish I could find the clip where chomsky explains it properly


Also trending topics are generally mundane which is why most ppl seem to ignore them. Or try to subvert them.

the opportunity to dictate which topics are subverted is still a powerful one

Dusty
02-07-2012, 07:22 PM
Perhaps it's this quote?


“Well, let’s take, say, Twitter,” he said. “It requires a very brief, concise form of thought and so on that tends toward superficiality and draws people away from real serious communication […] It is not a medium of a serious interchange.”

He is right, as a method of conversation / two-way communication it is terrible.

However, I am prompted to read his latest writings directly by his official twitter account (maintained by someone else). And this is where Twitter excels, serving as a jump point to other arenas of conversation - usually blog post replies. It is part of a bigger system and if you take it in isolation, or use it in isolation as I'm sure many people do - then it falls down.

john eden
02-07-2012, 07:58 PM
I really wish I could find the clip where chomsky explains it properly



the opportunity to dictate which topics are subverted is still a powerful one

Yes, but there are no mass mediums/media where "we" get to do that. So it's maybe idealism vs pragmatism.

I agree with the points above about it being an extremely limited way of doing 2 way comms. But it can be a way of doing that.

Or of just inventively broadcasting stuff.

Sectionfive
02-07-2012, 09:09 PM
I know the Chomsky's comments were from a while back but surely he would now recognise the new opportunities for one or several counter narratives running parallel to any given event. Something the net but twitter especially excels. Any current affairs show for example, in among the quips and vitriol there are hundreds countering what is been said. Bullshit called within seconds.

Something Chomsky would welcome no?

Patrick Swayze
02-07-2012, 09:10 PM
Perhaps it's this quote?



He is right, as a method of conversation / two-way communication it is terrible.

However, I am prompted to read his latest writings directly by his official twitter account (maintained by someone else). And this is where Twitter excels, serving as a jump point to other arenas of conversation - usually blog post replies. It is part of a bigger system and if you take it in isolation, or use it in isolation as I'm sure many people do - then it falls down.

nah that's all i can find now but it was a much more in depth critique where he brings his experience of linguistics as well as the arguments presented in Manufacturing Consent to bear on new social media.

rockypoppy2
04-07-2012, 01:44 PM
The 140 limit is a bit annoying sometimes. I do feel it limits people's expression and as such i dont think Twitter is a good forum for detailed one to one conversation.

The trending topics is a total red herring, I never ever look at them, and i'm sure many other people dont either.

Real strengths for radicals;

the ability to delve into networks of interested individuals through a fairly small entry point. I mean, you only need to follow a few people on Twitter to then have access to all the people that they follow, and all that follow them. So from a couple of people you can suddenly be connected to a much much wider audience who's opinions you actually value.

Establishing counternarratives, calling out bullshit, providing links etc.. like was said above.

Harnessing the crowd, either for diligence (eg -Prince Charles travel expenses recently) or for sharing services - operating outside traditional consumer models.

Its speed, is perhaps its biggest asset. I dont have a phone with internets, but the ability to record and broadcast instantly worldwide is so powerful for activists - you only have to look at OWS and their use of Twitter/Ustream to rally support against police violence.

Dangers - the hive mind, which Mason might argue is a fantastic example of horizontalism in action, can sometimes descend into a baying mob. Groupthink can prevail too easily in that frenetic atmosphere.

Also, i agree with Virilio regarding speed, so while i think its one of Twitter's greatest assets, i also think that the acceleration of everything to the instant is generally a negative phenomenon.

Oh, and then there's centralisation, snooping, logging, prosecuting and persecuting that comes with Twitter too

rockypoppy2
04-07-2012, 02:25 PM
If you can't express radical ideas in less than 140 characters - you are doing it wrong.

like the 2012 version of the elevator pitch -

i used to get a lot of this kind of stuff from former tutors (Architecture) - i'd present some work and they'd say "if i can't understand it in 3 seconds then its worthless etc... etc... "

Got really grating after a while - everything became diagrams - definately think this is the way things are headed, more non verbal, diagrammatic, pictoral communication.


in that vein here's Lebbeus Woods (Architect) dreaming about analogue computing
http://lebbeuswoods.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/the-next-revolution/

john eden
04-07-2012, 08:48 PM
like the 2012 version of the elevator pitch -

i used to get a lot of this kind of stuff from former tutors (Architecture) - i'd present some work and they'd say "if i can't understand it in 3 seconds then its worthless etc...

in that vein here's Lebbeus Woods (Architect) dreaming about analogue computing
http://lebbeuswoods.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/the-next-revolution/

It was a provocative thing to say, but I think the UK left is overburdened with intellectuals who love complicated ideas and language. If you're taking to ordinary ppl then they expect you to keep it direct.

vimothy
04-07-2012, 10:15 PM
In that spirit, the reactionary aphorisms of Don Colacho, translated into English by an editor of First Things and uploaded to Twitter:


The writer arranges for syntax to return to thought the simplicity which words take away.


The bourgeoisie is any group of individuals dissatisfied with what they have and satisfied with what they are.


Liberty is not an end, but a means. Whoever mistakes it for an end does not know what to do once he attains it.

https://twitter.com/#!/DColacho/