Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’
“An aphorism ought to be entirely isolated from the surrounding world like a little work of art and complete in itself like a hedgehog”*…
Digital media are often (fairly) derided for playing to short attention spans. But brevity need not be synonymous with simplicity. New technologies also offer a canvas for creativity—even if the palette is confined to 140 characters. Many an artist or author is adept at using online channels to promote their work, and projects like the Los Angeles Review of Books have embraced an internet-first ethos. But there are also writers producing work with a distinctively online mindset. Though the medium is not quite the message, the limitations imposed by Twitter make for particularly fertile ground, giving rise to what has been called “Twitterature”…
More on aphorisms in the internet age at “The charms of Twitterature”
* Friedrich von Schlegel
As we concentrate on concision, we might send bawdy birthday greetings to Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade; he was born on this date in 1740. The French aristocrat, revolutionary politician, philosopher, author, and libertine spent much of his adult life in prison. In 1778, de Sade was imprisoned by order of the king; ostensibly his offense was licentious behavior, but historians note that his mother-in-law, at whose urging the king acted, believed that the young Marquis was spending her daughter’s money too quickly. (There were also accusations of an affair with his wife’s sister… and it may have further motivated the mother-in-law that her daughter was rumored to be complicit in de Sade’s sexual escapades.) While in the Bastille, he battled boredom by writing– among other things, The 120 Days of Sodom. He was freed from prison in 1790, and ingratiated himself with the new Republic (calling himself “Citizen Sade”). de Sade began writing again, anonymously publishing works including Justine and Juliette… until, in 1801, Napoleon ordered his arrest (again for indecency and blasphemy). de Sade spent two years in prison, until his family had him declared insane, and moved him to the asylum at Charenton (the scene of Peter Weiss’s remarkable play Marat/Sade), where he died in 1814.
… least of all when it comes to amusing Twitter feeds:
To improve your experience on Twitter next year, try following fewer humans and more bots. Automated accounts add whimsy, serendipity, and occasional inspiration to an otherwise drab timeline of tweets.
Bots get a bad rap, in part because they are often confused with spam and aren’t particularly attractive to advertisers seeking human customers. Twitter, perhaps sensing those mixed feelings, also hasn’t done much to encourage or highlight bots on its platform. That’s a shame because bot makers, particularly the #botALLY community, are responsible for some of the most creative work on Twitter right now…
Check ’em out for yourself at “The best Twitter bots of 2015.”
* Isaac Asimov,
As we unrestrainedly retweet, we might spare a thought for Stephen Day; he died on this date in 1668. An indebted locksmith in London, Day was brought to America 1939 by a John Glover, a clergyman who had purchased Day’s indenture. On the same crossing, Glover imported the New World’s first printing press, which Day was to operate. Glover died on the voyage, but his widow and Day established the Cambridge Press on Holyoke Street and produced the first book printed in America, the Bay Psalm Book (1640).
ANAGRAMATRON HUNT FOR ANAGRAM ON TWITTER.
ANAGRAMATRON SHARE WITH YOU
* Carl Jung
As we giggle at the rejiggering, we might recall that it was on this date in 1943 that the Current Tax Payment Act was passed– (re)introducing employer withholding of employee tax obligations. Withholding had first appeared as a feature of the income tax that was introduced pursuant to the Revenue Act of 1913. It was so unpopular, with employers and employees alike, that it was repealed by the Income Tax Act of 1916; from then until 1943, income taxes were collected at the end of the year in a lump sum.
From Bradley Griffith, a real time display of Emoji being tweeted by people across Earth (well, not all of them– just those that tweeted from a specified location). Watch the world wear its heart on its sleeve at Silicon Feelings.
* Oscar Wilde
As we open ourselves, we might send a crying face in memory of Anne Boleyn; she was beheaded on this date in 1536. The second wife of Henry VIII, Anne was the mother of Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth), but failed to provide the King the male heir he coveted. Henry shifted his affections to Jane Seymour, and to clear the way for his third marriage, charged Anne with adultery, incest, and witchcraft, charges the veracity of which scholars doubt. Still, she was quickly convicted (by a tribunal that included both her uncle and the man to whom she been betrothed before she caught Henry’s eye), and briskly executed. Many historians judge Anne to have been the most important queen/consort of any British king, as Henry’s determination to annul his marriage to his first wife, Catherine of Arragon, in order to wed Anne– and the Catholic Church’s refusal to grant the dissolution– led to England’s break with Rome.
The inimitable Robert Crumb predicted the world of Twitter, social media, and the always-on internet over 40 years ago in Zap Comix…
As we try on our Google Glasses, we might spare a (humble) thought for Alfred Adler; he died on this date in 1937. An Austrian doctor and psychotherapist, Adler was an early collaborator with Freud in founding the psychoanalytic movement; after parting ways with The Master, he founded the school of individual psychology. Indeed, we have Adler to thank for the “inferiority complex.”
Did you know that 33 percent of puppies never get hugged?
Or that the top baby names for 2011 were Edward, Harry, Dylan, Chase and Sealteamsix?
If you do, chances are you are one of the more than 13,800 people following @fakepewresearch, a hilarious new parody Twitter account from the minds behind @fakeapstylebook. The account parodies the Pew Research Center, a think tank established in 2004 as a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, known for its public opinion polls and social science research.
In the increasingly popular parody-account community, @fakepewresearch and @fakeapstylebook are anomalies. Not only have they amassed more than 260,000 followers combined, they are managed by a 15-person team called the Bureau Chiefs. They are a group of volunteer journalists, advertising writers, and librarians who mull over and edit every tweet before sending it out to the world. (All have other day jobs.)…
As we distill our results to 140 characters, we might recall that it was on this date in 1948 that Community Antenna Television (CATV)– what grew up to become cable television– was born, when Leroy “Ed” Parsons, who sold electronics and ran a radio station in Astoria, Oregon treated his family to KRSC’s inaugural TV broadcast from 150 miles away in Seattle. He picked up a usable signal with a large antenna on the roof of the John Jacob Astor Hotel, and strung a coaxial cable across the street to his living room. Encouraged, he placed a TV in the hotel lobby and another in a nearby store window. As others in town asked for the same service, Parsons helped them hook into a system using a community antenna on Coxcomb Hill completed Feb 1949. He moved to Alaska in 1953, and by 1967 had installed the state’s first cable system in Barrow. From Parsons’ wire to The Wire in under 60 years…
That readers are perusing this missive suggests that The Rapture did not in fact happen as advertised. But that humankind (well, the sinners among us anyway) dodged a bullet today doesn’t mean that the threat of Apocalypse isn’t real. Indeed, no less an authority than the CDC has weighed in with a Twitter Alert:
Of course, the Law of Unintended Consequences being what it is, this Tweet seems to have created one kind of disaster even as it attempted to ameliorate another: the response to the message– clicks through to the featured URL– immediately crashed the CDC’s servers.
Some semblance of normalcy has been recovered; readers can once more reach “Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse.”
As we reconcile ourselves to the fact that the Zombie craze may well last at least until after the release of Brad Pitt’s upcoming World War Z— and that’s not yet even in production, we might recall that on this date in 1972 Heathen! (an original musical with music and lyrics by Eaton Magoon, and book by Magoon and Sir Robert Helpmann) both opened and closed on Broadway.