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« Veterans Day Reading (John Ballard) | Main | A Visual Aid (Sujatha) »

November 10, 2012


And he continues even after I stopped capturing the smoke rings...
(Response messages are tagged "Chorus.")

Watch as experiments get made in all sectors for solutions, as social consiousness gets developed, at our darkest days..
Watch as a society gets formed, for the first time, locally, then regionally, then nationally. Watch as people unify based on mutual benefit
Watch as solar energy & recycling will become a staple of every community, watch as the social norms will start reflecting local population.
Those who will stay, will work on their local problems, & provide the solutions to them as much as
(Chorus:) where girls can ride bicycles, swim, run...and do whatever they want without feeling ashamed or being molested!

I am doing experiments in that right now, in localized secuirty, to see if my block can become secure using technological means...
Those who have the means will realzie that Cairo may not fit them anymore, & will move to the beaches, where it's less crowded & away..
Those who can actually help, the best of the best that joined the revolution to build will start building now & will listen to no one.
(Chorus) what you are so wonderfully describing is not exclusive to Egypt. It is happening all over the world, mark my words ;)

Oh, I don't have any special aversion to Twitter - how much worse than FB could it be? I just haven't gone there and probably never will if for nothing else than the fear of spreading myself too thin on the web. It is Dean who has an aversion to social media.

Now, I don't know much about Twitter but I have read that it allows 140 characters per feed. How many Twitter feeds did it take Sandmonkey to publish his full poem? Is it over yet or is it an on-going work of art?

If you follow the link you can see each of the Tweets in a string which I curated by using Chirpstory, a third-party application for that purpose. It consists of about twenty messages were written extemporaneously in a stream, the first marked at 1:46PM and the last at 2:12PM.
That much took about half an hour. For the rest in my comment I didn't use Chirpstory. I just went straight to his timeline, copied them all in a string, pasted them into a blank page and took it from there; cut-and-paste to reverse them to read in proper sequence, and I was done.

And yes, it was all over very quickly. As I said, they are like smoke rings or decorations on a cake -- very short life expectancy. And if nobody grabs them they vanish into the quagmire of a million others, like chatter in Times Square at midnight on New Years Eve.

Twitter is a public forum except for rare "protected" accounts. I think anyone can take a look even if you don't have an account but I'm not sure.
Here is my timeline. You can try it and see if it's accessible.
(Timelines scroll down indefinitely as long as Twitter (or your hard drive) don't get overloaded. Unfortunately there is no individual search feature so if you want to keep something you need to flage it "favorite" or keep it in a list.)

And here is Sandmonkey's timeline, much of which is in Arabic.

Twitter is really best used by phones for texting and that's how most young people use it to keep in touch with their peers. I don't have a portable phone so I access my account only through the Web, nearly always from my home PC but on occasion from elsewhere when I take my little portable netbook where there is Wifi. I follow mostly journalists and that is my principle source of keeping up with news, magazine articles and whatever events are happening.

I do have an aversion to social media, which are not particularly social and are just barely a shadow of traditional media. That aside, Ron Silliman has for quite some time celebrated "flarf," a poetry crafted from bits and pieces of 'net transmissions.

Another reason these new "media" pester me is the ill consequence of the network effect: the more people use them, the more one feels pressured to use it, even if one has no special need for it. Ex.: I tried to contact an electrician to do some work at home last week. I got him on the phone, but he wanted me to text him. I opted out of texting functionality. I'll be meeting with another electrician tomorrow morning.

Dean, just wait till your kid gets old enough to use a phone. You will be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, just as I was. My son refuses to talk to me on the phone, prefers texting and email to speech. What to do? I need to figure out how to get him to keep in touch.

Kids learn about phones really soon. Our three-year-old grand-daughter doesn't remember a time when she didn't have full access to her mom's second Mac-book pro and iPhone. She might spill a beverage but her little index fingers are as delicate as those of a surgeon when she's around a touch screen. And in the last few months she has figured out which icon will get the phone to call our house for a conversation with her Grandma.

Both of my kids "get" phones. The 1.5YO play-chats with mom's cell, but when she accidentally turns it on and sees the mini-light show, she knows she's done something wrong: "Uh oh!" I'll never forget an occurrence at a playgroup for my 6YO when he was 2 or 3. One of the toys scattered on the floor of the space was an old-fashioned phone with a rotary dial and a full headset connected by a twisty cable. It looks nothing like the compact cell phones mom and dad use. We have no landline phone at home, not even a wireless. Yet he recognized the device and its function. Weird.

I prefer to drag my kids kicking and screaming into the century. Both of them better be able to know how to install an OS on whatever device they're using. Both better know something about TCP/IP and how to look up RFCs describing various protocols connecting their world.

Dean, I am relieved to know that you own a cell phone. If I had the number, I would text you! :-)

I am one of the first persons I know to possess a cell phone. I purchased a Nokia the same size as some of today's cordless land phones when my daughter left for college in 1994. It was to be able to be in touch while I drove up to see her. Despite this, my cell phone (now a sleek 'smart' avatar) is one gadget that I don't use unless I have to. It remains in my purse turned off. (And I never text unless one my kids sends me a message when I am away from home)

I opted out of text service when I obtained the phone three or four years ago. Evidently the salesman didn't hear my request, as I shortly received a text. I complained to the service provider; the salesman had thought I meant I didn't want a particular text service package. He mistakenly couldn't believe I wouldn't want some functionality. He terminated the function for good, or so I thought. How was I notified the service had been terminated? With a text message, of course.

We seem to be a diverse bunch. I haven't a portable phone at all. A few times a year I borrow my wife's cell phone for some time-critical or safety reason, but otherwise I can be easily reached wherever I am or at my destination and it's not save to drive while talking, so....
My Twitter account is at my PC. That way I'm in no danger of becoming addicted. I don't use if for social reasons anyway. I follow journalists and reporters who send out links and comments, sometimes pictures. Twitter is my main news feed.

Having said all that, I got a tablet yesterday and am learning to use it. I've resisted til now because I hate the idea of using that hunt-and-peck on-screen keyboard, but most of the new tablets are able to link with auxiliary keyboards, most of which will fit snugly in a case with the tablet when not in use.

Unfortunately Twitter doesn't operate fully with the android platform (as far as I can tell) and my Google Reader looks alien. But when it's time for a search and I touch the field, at the same time that the "keyboard" pops up, so does a little microphone icon at the end of the field. Tap on that and another feature opens and you can speak your search term and the think understands and puts it into the search field without typing. I'm blown away!

It's supposed to go 8 hours on one battery charge, more if it's only "working" instead of watching a movie.
And the one I have doesn't communicate with a printer. Which is of little importance since I haven't figured out how to copy and paste either. No highlighting as far as I can tell.

Oh, and it takes pictures. Lens in the back to use as a camera. Another in the front if you don't mind seeing yourself. That's for Skype, I think. There's a photoshop application but as in the case of documents, I guess you have to email them someplace to get printed.

If you don't have one, stay away from them. Dean has the right idea. This new technology is more addictive than illegal drugs.

"Both of them better be able to know how to install an OS on whatever device they're using. Both better know something about TCP/IP and how to look up RFCs describing various protocols connecting their world."

Good luck with that, Dean. Today's kids couldn't care less about the innards of whatever device they use. It's not as though the average driver knows a lot about how the car works in order to drive it.

Speaking of Ms. Palin and Twitter, if you've not seen William Shatner's hilarious takes on Sarah Palin's tweets and her governor resignation speech, I'd highly recommend going to youtube for the experience. There's a very similar "uncanny valley" effect to what's in these's almost but not quite sensible

This must be it.
Totally delightful. And yes, very poetic. I see the similarity.
Too bad she hasn't Sandmonkey's insights. She's the Thomas Kinkade of Twitter free verse.

And here is the Farewell Speech, also by Shatner.
This is much better and, as you say, closer to poetry.
Prior to Palin I had never heard that great descriptive term "word salad."

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