#FuckTwitter :: The Good, The Bad, And The Most Powerful

I suppose I was around fourteen years of age when a couple of my friends on my block confiscated a shotgun. It was at a time in my mental immaturity where I believed that violence settled everything, and that respect of ones peers was a worthy priority. The interesting thing about weapons and force is that until you are the possessor of it, all others are oppressive, unjust, and cowardly. The minute you become responsible for weilding objective power, a certain degree indulgent entitlement comes along with that. In an interesting turn of events that occured that summer, I learned a valuable lesson in power tranference and power implementation. I learned that you never give away what for the most part is a source of your power, and that you are solely responsible for the consequences of acts done with that power.

 

These thoughts entered my mind as I sat down and read an article in the November/December 2011 edition of Technology Review. The article was entitled,”A Social-Media Decoder” and it was on one level the story of a company, Bluefin, that analyzes the updates on Twitter for their clients. Clients such as CBS, Pepsi, Mars, Comcast, Fox Sports, and Turner Broadcasting to name a few of the major media players they work for. What caught my attention, was not so much the dumpster diving of my updates to provide Fortune 500 companies with intel about my feelings regarding a Coors commercial during a Rams game, but how the company was started.

 

According to the article, what began as a project at MIT(the publishers of the magazine)of Deb Roy, a computer and cognitive scientist, to teach robots how to speak expanded into a shared company that boast of the list above. The shared partner would be Roy’s PHD student, Michal Fleichman, who assisting Roy in researching how humans learn how to speak by a set of famous video recordings of Roy’s son learning how to speak, decided it would be too troubling to wait for Roy’s son to grow up to develop this project. Instead, Fleichman used baseball games to teach computers how to speak. This would lead to grants in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars, which would help fund the extension of the initial project. The extension, of course, being not only to have computers know when a homerun was hit when watching a game, but also to understand what was being said when a social media stream was feed through a video stream.
There are a lot of questions that came to my mind as I read through this article. The first being, the question of privacy. Then came the question of why is MIT teaching robots how to speak. At a certain point my ego kicked in and I wondered if the robots ever wanted to RT something updated through the Owl’s Asylum stream on Twitter. When thinking about the power of the RT, I allowed all of these curious thoughts to exist into one culminating momentous question.

 

What the hell am I doing with the technology that I am assisting in becoming the next corporate monolith?

 

I’m watching the brothers Ahbseenkwestion(y’all know, D) and Khairi(everybody knows Lion) develop a clothing line(Stolen). That’s an important development because if you know the history, the brothers met through Twitter. That is the proper harnessing of a tool without letting the tool absorb your energy. It is a power transference. I also consider Asylum, and I want to be humble about the recognition given by United Black America, and Asylum making The 100 Best Black Websites, 2012 Edition. I realize that we couldn’t have made that list without many of the contacts made through networking on Twitter, as well as leveraging Twitter and WordPress through the “Tweet Old Posts” plugin from developer Ajay Matharu.

 

And all of that is beautiful, but it doesn’t cause me to forget the smell of a shotgun and feeling of overwhelming control. It doesn’t make me forget that for whatever technological reasons, Twitter doesn’t seem to recognize Black issues in its Trending Topics. Being in love with Twitter(let’s be honest here, have you seen my Tweet Counter? This is my second account…) is like being in love with a White woman that is being pimped by the Ayran Brotherhood. She’s knowledgeable, witty, the life of the party, just don’t do that Black nationalist thing, “keep it ghetto”, and you are always in for a great time.

 

One thing I learned that summer so many half moons ago is that it isn’t about the power, but who has it now. Who is willing to use it, and often, the idea that stuck with me was, with great power comes the need to display greater degrees of apprehensive intensity of those that wield great power along with you or more than you. Due to an unsuspecting adult’s careless placement of a shotgun being stolen by his nephew and hidden under the bed of his nephew’s buddy up the street, another teenager who got the gun from the buddy whose mother found it, wound up with his first robbery conviction. Power is an interesting dynamic, is it not?

 

In closing, I applaud the technological dumpster diving going on over at Bluefin. I hope you guys find all of my updates appealing and confusing as chinese arithmitic until Eric B got his hands on it. I fear for a planet of robots that can learn to speak as much as I am scared of the semantic web. I like my machines dumb and easily pliable. Humans haven’t invented the evolution of social consideration so I’m a bit hesitant when those beings start playing “create a man”. I’d like to remind everyone that although my recent rekindling with Twitter has been fun, it is only a romp with an old sex buddy. And after I’m through fucking Twitter, it is still #FuckTwitter.

8 thoughts on “#FuckTwitter :: The Good, The Bad, And The Most Powerful

  1. Peace and POWER Wise Owl,

    First, I’d like to again express my gratitude for your presence. You have been missed, my brother. Your insight and honesty are characteristics my online experience too often lacks.

    The interweaving of these stories of power is necessary to retool our perspectives on the networks or weapons for wet work we spend so much of our time using. The immature infatuation with the shotgun mirrors the immaturity of our seeking for followers, RTs and the cultish aura surrounding some of our community’s twitter “elite” class and the power we associate with the TOOLS instead of the inherent power within the causes that should drive them.

    I’ve often made the analogy of the internet being a fast car given to those without driving lessons or supervision. A negligently placed shotgun is a more direct symbol. We’re still spraying into the crowd, will focus our aim before it gets turned back on us?

    Again, I appreciate you, brother.

    Khairi

    1. I have piles of papers with words on them that I will never allow the world to read. And yet, there are these pieces that garner the attention of minds like your Self, and makes the activity worthwhile, and adds to the edification of the craft.

      (Yeah, I know, I could have just typed “thanks, I missed you too”…)

      You hit the danger area. What are we going to do with an elite class based on just that(…er…what is that…a station?)…that station. And that is not enough. Twitter will start charging people for techy looking designs of badges while a developer gets millions of dollars for the next Tweetdeck. As a writer, I’d like to at least say I was capable of getting national media attention for something that needed it. I mean, damn, it is Twitter, getting national attention to news stories is what made Twitter what it is now.

      And you know, it is like…how you do you tell people that bootcamp is over?

  2. Peace and POWER Wise Owl,

    First, I’d like to again express my gratitude for your presence. You have been missed, my brother. Your insight and honesty are characteristics my online experience too often lacks.

    The interweaving of these stories of power is necessary to retool our perspectives on the networks or weapons for wet work we spend so much of our time using. The immature infatuation with the shotgun mirrors the immaturity of our seeking for followers, RTs and the cultish aura surrounding some of our community’s twitter “elite” class and the power we associate with the TOOLS instead of the inherent power within the causes that should drive them.

    I’ve often made the analogy of the internet being a fast car given to those without driving lessons or supervision. A negligently placed shotgun is a more direct symbol. We’re still spraying into the crowd, will focus our aim before it gets turned back on us?

    Again, I appreciate you, brother.

    Khairi

    1. I have piles of papers with words on them that I will never allow the world to read. And yet, there are these pieces that garner the attention of minds like your Self, and makes the activity worthwhile, and adds to the edification of the craft.

      (Yeah, I know, I could have just typed “thanks, I missed you too”…)

      You hit the danger area. What are we going to do with an elite class based on just that(…er…what is that…a station?)…that station. And that is not enough. Twitter will start charging people for techy looking designs of badges while a developer gets millions of dollars for the next Tweetdeck. As a writer, I’d like to at least say I was capable of getting national media attention for something that needed it. I mean, damn, it is Twitter, getting national attention to news stories is what made Twitter what it is now.

      And you know, it is like…how you do you tell people that bootcamp is over?

  3. Guess you just have to tell them: bootcamp is over…and you know that not everyone will accept it (the perpetual student syndrom, another societal gangrene, at least here in fR). and you know that you’re just going to have to leave them behind. elite(s)? natural selection? the machines have lost already – they, and above mentioned would-be left-behindees don’t even know, really. you have proven what can be done with twitter. truly the taste of last new old phkc with an ex has been haunting my mouth ever since you promoted #fucktwitter, then disappeared. and because you in particular, meaning, the Asylum, the Skyline, have gone round the tworld long enough to prove that platform an old battered whore thriving on hi-tech cosmetics, later comers of my species have come to terms with the disappointment a bit sooner than the machines would know. great thought, great art, can’t ever be cornered, even with a gun at their throat. sitting back and watching can only go on for so long. that’s why i will always privilege people, pen, paper, telepathy, writing letters (email has become so underrated that actually writing to someone can now be perceived as ‘unreal’ &/or ‘dramatic’. d’oh.) making a conscious decision that we’ve been using twitter a lot more than it can ever use us is salutary at this point. like i recently twitted, ‘woke’ marketing (just these two words juxtaposed is nauseous enough as it is) now involves mentions of ‘santa’. not everybody innerstands how real the war on their minds is, it seems. so be it. the homeless find refuge in the Asylum, and the machines can’t ever dupe the trues. it’s all made me realize what an exciting phase this has taken me to. building momentum to destroy is the name of the game in my world…as often, i must conclude with a big Thank You. Long live the Owl

  4. Guess you just have to tell them: bootcamp is over…and you know that not everyone will accept it (the perpetual student syndrom, another societal gangrene, at least here in fR). and you know that you’re just going to have to leave them behind. elite(s)? natural selection? the machines have lost already – they, and above mentioned would-be left-behindees don’t even know, really. you have proven what can be done with twitter. truly the taste of last new old phkc with an ex has been haunting my mouth ever since you promoted #fucktwitter, then disappeared. and because you in particular, meaning, the Asylum, the Skyline, have gone round the tworld long enough to prove that platform an old battered whore thriving on hi-tech cosmetics, later comers of my species have come to terms with the disappointment a bit sooner than the machines would know. great thought, great art, can’t ever be cornered, even with a gun at their throat. sitting back and watching can only go on for so long. that’s why i will always privilege people, pen, paper, telepathy, writing letters (email has become so underrated that actually writing to someone can now be perceived as ‘unreal’ &/or ‘dramatic’. d’oh.) making a conscious decision that we’ve been using twitter a lot more than it can ever use us is salutary at this point. like i recently twitted, ‘woke’ marketing (just these two words juxtaposed is nauseous enough as it is) now involves mentions of ‘santa’. not everybody innerstands how real the war on their minds is, it seems. so be it. the homeless find refuge in the Asylum, and the machines can’t ever dupe the trues. it’s all made me realize what an exciting phase this has taken me to. building momentum to destroy is the name of the game in my world…as often, i must conclude with a big Thank You. Long live the Owl

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