Brian Micklethwait's Blog

In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

Home

www.google.co.uk


Recent Comments


Monthly Archives


Most recent entries


Search


Advanced Search


Other Blogs I write for

Brian Micklethwait's Education Blog

CNE Competition
CNE Intellectual Property
Samizdata
Transport Blog


Blogroll

2 Blowhards
6000 Miles from Civilisation
A Decent Muesli
Adloyada
Adventures in Capitalism
Alan Little
Albion's Seedling
Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Alex Singleton
AngloAustria
Another Food Blog
Antoine Clarke
Antoine Clarke's Election Watch
Armed and Dangerous
Art Of The State Blog
Biased BBC
Bishop Hill
BLDG BLOG
Bloggers Blog
Blognor Regis
Blowing Smoke
Boatang & Demetriou
Boing Boing
Boris Johnson
Brazen Careerist
Bryan Appleyard
Burning Our Money
Cafe Hayek
Cato@Liberty
Charlie's Diary
Chase me ladies, I'm in the cavalry
Chicago Boyz
China Law Blog
Cicero's Songs
City Comforts
Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog
Clay Shirky
Climate Resistance
Climate Skeptic
Coffee & Complexity
Coffee House
Communities Dominate Brands
Confused of Calcutta
Conservative Party Reptile
Contra Niche
Contrary Brin
Counting Cats in Zanzibar
Скрипучая беседка
CrozierVision
Dave Barry
Davids Medienkritik
David Thompson
Deleted by tomorrow
deputydog
diamond geezer
Dilbert.Blog
Dizzy Thinks
Dodgeblogium
Don't Hold Your Breath
Douglas Carswell Blog
dropsafe
Dr Robert Lefever
Dr. Weevil
ecomyths
engadget
Englands Freedome, Souldiers Rights
English Cut
English Russia
EU Referendum
Ezra Levant
Everything I Say is Right
Fat Man on a Keyboard
Ferraris for all
Flickr blog
Freeborn John
Freedom and Whisky
From The Barrel of a Gun
ft.com/maverecon
Fugitive Ink
Future Perfect
FuturePundit
Gaping Void
Garnerblog
Gates of Vienna
Gizmodo
Global Warming Politics
Greg Mankiw's Blog
Guido Fawkes' blog
HE&OS
Here Comes Everybody
Hit & Run
House of Dumb
Iain Dale's Diary
Ideas
Idiot Toys
IMAO
Indexed
India Uncut
Instapundit
Intermezzo
Jackie Danicki
James Delingpole
James Fallows
Jeffrey Archer's Official Blog
Jessica Duchen's classical music blog
Jihad Watch
Joanne Jacobs
Johan Norberg
John Redwood
Jonathan's Photoblog
Kristine Lowe
Laissez Faire Books
Languagehat
Last of the Few
Lessig Blog
Libertarian Alliance: Blog
Liberty Alone
Liberty Dad - a World Without Dictators
Lib on the United Kingdom
Little Man, What Now?
listen missy
Loic Le Meur Blog
L'Ombre de l'Olivier
London Daily Photo
Londonist
Mad Housewife
Mangan's Miscellany
Marginal Revolution
Mark Wadsworth
Media Influencer
Melanie Phillips
Metamagician and the Hellfire Club
Michael Jennings
Michael J. Totten's Middle East Journal
Mick Hartley
More Than Mind Games
mr eugenides
Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism
My Boyfriend Is A Twat
My Other Stuff
Natalie Solent
Nation of Shopkeepers
Neatorama
neo-neocon
Never Trust a Hippy
NO2ID NewsBlog
Non Diet Weight Loss
Normblog
Nurses for Reform blog
Obnoxio The Clown
Oddity Central
Oliver Kamm
On an Overgrown Path
One Man & His Blog
Owlthoughts of a peripatetic pedant
Oxford Libertarian Society /blog
Patri's Peripatetic Peregrinations
phosita
Picking Losers
Pigeon Blog
Police Inspector Blog
PooterGeek
Power Line
Private Sector Development blog
Public Interest.co.uk
Publius Pundit
Quotulatiousness
Rachel Lucas
RealClimate
Remember I'm the Bloody Architect
Rob's Blog
Sandow
Scrappleface
Setting The World To Rights
Shane Greer
Shanghaiist
SimonHewittJones.com The Violin Blog
Sinclair's Musings
Slipped Disc
Sky Watching My World
Social Affairs Unit
Squander Two Blog
Stephen Fry
Stuff White People Like
Stumbling and Mumbling
Style Bubble
Sunset Gun
Survival Arts
Susan Hill
Teblog
Techdirt
Technology Liberation Front
The Adam Smith Institute Blog
The Agitator
The AntRant
The Becker-Posner Blog
The Belgravia Dispatch
The Belmont Club
The Big Blog Company
The Big Picture
the blog of dave cole
The Corridor of Uncertainty (a Cricket blog)
The Croydonian
The Daily Ablution
The Devil's Advocate
The Devil's Kitchen
The Dissident Frogman
The Distributed Republic
The Early Days of a Better Nation
The Examined Life
The Filter^
The Fly Bottle
The Freeway to Serfdom
The Future of Music
The Futurist
The Happiness Project
The Jarndyce Blog
The London Fog
The Long Tail
The Lumber Room
The Online Photographer
The Only Winning Move
The Policeman's Blog
The Road to Surfdom
The Sharpener
The Speculist
The Surfer
The Wedding Photography Blog
The Welfare State We're In
things magazine
TigerHawk
Tim Blair
Tim Harford
Tim Worstall
tomgpalmer.com
tompeters!
Transterrestrial Musings
UK Commentators - Laban Tall's Blog
UK Libertarian Party
Unqualified Offerings
Violins and Starships
Virginia Postrel
Vodkapundit
WebUrbanist
we make money not art
What Do I Know?
What's Up With That?
Where the grass is greener
White Sun of the Desert
Why Evolution Is True
Your Freedom and Ours


Websites


Mainstream Media

BBC
Guardian
Economist
Independent
MSNBC
Telegraph
The Sun
This is London
Times


Syndicate

RSS 1.0
RSS 2.0
Atom
Feedburner
Podcasts


Categories

Advertising
Africa
Anglosphere
Architecture
Art
Asia
Atheism
Australasia
Billion Monkeys
Bits from books
Bloggers and blogging
Books
Brian Micklethwait podcasts
Brians
Bridges
Business
Career counselling
Cartoons
Cats and kittens
China
Civil liberties
Classical music
Comedy
Comments
Computer graphics
Cranes
Crime
Current events
Democracy
Design
Digital photographers
Drones
Economics
Education
Emmanuel Todd
Environment
Europe
Expression Engine
Family
Food and drink
France
Friends
Getting old
Globalisation
Healthcare
History
How the mind works
India
Intellectual property
Japan
Kevin Dowd
Language
Latin America
Law
Libertarianism
Links
Literature
London
Media and journalism
Middle East and Islam
Movies
Music
My blog ruins
My photographs
Open Source
Opera
Other creatures
Painting
Photography
Podcasting
Poetry
Politics
Pop music
Propaganda
Quote unquote
Radio
Religion
Roof clutter
Russia
Scaffolding
Science
Science fiction
Sculpture
Signs and notices
Social Media
Society
Software
South America
Space
Sport
Technology
Television
The internet
The Micklethwait Clock
Theatre
This and that
This blog
Transport
Travel
USA
Video
War


Sunday June 14 2009

Incoming:

I know I’ve been banging on about Twitter, and I’ve told some of you there will soon be a revolution or a coup d’état launched using Twitter, but it’s happening now.

“The western world’s most feared government is shaking with insurrection in the streets after a contested election and the leading name in news, CNN, is shockingly absent from the story. Twitter, meanwhile, is how Iranians are communicating with the outside world.  It’s the best place to follow events going on in that country and CNN’s failure to engage with the story is one of the hottest topics of conversation there.”

Link.

In my view, twitter is as revolutionary as email. Most of you would personally and professionally benefit from using this technology. All of you will find it useful to know a bit more.

As I’m currently looking for work, if anyone wants me to set up a Twitter account and show how to use it, I have time (and a good
computer at home) to do this.

Best wishes,

Antoine Clarke

Thanks for that, Antoine.  Well worth interrupting a blog break for.  The title of this blog posting was the title of Antoine’s email, by the way.  Don’t be surprised if you see this email quoted on other blogs Antoine may also have sent it to.  Fine by me.

I’ve said it many times before, but it will bear constant repetition.  When some new technique of communication is invented or stumbled upon, you should not judge its impact by picking ten uses of it at random, averaging them all out, and saying: Well that’s a load of trivial crap, isn’t it?!?  How will “I am just about to make another slice of toast” change the world?  The question to ask is: Of all the thousands of uses already being made of this thing, which one is the most significant?  And then: Well, is that very significant?  If yes, at all, then forget about the toast nonsense.

And the other thing to point out is that, even if you don’t care about some stranger being about to make some toast, there may well be some other strangers out there who do.  For them, such twitterings may be very significant.  What if the person about to toast suffers from suicidal depression, and his mere willingness to attempt any household task however trivial is a source of rejoicing to all his friends?

Yawn.

Posted by Tatyana on 14 June 2009

No, it’s actually mildly interesting, Tatyana. I do tend to share Simon Heffer’s position about “social networking” in that it’s to keep in touch with all the people you don’t want to keep in touch with, but it may have its circumstantial benefits.

here’s what Heffer has to say…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/simonheffer/5524402/Facebook-Everything-you-never-wanted-to-know....html

Posted by David Davis on 15 June 2009

These comment so far remind me of the Minister of Technology in about 1982, Keith Joseph, who is said to have toured one of the television network’s studios and asked on the way out: “This television, do you think it might catch on?”

Thanks for the plug Brian.

Posted by Antoine Clarke on 15 June 2009

This quote in your post, Brian, reminds me of Soviet “pionervozhaty” - a sort of adult boyscout supervisors for Young Pioneers organizations: over-enthusiastic about the world of kids’ and their toys they are hopelessly outgrown.

Posted by Tatyana on 16 June 2009

Hehehehehe!

Tatiana, you’re such a crusty old lady!

Posted by Antoine Clarke on 16 June 2009

It’s “y” in my name, Antoine, if you don’t mind.

I don’t know if I’m old, I’m comfortable within my age.
[what a gentlemanly way to talk to a woman, ahem]

It wouldn’t occur to me to kiss up to youngsters: they will laugh at my back if I do so, anyway, why bother?
Twitter is just a means of relaying info; Iranians might have sent mail pigeons - would you enthuse about “mail pigeon revolution on communications”, then? There are other tools - they send out SMS, cellphone text messages and it seems that LiveJournal operates fine: I’ve just read a regular post from a girl in Tehran, married to Iranian, with hews of the day. Nothing special about your special pet, Antoine.

And “hehehe” does sound rather like a crusty old geezer.

Posted by Tatyana on 16 June 2009

I completely apologise for for spelling your name incorrectly, Tatyana. I don’t like it when people do it to me, so I can assure you it was not intentional.

As for the rest, I referred to you figuratively as “crusty old” because of the curmudgeon-like tone of your comments. You might care to re-read them and let me know if I have misunderstood your tone.

A lady of your standing may call me a “crusty old geezer” any time you wish, I can assure that no offence will be taken. Two out of three ain’t bad.

Posted by Antoine Clarke on 16 June 2009

Better and better. First, I was “old”, now I’m “curmudgeon” - all because I dared to yawn at a spectacle of a middle-age boyscout.

Oh well. Yawn.

Posted by Tatyana on 16 June 2009

lmao

Posted by Antoine Clarke on 16 June 2009

I witnessed a discussion today in New York between a reporter for CNN, a reporter for Fox News, a reporter/anchor for NBC, and a producer for NBC - moderated by a veteran blogger whose wife happens to be Iranian. The blogger, Robert Scoble, had been taking CNN to task all weekend over their lack of coverage of the Iranian situation, and he and his wife were getting accurate reports (later confirmed by her family) via Twitter.

At the end of the panel - in which the mainstream media people all held their hands up and said that informed Twitter users were beating them at their own game - the CNN guy said, “Well, but if we weren’t doing our jobs, you guys would have nothing to link to. If we disappeared, so would a lot of Twitter content.” The moderator, not missing a beat, replied: “But you DID disappear last weekend, and Twitter filled the gap.” The CNN guy had to concede, and the comment was met with much applause.

Never underestimate the value of any tool which can help people to find solace in one another - like the samizdat during communist rule - let alone pass information which is important. I’m not sure why anyone would object to interest being taken in such a matter, apart from perhaps a general fatigue with all that is good in life. Too bad, so sad for them. :)

Posted by Jackie Danicki on 17 June 2009

I’m not sure why anyone would go on insisting on “revolutionary” qualities of tangential application without any perspective for future development - other than pretend perky youthfulness (in what they believe will mark them as young) or being paid sales commission. After many years of working with vendors I’m inoculated against sales pitches; others might be easily intimidated, though.

Triple yawn - to fit the case.

Posted by Tatyana on 17 June 2009

The main reason I pop onto this blog now is to see what grumpy nonsense Tatyana leaves. :-)

Brightens up my day.

Please, what does this mean: “‘revolutionary’ qualities of tangential application without any perspective for future development - other than pretend perky youthfulness (in what they believe will mark them as young) or being paid sales commission.”

I’m sure no one could mistake Tatyana for someone with “pretend perky” anything.

Posted by Antoine Clarke on 18 June 2009

Jesus, Mary and Joseph - people who see the obviously wonderful uses of Twitter are paid evangelists on commission? I really have heard it all now. :) Can’t wait to get my big cheque in the post!

Posted by Jackie Danicki on 18 June 2009

Scream louder. That will prove how wonderful your toy is.
What a pair of arrogant asses.

Posted by Tatyana on 18 June 2009

Right.  That’s quite enough of that.  I will now switch comments off on this posting.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 18 June 2009
Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.