Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Twitter or Twitcher

I know its unfair for me to comment on Twitter without trying it but I think I can figure it out. It's the 'status' feature in Facebook without Facebook. Its the 'share personal message with contacts' in MSN without MSN.

It's a message in a bottle.

I don't think I will join Twitter unless it develops into a blossoming poetry machine. I'm going to avoid it if its just becomes another conduit for business.

I don't mean to sound like a curmudgeon. I am all for connectivity. For social software. For contact. For friends of friends. For community. But right now, I'm in the mood for idleness.
Idleness is not just a psychological necessity, requisite to the construction of a complete human being; it constitutes as well a kind of political space, a space as necessary to the workings of an actual democracy as, say, a free press. How does it do this? By allowing us time to figure out who we are, and what we believe; by allowing us time to consider what is unjust, and what we might do about it. By giving the inner life (in whose precincts we are most ourselves) its due. Which is precisely what makes idleness dangerous. All manner of things can grow out of that fallow soil. Not for nothing did our mothers grow suspicious when we had "too much time on our hands." They knew we might be up to something. And not for nothing did we whisper to each other, when we were up to something, "Quick, look busy."

Slouka, M.. "Quitting the Paint Factory." Harper's 309.1854 (2004):57-66.

On the way to work, I was stopped in my tracks twice by birds singing. I'm not sure whether I found the songs captivating because I haven't heard them all winter or because the bird songs of spring are different and more pronounced from the songs from the rest of the year. I would love an afternoon dedicated to finding this out. And to stake out the bird's nest I found by my work parking lot to properly identify the singer.

But to make best use of the spare time I do have, I tried to save its call by filming a blurry video of the bird with my digital camera. Later today or tomorrow I will flip through my Sibley and perhaps check out our library's Birds of North America.

That's how I use Twitter.

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