David Thompson
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November 04, 2015

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Joan

I was just about to send you a link to this. :-D

Sam

it’s time to nationalise Twitter.

And the benefit for US taxpayers is...?

David

And the benefit for US taxpayers is...?

Well, I suppose it would make one Australian “activist” feel tremendously important.

In other, equally Earth-rumbling news, this morning I discovered that Typepad has made some minor changes to its user interface. A couple of buttons have moved slightly and there’s a perceptibly different font.

WE MUST NATIONALISE IT NOW!

David

Previously by Mr Faruqi:

Why Kanye West would be the best president in US history.

So there’s that.

Jen

Apparently, this failure to appreciate his seriousness and insight merely “shows how right-wing our political debate has become.”

We're never going to reach Peak Guardian, are we?

rjmadden

We must nationalise MySpace before it's too late.

sk60

writer and activist.

It's like shorthand for unemployable idiot.

Martin

actually the nerds have convinced me some kind of Wilkipedia esque community run not-for-profit is a good model

https://twitter.com/oz_f/status/661812738407034880

So he's the big-picture guy, leaving the implementation details to, eh, "the nerds".

We're never going to reach Peak Guardian, are we?

We've long since reached peak Poe's law.

Karen M

Apparently, this failure to appreciate his seriousness and insight merely “shows how right-wing our political debate has become.”

Funny how being laughed at as ignorant and ridiculous always means they're right.

David

Funny how being laughed at as ignorant and ridiculous always means they’re right.

Yes, it’s odd how almost any kind of response is – somehow, magically – construed as a validation.

See also here, here and here.

Sam Duncan

“It’s infrastructure for basic communication”

No it isn't. The internet backbone and the protocols it runs on are infrastructure. Twitter.com is a single, proprietary, website that lets people publish their inane brainfarts to the world. And using it for “basic communication” is a bit like telling your wife you'll be home late from work by taking out an ad in the Times.

“... according to Mr Faruqi, 'casual social interaction,' which is good, is 'anathema to the desire for profit,' which is ...”

... look, let's be honest here, it's bullshit.

David

using it for “basic communication” is a bit like telling your wife you’ll be home late from work by taking out an ad in the Times.

Oh Sam, your preference for reality over Stuff-Someone-Just-Made-Up merely proves “how right-wing our political debate has become.”

Trimegistus

He wants to nationalize it because Twitter is the primary medium for Lefty outrage-mob behavior. The Party must preserve the telescreens! Otherwise, how will we coordinate our Two Minute Hate every day?

David

Oh, this is glorious.

Mr Faruqi seems to believe that the So.Much.Guardian Tumblr is a spoof.

It does, of course, use untouched screengrabs of actual Guardian headlines. That’s sort of the point.

John West

Very funny stuff, however, I think for some, twitter is a vent. It is a place where one can spew some bile or send some digital love to others. it's like masturbating when you have no women to make love to. Better than trying to keep it all in until you do something ... say untoward?

Just try to ignore the heart like an adult and keep venting. You may avoid at heart attack.

Anna

It does, of course, use untouched screengrabs of actual Guardian headlines.

Perfect. All in all it's been a great day for leftist journalism.

John D

Someone should tell him there's a Chrome extension that puts the old star icon back.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/twitter-old-favourite/lkfbecccmniadcbdhkeepdkfekhloinc

John D

It does, of course, use untouched screengrabs of actual Guardian headlines.

Hilarious. Even its own contributors won't read the thing. :-)

mojo

Activist? Nay, no longer!

Osman Faruqi is a Sydney-based writer and political campaigner.

One of Fairfax's Finest, no doubt. Or possibly the billion-dollar tax-vampire known as the ABC.

Clipper

They do love their old favourites don't they, I can't help but imagine them as Daleks.

NATIONALISE, NATIONALISE!!!

HALT OR YOU WILL BE NATIONALISED!!!

After all the effect is much the same . . .

Watcher In The Dark

Nationalise Twitter? Nay... The Post Office is nationalised and see what happened to mass communications

I sneeze in threes

Why doesn't the Guardian just set up it's own platform they could call it Bitter.

David

It’s infrastructure for basic communication, which is why people are so upset over the change to hearts

For some reason, I was reminded of this.

[+]

So how do you monetise an intangible combination of excitement and trepidation sparked by the overwhelming awe of talking to the whole world?

If it's that amazing you'll be willing to pay a subscription. Next.

dicentra

Twitter is not having a great time lately: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/11/conversation-smoosh-twitter-decay/412867/

No need to delve into the densities of Walter Ong et al.: the conclusion is that SJW swarming has ruined the Twitter experience for everyone.

Which, I just said that in fewer than 140 characters.

David

Which, I just said that in fewer than 140 characters.

I occasionally dip in to maybe a dozen Twitter accounts and some of them are very funny, but it never appealed to me as a tool. It’s much too restricting and I’m too much of a gasbag.

dw

The Party must preserve the telescreens! Otherwise, how will we coordinate our Two Minute Hate every day?

That.

David

The Party must preserve the telescreens!

Yes, that’s pretty much the nub of it. And so Mr Faruqi goes from ‘Twitter is struggling to make profit’ and ‘Twitter is vital for leftists to let each other know we have the right views’ to ‘Twitter must be nationalised, run by the state and paid for by the taxpayers in another country on the other side of the world.’

The underlying presumption, the sense of entitlement, is quite staggering.

The original Mr. X

Oh Sam, your preference for reality over Stuff-Someone-Just-Made-Up merely proves “how right-wing our political debate has become.”

You can laugh, but I have been told quite explicitly that wanting to base one's beliefs in objective reality is a mark of evil rightism.

Boyd

There's a word for people for whom no matter what the crisis, massive government intervention is always the answer. Fascists.

R. Sherman

@Dicentra

+1 for the Ong reference. As for me, I ignored Twitter before ignoring it was cool.

WTP

You can laugh, but I have been told quite explicitly that wanting to base one's beliefs in objective reality is a mark of evil rightis

I was told essentially the same thing by marriage counsellors, one a psychologist and one a psychiatrist, 20 years ago. "Perception is reality" the psychiatrist used say, totally un phased by my retort that such was simply his perception.

Patrick Brown

Remember the NUS women's conference that asked people to do jazz hands instead of applauding the speakers? I think I've found one that tops that.

Skepticon, a conference for atheists in Springfield, Missouri, has implemented a "color communication badges" policy (it's on their policy page, scroll down, you'll find it). If you wear a green sticker on your name badge, that means you might not initiate conversation yourself, but you want other people to talk to you. If you wear a yellow sticker, that means people shouldn't speak to you unless you speak to them first. And if you wear a red sticker, then nobody who doesn't already know you should attempt to speak to you.

More "safe space" crap getting out of hand. They've appropriated it from Autistic Advocacy, but as this isn't an event exclusively for autistic people, it seems more likely to end up being a yellow star to mark out autistic people. Either that, or be exploited by people who aren't autistic but want people to walk on eggshells around them. I mean, "The badge-wearer might approach strangers to talk, and that is okay; the approached people are welcome to talk back to them in that case"? That's like the advice you get when meeting the Queen.

Mags

But what will attention-seeking lefties do if Twitter goes bust? They can't go on a protest *every* day.

Tim Newman

If you wear a yellow sticker, that means people shouldn't speak to you unless you speak to them first. And if you wear a red sticker, then nobody who doesn't already know you should attempt to speak to you.

Isn't that just ripping off the concept of a traffic-light party in Freshers' Week, whereby anyone wearing green is up for a shag, anyone in orange is thinking about it, and anyone in red is taken? They don't work, anyway: all the blokes wear green, single or not. Most of the women wear orange because they don't want to feel slutty by wearing green, and if they are taken and wearing red they'll be roundly ignored. You basically end up with green males hitting on orange females trying to figure out if they can get into their knickers or not. A normal night, in other words.

The best concept of that I saw was in Manchester uni in 1996/7. A night was set up - I think they only did 1 or 2 of them - similar to a car-key party, whereby each male and female entering gets a number and in the club you are supposed to hook up with your corresponding opposite number, who you've never seen before. I don't know if it was a success, but I remember it well because the night was called Fuckit. The flyer, which I wish I'd kept, was a photo of some naked '70s hippy with a massive, flaccid member which was being measured by a naked hippy chick, with the caption "I hope I measure up for Fuckit". I'd like to think these guys went into advertising after uni.

David

But what will attention-seeking lefties do if Twitter goes bust? They can’t go on a protest *every* day.

What’s interesting is Mr Faruqi’s response to the near-universal drubbing of his article. From what I can see, there’s no pause to reflect on his numerous errors and conceits, or what they imply, despite how many times they were pointed out to him, and no attempt to engage with any of his critics, at all, about any point they raise. Instead, there’s just an air of glib superiority. He doesn’t see his idea as absurd, or arrogant, or even impractical. He just says, “People are so not used to discussing things outside a very narrow frame.”

You see, the fault isn’t his. How could it be? It’s everyone else.

Again, it’s quite a worldview.

David Gillies

Of course he's an 'activist'. All these parasitic non-entities think they're agents of political change like Gandhi. They believe they're on his path to victory: "first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Unfortunately for Faruqi, everyone has stopped at stage two, which is why he's in a bit of a bate.

David

Unfortunately for Faruqi, everyone has stopped at stage two, which is why he’s in a bit of a bate.

It’s a strange thing to watch, though. Self-imagined agitator and intellectual writes something stunningly presumptuous and ignorant, and is promptly trashed in the comments and on Twitter, his argument mocked and shredded by tens of thousands of people. Despite this, our fearless radical is undeterred and acts as if there were no criticism to engage with and no problem could possibly exist with either his idea or general worldview. Untouched by embarrassment or any discernible reflection, he then moves on to opine on other things, presumably just as badly and with a similar disregard for error and correction.

It’s delusional, narcissistic, almost sociopathic. And yet it’s not uncommon.

R. Sherman

You see, the fault isn’t his. How could it be? It’s everyone else.

In the high school band, he was the only one in tune.

Fruitbat44

When serious intent is indistinguishable from parody . . .

David

indistinguishable from parody

I suppose that’s the thing. If your worldview is premised on being seen as radical, oppositional and disdaining the obvious, and if that appearance matters more than coherence or realism, then you’ll soon find yourself in some odd territory.

Ten

writer and activist

Given the vast intellectual rigor, the eternally guarded exclusivity, the hallowed academies, and the sheer staggeringly high barrier to entry, I have no doubt but that our erstwhile thinker wields his moniker with the somber regard and traditional weight such naturally warrants.

Veracity by autostation. It's not just a fallacy anymore.

Rob

"People are so not used to discussing things outside a very narrow frame."

Even if I knew nothing about him, and hadn't read his article, I would still know him for a total c*nt simply for how he used the word 'so' in that sentence.

David Gillies

Yeah, you go girlfriend. I was all like, oh my God, Twitter so isn't making any money, and we should, like, totally nationalise it. And mocha soy frappuccinos should be available on the NHS.

Henry

Twitter has been characterised as a leftwing echo chamber, but it isn't all bad.

Louise Mensch has been doing a wonderful job keeping the pressure up on those who picked on scientist Tim Hunt*. The more research is done into the story, the more obvious it becomes that the initial reporting by Connie St Louis was... remarkably flawed; and that Deborah Blum, Sue Nelson (another biased BBC journo) and the rest were simply conducting a witch hunt - a huge surprise to us all, naturally.

One by one, people are starting to see sense, through Mensch's hard work. She's magnificent. Mary Collins (Hunt's wife) is also on the case on twitter. Will it put things right? I don't know

* see also her blog posts - it's not the most interesting story in the world, but Mensch is doing the research the journalists and twitterati couldn't be bothered to do

David Gillies

Well, fair enough, maybe Twitter can be useful as a campaigning tool. But it's a long way from there to The Man must provide a free social media platform so we can Fight The Man.

David

But it’s a long way from there to The Man must provide a free social media platform so we can Fight The Man.

And yet…

Via Franklin.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

The people I know who swear by Twitter are people who follow sports reporters, looking to get news on a particular team from things like coaches' press conferences or injury updates and the like.

For that it's apparently become quite good.

Hal

The people I know who swear by Twitter are people who follow sports reporters, . . . .

With the demonstrated---literally---usage during the Arab Spring celebrations and others of that ilk, it's definitely the excellent platform for up to the split second observations . . . . and then rather so-so from there . . .

briltonbrilton

I note that, in many other cases where CiF contributors and performance artists invite a deluge of overwhelmingly negative and mocking critique of their "work", they quickly try and back-pedal and say: "Aha, it was just a piss-take. I fooled you, didn't I?" In a lame and blatantly obvious attempt to save face.

But in this case, this fool Osman Fuqari actually went on ABC Radio National to further discuss his views on having Twitter propped up by our taxes. Rather odd, don't you think, that he would supposedly continue his ruse and trick his fellows leftists on RN into allowing him to do so.

dicentra

Modest proposal from a Twitter user:

Let's change the hearts to burritos. I'd burrito so many tweets.
Also.

Moral preener morally preens and gets totally called out for it. The linked article is a gem.

Rob

The issue of queues at women's toilets can be solved by building bigger women's toilets.

mojo

they could call it Bitter

Or Blither.

Squires

"Perception is reality" the psychiatrist used say, totally un phased by my retort that such was simply his perception.

Next time someone tries that, ask to see their wallet. Then tell them it's yours.

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