Thursday, May 28, 2009

twit wittering

Twittering lends itself to provocation: Without elaboration, a statement gets made, a seemingly good statement (in this case) gets presented as a fact.
"Change resistance a myth: All people have purposes and concerns. They will collaborate If you attempt to understand those."
Well no, change does get resisted, sometimes really sensibly.
People do not always collaborate despite attempts to understand. Underlying values may be at odds.
Rollo May in criticising/critiquing the humanistic beliefs of Carl Rogers pointed to the indefensible position that there is innate goodness in all. And despite my love of Rogers approach, I have to concur with May. On historical fact, values conflict, Stalin, Hitler, Atilla the Hun would collaborate but only if the shared vision was shared. Obviously, values make the difference and attempting to understand these may increase rather than decrease resistance.
Anything worth believing in, just has to stand up to the critique.
As a technology twitter is not innately good or bad, its not just a tool either.
But as reminded by Latour, the more a technological systems proliferate, the more it becomes opaque.
Maybe the limitation of the message bearer gets forgotten.
The medium translates, shortens.
The meaning of a message gets condensed, and nuances, niceties, limitations get ignored.
A detour surely on the intent.
So twitter rather than a neutral technology, a tool to use, becomes subject to its own inherent weakness, bereft of words it cannot defend itself. Again, a curve gets added for defend itself it has to change medium, proving its inherent weakness.

"If we fail to recognize how much the use of a technique, however simple, has displaced, translated, modified, or inflected the initial intention, it is simply because we have changed the end in changing the means, and because, through a slipping of the will, we have begun to wish something quite else from what we at first desired. If you want to keep your intentions straight, your plans inflexible, your programmes of action rigid, then do not pass through any form of technological life. The detour will translate, will betray, your most imperious desires." Latour (2002)

But hey, its twitter, its not like i didnt know what to expect, the 140 or less characters is clearly going to have its impact, I just didnt see it coming as an attack on depth and logic, naive eh?

No comments:

Post a Comment