Author Topic: Tweets are the new Aphorisms  (Read 4006 times)

Setherick

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Tweets are the new Aphorisms
« on: January 05, 2010, 05:59:15 PM »
There is speculation that when Nietzsche started using a typewriter his writing style changed to the short, telegraphic speech reminiscent of Daybreak. I've started to notice the same thing about Twitter and I'm beginning to think that tweets may be the new aphorisms. I've always been one to jot down questions and aphorisms in my note books, but now I find I'm just tweeting them. The 140 character limit does make things interesting though. Here are a few of the tweets that have appeared on my account in the process of reading and studying for my preliminary examinations this fall:
Quote
Does commodity exchange require individuals to implicitly acknowledge that under liberal capitalism the individual is reduced to bare life?

Considering the use of violence in the name of the state (God) by those not granted the use of violence by the state (God).

Considering the intersections of international trade (globalism) and nationalistic (xenophobic) isolationism in the American idiom.

Anyone know if the term "imagined capitalisms", playing on the idea of Anderson's definition "imagine communities", has been coined?

Considering how Arendt's discussion of "work" and "labor" informs post-industrial, post-national society.

I'm tired of reading utopian fictions where people are vegetarians. I'm going to write one where the only thing people eat is meat.

This week's reading question: what are the connection of Kant's categorical imperative and nationalism?

Considering Melville's metaphor for America as "the Paul Jones of nations" in _Israel Potter_.

Contemplating the intersections between nationalist thinking and sovereign/state violence.

I wonder if it's fair to call the US Constitution an attempt to codify the Enlightenment?

How many states of exception do you live in?

Every time I try to seriously consider the role of homo economicus, I am blindsided by the bonuses of "bailed-out" banks.

Wondering how to interpret the phrase "good citizen" in the beginning of Crevecoeur's "What is an American" letter.

Wondering if "nationalisms" arise in the late-18C as a reaction to the homogenizing and emptying effect of capital. Who has argued this?

Short story idea: An advanced Ai civilization attempting to eradicate the memory of humans from its databanks.

I'm hoping to hear something ridiculous from one of my fellow grad students in my Monday night class. Last week someone asked if Ronald Reagan was a neoliberal... (originally two tweets)

---

And for the hell of it, I'll post the quotes from writing journals that I typed up several years ago. I've never gone back through and looked at other journals and continued the list, so these are things I had written my freshman and sophomore years of college, so when I was 18, 19, and 20. Some of these quotes were actually things I had said to other people and then wrote down later.

Quote
Blue Journal

“It’s like bungee jumping with a length of dog chain.”

“I think she was just jealous, the pious Jew manager, when she called me cynical and condescending.”


   Brown Journal

“I fathomed infinity once and it took 3 weeks to repair the damage.”

“Sometimes I feel I’m screaming at deaf men, using sign-language on blind men, and wondering why no one is listening.”

“I’m certain I could write for hours and never once say anything important.”

“Sometimes I think my computer through all its wires and transistors is my gateway to reality.”

“This morning I didn’t want to wake up, I was lost in the best dreams of sex and reality.”

“God lives in the elevator.”

“How can I say ‘I love you’, without saying it?”

“I’ll have a heart-attack and a side of fries.”

“I confess to the sins of not knowing if there is a god.”

“Should I blame insanity on poetry, or poetry on insanity?”

“And to all the cynics of the world I say, ‘Fuck off’.”

“Everyone is a critic who watched the movie backwards and in slow-mo.”

“It’s easier to make a diamond from a hunk of coal than force yourself to write poetry.”

“Why question your own sexuality when you can get others to do it for you?”

“What name appears on God’s bathrobe?”

“Perfection is flawed.”
“Of the people you’ll pass today and never know a name, I am just one.”

“Heaven takes American Express.”


   Black “Confidential” Journal

“I sacrificed my sanity for a 4.0, where is your lust for knowledge.”

“And I’ve drank too much liquor, and masturbated too many times, and had sex once too often, to be considered a saint by someone who hasn’t lived at all.”

“Ah fuck it, sometimes there aren’t enough things to write about.”

“No one understands the art of shaving, its Zen. Zen and the art of shaving.”

“I never wanted to be The Duke, and have a snarl that both attracted women and scared people away.”

“It didn’t hurt so much leaving, as it hurt falling in love.”

“That fake leather jacket matches your personality.”

“The voices in my head won’t stop screaming obscenities at 2 am like I’m a fucking lunatic—let me sleep.”

“My apathy binds me to who I am. Take away everything in my life, and I will not leave dishearten.”


   Hemp Journal

“I’ve seen only 20 sides of America and I’m not afraid to keep looking.”

“I’ve never seen a math book leer quite like this one leers, waiting for me to pick it up and read it.”

“And I was just like God before he rested his feet by the fire and went to sleep.”

“What face do you wear when you look to the sky?”
"Something smart so that I can impress people I don't know." - Some Author I've Not Read

clockworkjoe

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Re: Tweets are the new Aphorisms
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2010, 06:05:18 PM »
I just read an essay with a remarkably similar point http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/11/what-would-jane-austen-have-tw.html

As I'd hoped, the Morgan focuses on a handful of objects from Austen's life, and the commentary is thoughtful. I was surprised, though, to find myself thinking that had Twitter been around in Austen's time (1775-1817), she would likely have been a fan.

Austen wrote more than 3,000 letters, many to her sister Cassandra. They corresponded constantly, starting new letters to each other the minute they finished the last one and sharing the minutia of their lives. From reading Austen's novels, I'd always assumed that people in her era spent a long time waiting for the mail. But the show mentions that during Austen's life, mail in London and environs was delivered six times a day. Sometimes, a letter sent in the morning was delivered the same evening. Which makes snail mail sound a lot more like email or twitttering.

Setherick

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Re: Tweets are the new Aphorisms
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2010, 08:23:46 PM »
I just read an essay with a remarkably similar point http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/11/what-would-jane-austen-have-tw.html

As I'd hoped, the Morgan focuses on a handful of objects from Austen's life, and the commentary is thoughtful. I was surprised, though, to find myself thinking that had Twitter been around in Austen's time (1775-1817), she would likely have been a fan.

Austen wrote more than 3,000 letters, many to her sister Cassandra. They corresponded constantly, starting new letters to each other the minute they finished the last one and sharing the minutia of their lives. From reading Austen's novels, I'd always assumed that people in her era spent a long time waiting for the mail. But the show mentions that during Austen's life, mail in London and environs was delivered six times a day. Sometimes, a letter sent in the morning was delivered the same evening. Which makes snail mail sound a lot more like email or twitttering.


Something to note about mail at that time was that you didn't pay for postage to senda letter, you paid to receive a letter. So think of that every time you hit the "spam" button in your email.
"Something smart so that I can impress people I don't know." - Some Author I've Not Read

pwvogt

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Re: Tweets are the new Aphorisms
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2010, 10:55:27 PM »
I think there's a lot of room to play around with the format of Twitter. For instance, I'm writing an ongoing, I guess one could call it a "novel" but it's much more similar to a Sunday Comics style of serial story on Twitter. Just playing around with it, but check it out - http://twitter.com/SagaofHoplite

It's been fun trying to fit bits of the story within 140 characters. It's really changed my writing style, although I don't think it comes off too choppy once you've put it all together. It actually just feels kind of noir-ish if anything.
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