Wednesday, July 8, 2009

And The Nobel Prize Doesn't Go To.....

In another not so startling indicator pointing toward humankind slowly but eventually facilitating its own slow and painful to watch demise, we have a suggestion for a Nobel prize nominee. Brace yourselves.

It's Twitter.

Oh, my God. What now? Twitter? The, um, text messaging service for the masses? THAT Twitter? Yeah, right. OK then. I think we're done here. Well, ALMOST done here. Mankind will cease to exist shortly after ideas which are inane begin popping up and regarded as genius. Yep, almost done here.

According to The Telegraph, among other sources, a one Mark Pfeifle (pronounce that however you'd like to) wrote a piece for the Christian Science Monitor. In said piece, he starts off with all of the unruly unrest in Iran (where the citizens (in a regime where the "winner" of Presidential "elections" is all but assured ahead of time and the candidates of said election are hand picked by a bunch of mullahs) were not feeling as if the election ballots were counted fairly) and how "When traditional journalists were forced to leave the country, Twitter became a window for the world...It became the assignment desk, the reporter, and the producer."

It's the "producer" part of that which I have the most problem with. No, wait. I think it's the "reporter" part I have a problem with. Hold on. Yes, yes, I believe I can take issue with that whole statement. See, I prefer my "reporters" to be "neutral". And by "neutral" I mean "neutral". I highly doubt that the "reporting" that was coming out of T.I.S. (Twitter Iranian Style) was all that "neutral" and unbiased. As for the producer, they make the decisions on how to present the programming, yes? I don't know that those not-so-neutral reporters, having just stepped out from behind their self-assignment desk, are going to produce a clear picture of what's going on. You have 140 characters. Not words. CHARACTERS. Use 'em for all they're worth, I figure. Reel 'em in with the most extreme 140 characters you can come up with. (Preferably in English because that Arabic writing stuff just looks like doodles people make when they're on the phone.)

He continues along those same lines with "Without Twitter, the people of Iran would not have felt empowered and confident to stand up for freedom and democracy. They did so because they knew the world was watching." The world was watching. But we're America. We watch ANYTHING. We also have the attention span of a gnat. We were all into your plight for justice over there. Yep, right up until Michael Jackson died and then it was like, "Sorry Iranians! We've got a dead pop star to deal with. You're on your own!"

Here come the questionable and probably misleading statistics: "At the height of the protest activities, according to's Ben Parr, more than 221,000 Iran tweets were sent in one hour." Well, that doesn't say that there were 221,000+ tweets coming from INSIDE of Iran! It implies it, but that's not what it says. That just says "Iran tweets". "I wonder what it's like in Iran" would count as an "Iran tweet" would it not? I'm not saying that there weren't a lot of them. I AM saying that there were likely not 221,000 tweets coming from INSIDE of Iran during that magical hour cited there.

Staying with the category of "More Misleading Statistics": "In one day, 3,000 Iranian videos were uploaded on YouTube, and 2.2 million blog entries were posted." Blog entries in general about Iran? I can believe that. Do you know how many freaking "bloggers" there are out there? A gazillion. And bloggers will write about damned near anything that they want to. Why? Because they're bloggers! That's what they do! It doesn't mean they know what they're talking about, and it certainly doesn't mean that they even had a blog "entry" that was anything of substance. (I'm still looking for the number of blog entries on Michael Jackson death day. The only point in that being that it doesn't matter what the news story is, it's going to get blogged about and 2.2 million might seem like a lot at the time, but it also might seem like nothing when you compare it to a dead Jackson.)

He says that "Although we don't know how the uprising in Iran will end....Twitter and other social media outlets have become the soft weapons of democracy." I'd agree with the part about how we don't know how the Iran deal is going to turn out. Oh, wait a minute. Yes we do. I'm A Dinner Jacket will continue to be the President. Protesters will continue protesting until they realize that they're going to get their heads kicked in if they do. The uprising became a "downsinking" when the government cracked down and cracked some heads to quell the protests. It worked well. I don't advocate that approach, by the way. I'm just saying that's what happened, that was the outcome and I'm A Dinner Jacket is still in control We DO know how it will turn out. It's turned out already! It's over. Twitter isn't going to change the political system of Iran.Tweet that!

By the way, there are serious uprisings in China right now, with at least 140 people killed by the government and over a thousand arrested during some riots that have been building up for a while now. And just like the situation in Iran, the pictures and the videos and the Tweets are coming in on Twitter. So how come we aren't hearing about China the way that we were hearing about Iran? I just said that there were Tweets! Is is broken? No, of course not. But Twitter itself isn't responsible for anything is my point. People pay attention to what they want to pay attention to, regardless of if it's Tweeted (or is it twat? No, no! Definitely NOT "twat"!) or not. And right now, we're busy paying attention to a dead singer. You're on your own China. You too, Twitter. You're on your own and you're not getting a Nobel Prize. That's ridiculous. That'd be like someone suggesting Al Gore get a Nobel Prize. Ha! Like that would ever happen!

::: sigh ::::

Twitter is NOT worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize. Have those Google boys gotten a Nobel Prize for The Google? No? Not yet? Well, when that happens (which will likely be never. And it probably should be never.) let me know and then we'll talk about Twitter. Or tweet about it. Or something. Twitiots.

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