A collection of distilled sarcastic wisdom, numerous photographs, discussions of books and stuff to learn and more stuff to think about from a retired economics professor turned blogger and photographer.
A hymn the Mormons sing contains the words "angels above us are silent notes taking, of every action, do what is right." Turns out the Library of Congress is taking over the role of the angels, or maybe the Library intends to forward the good stuff they learn right on up to those nosy angels who presumably are recording "EVERY action."
Great news this morning as the announcement comes forth that the Library of Congress is going to analyze the Twitter Tweets. You think your Twitter tweets vanish into thin air? No more. They are becoming etched in the annals of the Library of Congress. So if you run for President in ought-20, your opposition can look up all the nasty things, irrelevant inanities, irrelevant snippets of wisdom, etc., etc. that you are currently Tweeting on your Twitter account. Is it possible that some busybody LOC (Library of Congress) staffer will run across this Tweet on my Twitter account, and put me on the bad, bad, bad list for making fun of their newly found pastime? Talk about listening in on party lines to get the dirt, nothing will be sacrosanct from now on. You put it out there in cyberspace, it orbits around the universe forever, possibly even picked up by Martians and people from other planets. As you can see, the possibilities are endless. Meanwhile, have you had any bad thoughts or actions yet today that the angels are writing notes on or Tweets that the LOC techies are tittering over (almost couldn't resist the cornpone of writing tittering over your Twittering, but that is too much for a Ph.D. in economics to even think about). But then this is a dull morning, filled with vacuuming, floor mopping, and other glorious activities relegated to retired economics profs. Have a nice day.
As I am sure you must be aware by now, in the interests of staying abreast of modern technology, the Professor overcame his initial aversion to Twittering and Tweeting and is now Tweeting merrily away under the Twitter name of Econ 110. Lately, he has been offering a nonstop economics quiz posing questions for the Ph.D economics orals exam such as "How would you solve the economic problems that have accumulated over decades in the next 60 days or less?" If you cannot come up with an excellent answer to this question, complete with IS-LM curves, mathematical equations, supply and demand, forecasts for the future, etc., etc., you will be deemed unworthy to be turned loose in a classroom of lovely freshmen anxious to learn everything you learned in four years of grad school in two or three lectures.
For his efforts, the Professor now has all of 52 followers, each of whom seems anxious to expand their knowledge of economics. This total falls a tad short of the 2 million followers Ellen DeGeneres has, or even the 1.5 million that President Obama has. But 52 is 52. That is 51 more than the one person I have around the house here who is tired of listening to my rants, complaints, whines, and stupid comments. So don't knock it.
Twittering is great. Sound off in 140 characters. Then you're done, for the moment. But we are learning daily that Twittering is no joke. Twittering has become a lifeline in the chaos in Iran, an open portal that defies the ability of the government to squelch communications among people and with the outside world. Imagine what might happen for good, we hope, and not for ill, as other causes are taken up and as the global Twitterers seek to do good and bring about change for the better.
For many, or perhaps most of us, Twittering and Tweeting sounded like cutesy jokes and inane electronic chatter. Get over it. You might as well deal with Twitter. For a major feature on Twittering and its growing influence in the communications world, go here to this Time Magazine feature article. You might as well join in. Curiosity and incentives to keep learning communication methods let me to Twitter. Now I am a convert. Tweet tweet to you. Have a nice day.
Just to show you slow adopters of modern networking technology a thing or two, the website TimetoTweet.com referenced an article by Harvard Business School titled New Twitter Research: Men Follow Men and Nobody Tweets." According to Harvard researchers, 80% of Twitterers are followed by at least one user, whereas only 60-65% of other social networkers had at least one friend when their networks were at the same stage of development. Moreover, the average man was two times more likely to follow another man than a woman. But, however, get this: Over half of Tweeters tweeted less than once every 74 days. You can read the article here.
Yet, TimetoTweet.com reports that Ashton Kutcher has millions of followers. Demi must not have any chores for him to do around the house to enable that much spare time devoted to Tweeting. But at least Harvard Business School has dignified the Tweeting process with academic research.
Twittering is particularly adaptable to people with millions of gripes, information tidbits, gems of thought, pieces of advice, scholarly observations, and trivial gossip who can condense each thought to 140 characters or less. In this case, Twittering can become quickly addictive. Plus I have found a couple of dozen Twitters extremely useful in finding links to Photoshop techniques, blogging ideas, digital camera stuff, photography, and other topics. I have Twittered for three days now and have the magnificent sum of 35 followers, a few less than Ashton's millions. You might as well get over your aversion and get on the Twitter bandwagon. Don't be a fuddy-duddy, Twittering is the future.
The Curmudgeonly Professor embarked on a quest to learn all about Twittering and Tweeting the other day and here is what he learned. A Tweet is a message no longer than 140 characters on a Twitter account. A Twitter account is what allows one to Tweet. It all sounds phenomenally silly, and much of Twitter is, indeed, inane and silly. But the Twitter world is also a world of serious information from news sources, well known authors and journalists, techies, sports gurus, and innumerable other sources. By following other Twitter accounts, it is possible to unearth numerous valuable tidbits of information, many of which are linked to other websites. I was amazed at how many well known and reputable public figures and information sources are on Twitter and, of course, the Twitter world grows by the minute. So while the Professor was wont to make fun of Twitter at the start, he has since repented and suggests that Twitter is, in fact, an activity worth undertaking. I am following about 20 Twitter accounts and have the magnificent sum of 8 followers who follow every golden word that I Tweet. Twittering can be a big waste of time or a stop of a few minutes or less to check the Twitters you are following. Three cheers for the brilliant college dropouts who invented another milestone in the world of social and global interconnections. You can either continue to think that Twittering is silly, a reaction largely due to the silly-sounding terms of Twittering and Tweeting, or you can learn something new and potentially useful by playing around with it a bit yourselves. Go to Twitter.com. Even a five-year old can manage it. Consider a Twitter account a mini-blog where you are forced to shut up when you have run up 140 spaces and characters. A worthy limitation for the Curmudgeonly Professor who tends to run on and on and on.
Yes folks, within the hour the Curmudgeonly Professor acquired two followers. One of them could not be accessed due to, as the Twitter folks said, nasty activity, and was thus deleted. The other is a canned news stream which indicated that it wished to follow my pronouncements.
I have nothing to do today and my wife will not accompany me to WalMart, Kohl's, Costco, or even to Carl's Junior for the $1.29 stupendous hamburger. Thus, I have thought up a little game. We all need a little game now and then. I challenge all my blog readers to sign up for Twitter at Twitter.com and let us see how many inane Twitterers we can install by 12:00 p.m. today. What a novel idea! I need to know each and every detail of my blog readers' lives. So get with it. Sign up and stick a Tweet on it. Don't be a fuddy duddy. This task is urgent so don't fool around. A prize may be awarded to the person who sticks up the 100th Twitter account and the 100th Tweet, but don't count on it. You will, at least, be famous on this blog. At least play the game to humor the Curmudgeonly Professor or he will quit posting pictures of flowers and start writing political commentary.