The Twitter paradox

Follow this, if you will.

A couple of week back I wrote a mostly tongue-in-cheek post titled "Why Twitter is Evil," in the form of a parody of "25 random things about me." Each of the 25 reasons was less than 140 characters long. It was not meant to be taken seriously, although as a subsequent post, "The problem with Twitter" laid out, I do have serious objections to the medium. Here's what happened:

That second post (the one where I explore the sociological consequences of tweeting and following tweets), included a reference to another blogger's disdain for the tweets of writers he otherwise respected, including Neil Gaiman.

Moments after posting that item, I checked my blog's traffic log. Beginning a few hours previous, it had gone through the roof, raising my daily hit count by more than an order of magnitude.

The culprit was none other than Neil Gaiman, who, earlier in the day had come across my first post (the Evil one) and tweeted it. Gaiman has 285,116 followers on Twitter, it turns out. And hits from his tweet are still coming. I swear, when I wrote the second post, I hadn't even thought about Gaiman in more than a year (since giving up on his American Gods book after 75 pages.)

What am I to think? 1. If you blog long enough, crazy coincidences like that are bound to happen. 2. If only anything I wrote about climate change attracted as much attention.

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Speaking of C.C., here's a tangential question:

Can anyone here steer me to a solid* but layperson-friendly debunking of the various chemtrail/climate "theories"?

* 141 bytes or larger...

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 24 Apr 2009 #permalink

Pierce: the various chemtrail/climate "theories"

That's a new one to me. Can you elaborate?

James: If only anything I wrote about climate change attracted as much attention.

You can always pull a "non-skeptical heretic" and post nothing but attacks on mitigation if attention is your goal. Look how it's worked so far for certain political scientists...

thingsbreak - a political listserv I manage has recently been polluted by a chemtrails conspiracist. (I'm assuming here that you're at least familiar with the basic chemtrails position: that jet contrails are deliberately seeded with substances for various malign purposes, usually the doping of the population into political complaisance.)

Not at all surprisingly (at least if you know this person), the climate-related ideas are contradictory: some positing that particles are being dispersed at high altitudes to increase planetary albedo, others that the intent is to accelerate warming.

This URL will take you to a sample of this thinking, complete with a sciencey graph: www.carnicom.com/gwmodel.htm. I'd prefer to use the one link per comment that passes the sciblogs spam filter to promote a chemtrails skeptic.

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 25 Apr 2009 #permalink

Badger3k - thanks for the links, and for disproving the one-link-per-comment rule I had thought applied to the entire sciblogs realm.

A quick scan (between offline interruptions) indicates that none of your quartet say much about chemtrails & weather/climate (or about the purported chemical shower that somehow alters our behavior, either).

Given that the claims of chemtrailers are so vague, debunkers don't have much to chew on, but it would be fun to see estimates on, say, how much the price of barium would have to rise if x tons/day were being dispersed as aerosols.

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 25 Apr 2009 #permalink