Theses in tweetform (third series)


[first series, 2012]

1. The complexity of the medium is inversely proportional to the eloquence of the message.

2. Hypertext is a more conservative medium than text.

3. The best medium for the nonlinear narrative is the linear page.

4. Twitter is a more ruminative medium than Facebook.

5. The introduction of digital tools has never improved the quality of an art form.

6. The returns on interactivity quickly turn negative.

7. In the material world, doing is knowing; in media, the opposite is often true.

8. Facebook’s profitability is directly tied to the shallowness of its members: hence its strategy.

9. Increasing the intelligence of a network tends to decrease the intelligence of those connected to it.

10. The one new art form spawned by the computer – the videogame – is the computer’s prisoner.

11. Personal correspondence grows less interesting as the speed of its delivery quickens.

12. Programmers are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.

13. The album cover turned out to be indispensable to popular music.

14. The pursuit of followers on Twitter is an occupation of the bourgeoisie.

15. Abundance of information breeds delusions of knowledge among the unwary.

16. No great work of literature could have been written in hypertext.

17. The philistine appears ideally suited to the role of cultural impresario online.

18. Television became more interesting when people started paying for it.

19. Instagram shows us what a world without art looks like.

20. Online conversation is to oral conversation as a mask is to a face.

[second series, 2013]

21. Recommendation engines are the best cure for hubris.

22. Vines would be better if they were one second shorter.

23. Hell is other selfies.

24. Twitter has revealed that brevity and verbosity are not always antonyms.

25. Personalized ads provide a running critique of artificial intelligence.

26. Who you are is what you do between notifications.

27. Online is to offline as a swimming pool is to a pond.

28. People in love leave the sparsest data trails.

29.  YouTube fan videos are the living fossils of the original web.

30. Mark Zuckerberg is the Grigory Potemkin of our time.

[third series]

31. Every point on the internet is a center of the internet.

32. On Twitter, one’s sense of solipsism intensifies as one’s follower count grows.

33. A thing contains infinitely more information than its image.

34. A book has many pages; an ebook has one page.

35. If a hard drive is a soul, the cloud is the oversoul.

36. A self-driving car is a contradiction in terms.

37. The essence of an event is the ghost in the recording.

38. A Snapchat message becomes legible as it vanishes.

39. When we turn on a GPS system, we become cargo.

40. Google searches us.

Image: Abbey Studer.

6 thoughts on “Theses in tweetform (third series)

  1. Deborah

    26. Who you are is what you do between notifications.


    I guess I’m a weed puller, because that’s what I’m gonna go do now.

  2. Bruce Ducker

    Lovely: each line a conversation (L., from Latin com- “with” (see com-) + vertare, frequentative of vertere (see versus); obs.). Some suggested emendations:
    13- consider. Popular music survives without them.
    15- Is abundance the agent (there’s been little change in the quantity), or is access?
    20- Perhaps, for ‘oral’, ‘vis-a-vis’?
    Thank you. You’ve inspired the following doggerel:

    I long to be on Facebook
    To make a book of my face
    To show my heart of hearts
    And any other secret place
    I want to post my derrière
    Where everyone can see
    That though my end is near
    It shows the soul of me.
    Oh Wordsworth, do you wander
    Still lonely as a cloud?
    An email blast or twitter
    Will surely draw a crowd.
    I hope I’m soon a camera
    That snaps emotions loose
    And posts lubricious selfies
    In acts of selfie-abuse.

    –Bruce Ducker

  3. Ken


    #11 hit home for me – recently I unearthed from the attic an old shoe box full of written correspondence from 20+ years ago. Dozens of items saved from a long-ago era; some from overseas friends. A 10 page handwritten letter, or 5-line postcard…so much value in them as opposed to the +1 facebook like or the 140 char tweet response.

  4. Deborah


    This year I have determined to write really real letters to all my close friends and family. I have mailed off four so far. I include clippings or recipes, and a small watercolor that I have painted myself.

    It’s my small rebellion. . .


  5. Cindy Wolff

    Number 13 stands out for me. At 12 in. by 12 in., the album is a visual, tactile, as well as aural, experience. It leads me to see its relationship to number 5.

Comments are closed.