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A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

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Interesting stuff. This has increased my knowledge of tweeting by leaps and bounds, but I think it is not for me. I find comments on threads often too fast and furious to keep up with, so I'd be left trailing way behind in a twittering about anything. It also doesn't appeal in the slightest to have the daily thoughts of sundry alarmists and their apologists sprinkled on my computer screen. But others are obviously coping with that, and doing good works despite it! I can imagine it must sharpen up people's debating skills though - pointed pithiness and all that.

Thank you Richard for this glimpse into another world.

I'm not going to join it but I am pleased to learn that it seems to be helping the forces of light engage with the great darkness being spread over the world by those purporting to be most agitated about a certain molecule, a molecule whose impact is so beneficial to life that it would be good to have more of it in the air.

May 19, 2013 at 9:31 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

My last comment seems to have stopped this particular conversation dead in its tracks. Reminds me of what can happen at a social gathering if you reply 'statistician' to the 'what do you do?' question.

Anyway, nostalgia apart, here is an example of a twitter exchange which I think does credit to Richard Betts, an occasional visitor to the Cathedral of Climate Reason that is Bishop Hill: Rankexploits

Basically, he makes it clear that he does not like the term 'denier' in the climate context, and challenges some Twitterer to say what he means by it. He gets a peculiar reply that shows that some Twitterers at least are a few crumbs short of a birdtable picnic. Which might explain why they cheep so much.

May 25, 2013 at 3:46 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

John, sorry not to reply to your previous, which I appreciated greatly, as I have your Moral and Intellectual Poverty of Climate Alarm by the way - something much needed to be said and explored.

I've got back into Twitter recently and find again that it has real rewards, both in the climate area and in the abstruse subset of technology more relevant to my bread and butter. One has to go with the rhythm of the massive flow of tweets though, facing up to the fact that there is loads one will miss. Being at peace with not knowing but able to contribute 140 characters when insight seems to appear. A good proxy for being a balanced yet thoughtful human being. But not everyone has to subject themselves to this version of that discipline.

May 26, 2013 at 5:08 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

The current debate between Lucia and Jonathan Jones starting with the Doug Keenan Vs Met Office stuff is well worth a look. Kicked off by Richard Betts around 8:30 this morning, Lucia's Nuance hard on twitter when she got up captures some of the fun but you probably need to click around from there to get a real feel.

Jun 1, 2013 at 2:45 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

I now draw admiring attention to the interaction between Tamsin Edwards, Gavin Schmidt and Roger Pielke Jr from 6:06 PM today. I wanted to illustrate both a problem and a blessing with Twitter here. The link I've already given ends with Gavin only 16 minutes later and his very lame (to this reader):

@flimsin my example was not an analogy, but rather an counterpoint to your general claim.

The way I read it Tamsin wasn't ever making a general claim but one about her and Gavin's area, namely climate. But this interaction as represented by the wise programmers of Twitter-central has the virtue of showing the main, immediate flow of tweets without distraction.

But if you go to the fifth tweet in that series (Tamsin's 'wicked problem' one) and click on details underneath it - this is now Twitter tutorial time, with the great John Shade especially in mind! - you get a very different picture of the same conversation, where a chap called Steve Bloom from California chips in to support Gavin (as he thinks) over two hours later and someone called Richard Drake from London sees his chance and tries to respond in support of Dr Edwards. And in the process say what I really think about Gavin's lame ending the previous screen. But that is no longer visible. And indeed my thoughts may not be by tomorrow. Twitter reserves the right to re-interpret any conversation based on the tweet selected as its 'centre'. But I must say I think they do a mighty good job.

There's a whole lot to think about here. The medium is the message so Marshall McLuhan said but I think both levels here are well worth thought.

Jun 11, 2013 at 10:21 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Twitter has already made my statements in the previous comment well, previous. That's because Tamsin has herself got back involved I think. But, John, if you read this, you should try to master Twitter. I think. :)

Jun 11, 2013 at 10:45 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Sorry for messing up your tutorial! Mark Brandon or I are hoping to Storify today's long conversation - it's been fascinating.

Jun 11, 2013 at 10:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterTamsin Edwards

Well, I have lots I'd like to learn about Storify so that would be grand if you get around to it. Even if you don't, any reflections here or nearby would be incredibly valuable.

To illustrate the 'problem' with Twitter as the record stands right now, and resume my tutorial, if one starts with your original As a scientist I can estimate impact of what an action *does* but not whether it is *right* (which I always assumed was a reaction to something else by the way but that context was lost to me) ...

... anyway, your very helpful response to Steve Bloom of 10:34 PM

I never said it did. I'm sure you're familiar with the phrase?

is sitting down in the long stream and it's hard to work out to which tweet of Steve's you were responding. But clicking 'details' on that tweet - hey presto! - makes the situation and conversation crystal clear.

The lesson for folks like John Shade is to get good at what I call re-centering (is that paleo having an influence?) of a conversation through clicking on 'details'. Sometime that link is hidden, for instance by a picture Twitter wants to show you first. But it's always there in the end. Thus all tweets can become the centre and Twitter often changes the 'conversation' radically as they do.

And now I must end this gibberish or whatever it is. Great thread, whichever way one looks at it, Dr Edwards.

Jun 11, 2013 at 11:34 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Thanks again Richard. I am convalescing a bit just now after having been a bit ill, and I'm conserving energy so to speak by avoiding anything new to me! I have also managed to steer clear of golf and bridge so far, two other activities which I see are very addictive for many, just like tweeting.

Did you see this report of a hearing being interrupted by the woman chairing it deciding to respond to a tweet she had received? I got the impression that she was intent on de-railing it and distracting from whatever it was they were meant to be 'hearing' about, so perhaps she was not being batty so much as devious.

Jun 13, 2013 at 10:04 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Brilliant story thanks John. We want it all here, the good, the bad and the ridiculous. I hope you make a speedy recovery.

Jun 13, 2013 at 10:27 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Good. Glad you liked it. And thanks for the good wishes! I am doing well, enjoying each day being better than the previous one.

Jun 13, 2013 at 12:14 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade