A conversation on iChat, beginning at 11:52 AM on September 24, 2013:
a weird thing happened on the internet today and i was thinking it’d be fun to try and explain it to you and publish our conversation
would you be willing to participate?
sure it is lunch time have a go
okay first remind me the degree to which you understand what twitter is
ah…it is a form of communicATION IN WHICH THE TOTAL NUMBER OF CHARACATERS in a post is limited
why are you shouting
my dead pinky slipped and I was too lazy to retype
and one can choose to follow the tweets produced by a given tweeter or twitterer or search subjects of interest more or less correct?
yeah, more or less so if you have a twitter account, you follow other accounts, and all the stuff those accounts say merges into one constantly updating feed
ok a continually renewed stream of waste
for the most part but one could follow news organizations, or people they find entertaining, or whatever so as with anything on the internet, there is twitter spam i don’t personally understand quite how this works, but there are accounts that are almost totally autonomous and tweet random bullshit at you sometimes or not necessarily at you. sometimes they just broadcast random bullshit, often loosely resembling ad copy in the same sort of garbled english you’d see in a spam email
rather like the ubiquitous viagra emails?
sure now, sometimes people discover that these robo-spammy accounts are kind of charming in their own way because the auto-generated mush is strangely poetic
I suppose that could be though it seems unlikely
well, one account in particular had this quality or has it’s called Horse_ebooks and its twitter avatar thing is a horse and it updates every once in a while with stuff like:
what is a twitter avatar
just a picture associated with the account like your little rose picture on your ichat account
ok got it
so horse_ebooks tweets stuff like: How many times have you wished you were strong enough to concentrate your mind, AND BURNED BY UNSCRUPULOUS BUSINESSES MORE TIMES interspersed with weird ad links and even though it is apparently a robot spitting out mashed up bits of copy it found on the internet, it gained a lot of followers because it has an eerie poetic quality
I am unmoved by the poetry
your roses. Realize that rain water Crumbs I ve got I ve got I ve got I ve got I ve got I ve got I ve got I ve got I ve got I ve got I ve got I ve got to me. I ve got I ve got I ve
are you reproducing their stream or have you been clubbed senseless?
copying and pasting tweets well anyway 213,000 people follow that account
I am often puzzled by popular tastes
well, it’s sort of an ironic thing, but i can see the charm
There are so many beautiful things in the world produced with skill and effort
it’s interesting, in theory, to see what randomly generated text looks like, even though the origin and construciton of this text wasn’t really consistent WELL on that note
why would anyone intentionally monitor a nonsense strem?
i guess because it’s funny but to your previous point: it came out today, in a new yorker story by susan orlean of all people that at some point in 2011, a human actually took over that account
yes so she reported that two people, i think one of them a buzzfeed employee actually took over that account somehow in 2011 and have been writing what appear to be randomly generated robo messages
and now intentionally produce nonsense that is supposed to look like random content?
correct with occasional ad links to maintain apparent authenticity
weird internet art project but people on the internet are very disappointed to learn it was a person it sounds like it started as a real robot, but then it got popular and someone found a way to get access, i guess by talking to whoever set it up in the first place which was apparently some guy in russia
I can’t begin to imagine why 1) anyone was interested in the first place 2) why anyone then made the effort to subvert the process 3) why anyone cares now but then I am perennially out of step with the rest of the universe
well, you followed the explanation, which is probably more than could be said of the average momlady
It s clear to me that I am not an average momlady
you are an exceptional momlady
but seriously i’d rather watch paint dry then read a nonsense stream looking for bits of sense
The quote, from Henri Nouwen’s Bread for the Journey,continues: ”The sorrow overwhelms us, makes us throw ourselves on the ground, face down, and sweat drops of blood. Then we need to be reminded that our cup of sorrow is also our cup of joy and that one day we will be able to taste the joy as fully as we now taste the sorrow.” Henri Nouwen was a Catholic priest and writer about spirituality.
AIC on the Air presents a special episode featuring AIC’s Chief Academic Officer and proud University of California—Berkeley alumnus, William Mock. Education Consultant and Columbia alumnus Henry Zhang interviews William about the changes to the Common Application.
How is the extracurricular activities section different this time around? What happened to the “short answer”? What are the new topics (yes, there are new topics!) for the personal statement? William and Henry discuss what these changes are, and what they mean for students applying to college this year.
Stream AIC on the Air from your computer, or download our podcast episodes on your smartphone to listen on the go. Follow our Tumblr blog for new podcast episodes as well as podcast worksheets featuring highlights and vocabulary. For the month of August, there will be a new episode of AIC on the Air every Sunday evening, so stay tuned!
Note to self: enunciate and speak in a deeper voice.
AIC proudly announces AIC on the Air, our podcast series to keep students informed with college advice and entertained with interesting conversation. New podcast episodes will be released every other Sunday at 8:11 pm, 8:18 pm, 8:25 pm respectively on 8/11, 8/18, 8/25. A vocabulary exercise accompanying each podcast will be released on Mondays and can be downloaded from our Tumblr at http://aic-edu.tumblr.com/.
This week’s first podcast features AIC on the Air Host and AIC Beijing Education Consultant Lynda Zhang as she discusses with the similarities between American boarding schools and liberal arts colleges with AIC’s High School Scholars of the Future Program Founder Nick Daen. During his recent business trip to Zhengzhou, Nick visited the Shaolin Temple. He shares his impressions about his schooling experience as well as about Chinese culture in this episode.
We hope you enjoy the news and stay tuned for next week’s episode!
“To the extent there is a lesson from the events in Sanford, Florida, it is that the U.S. is at once a country that can twice elect a black president and one in which the most reductive stereotypes can drive public policy. It tells us the presumption of innocence applies to a defendant in a courtroom but not to a black teenager walking home in the rain. In short, it tells us absolutely nothing we didn’t already know.”—Jelani Cobb (via theatlantic)
“George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, igniting a national debate on racial profiling and civil rights, was found not guilty late Saturday night of second-degree murder. He was also acquitted of manslaughter, a lesser charge…
The shooting brought attention to Florida’s expansive self-defense laws. The laws allow someone with a reasonable fear of great bodily harm or death to use lethal force, even if retreating from danger is an option. In court, the gunman is given the benefit of the doubt.”
In other words, the Stand Your Ground law gives you the licence for murder: carry a gun with you, racially profile someone with dark skin, provoke a confrontation, get punched in the process, shoot that person dead, argue self-defense to a jury of your peers, not your victims’. Such bullshit.