Image: Is that Wacked/Bruce Marlin (Chicago).
According to Multiversity Comics (here), the Mother Ship has landed and Grant Morrison joined Twitter (here) on the 13th of October. This got me wondering about the tweets I saw in the past week that really captured (for me) how people are thinking about what is going on. In reviewing them beyond the constant reading flow that is normal for Twitter, the tweets produced a picture of the fractured landscape and fragmented reality that the Internet is constantly making out of discussions on various topics. The sense of the tweets comes not just from the single tweets themselves, but from the connections between tweeters, the reactions they have to one another's posts, and the retweets they make. Together, these messages form a loosely-knit lattice that creates a larger, collective meaning. But because Twitter is so dynamic, that form and meaning are constantly changing. It would be impossible to pin down or document, in a traditional historiographical sense, the general way tweeters are thinking about a certain range of topics at a given time. It could only be done by storing all the messages and sorting them with computer algorithms, analyzing them linguistically according to the use of certain words and the date. Is this how the history of our times and future times will be written in the distant future? Who will have access to the information amassed by sites like MySpace, Twitter and Facebook? And how will they analyze it? And with what tools? And how will that affect how future people understand our incredibly important era, the dawn of the Technological Revolution? Will the history of our present be written by the corporate ancestors of marketing and branding agencies? It's something that professional historians in the universities should contemplate.