“I tweet, therefore I am”

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If I don’t tweet, does it mean that I do not exist?   I am stepping into the 21st Century and learning to communicate in a new way, by using the application Twitter.   This amazing form of communication lets me know about weekly specials at the local supermarket and keeps me informed of the minute by minute updates of this century’s first peaceful revolution occurring on the other side of the planet (Egypt).  Our written form of communication has gone from handwritten letters describing events which occurred over months or years to a single 140 character entry jettisoned out into cyberspace and connected to thousands in nanoseconds.  We are compelled to communicate with others to validate our existence in whatever form is available to us.  I guess this is why I feel the urge to “tweet”?

“I think, therefore I am.” Rene Descartes, 17th Century philosopher

I have just read Descartes’ Bones A Skeletal History of the Conflict between Faith and Reason by Russell Shorto (Doubleday, 2008).  Silly me, I thought it was a book about the physical provenance of the great philosopher’s bones. This book is great for non-scientific types who wish to get a crash course on the origin of modern (western) philosophy and the science which we see as true today.   Mr. Shorto reveals that M. Descartes’ ideas surrounding religion and the natural sciences are still relevant today. 

I wonder what M. Descartes would think of Twitter?

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7 Responses to “I tweet, therefore I am”

  1. As a philosophy major, I’d have to say that Descartes would love it. Now Nietzsche would probably think it too common — although his “God is dead” tweets would get a lot of RTs.

  2. Donna says:

    Like the first post. I believe Descartes would approve and possibly be honored. And I definitely think he would RT. Break out the champagne girl! You did it!

  3. Tamsey Audet says:

    I think, M. Descartes might think that we don’t have time to think.

  4. Sophie says:

    How are biographers going to be able to compile biographies of famous 21st century people in 50-100 years from now? Biographers used to rely on correspondance (i.e., letters) between a famous person and the other people in his/her life, in order to figure out what he/she was thinking and why. Nowadays, people “tweet” to communicate. Where are all of these “tweets” going to be in 50 years? Nowhere, because Tweeter will then no longer exist!!!

  5. Tamsey Audet says:

    Tweets are very spur-of-the-moment, off-the-top-of-the-head communiques. Letters, memos, diarys and such are usually more thought out and developed. I think a bio based in part or totally on tweets would be very different than one based on written corrrespondence. I wonder what the biography of Samuel Clemons (Mark Twain) would look like had he had Twitter technology.

  6. shominik says:

    I tweet and blog but I still enjoy writing thank notes by hand.

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