Saturday, 12 March 2011

Twitter: antidote needed

Curiosity finally overcame scepticism and I created a Twitter account. I've spent far too much time there in the past few days, looking for needles in that enormous haystack with limited success only. But though the quantity of tweets is overwhelming, their lifespan is short. Information on yesterday's earthquake in Japan came in a tsunami of tweets, each one contributing a drop to the wave then disappearing forever into irrelevance.

So as an antidote to the cult of now on Twitter, I spent some time tonight using the Internet as a window to the past. I recently heard the story of Vivian Maier, a nanny in Chicago who died in 2009. During her lifetime she took thousands of photographs of street scenes but showed them to no-one. They were discovered at an antique auction and they're just stunning. See the John Maloof collection, the Jeffrey Goldstein collection and the introductory article in The Guardian.

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