Rasma Says

Musings, deliberations, flashes of unaccounted for brilliance…

You Might be Interested in This…

I am slowly, surely and not too reluctantly joining the online world. As many of you know, I committed FB suicide a few years ago, and have not yet been tempted to ressurect myself there. Anytime I come across an application that wants me to sign in via FB, or share a link via FB, I now look for the other blue and white brand logo-twitter.

I am enjoying my split-twitter-identity of rasmahaidri (writer, literary or at least literate person) and rasmateaching (engaged in the work of bringing literacy to others). It was freeing to realize I could Sybilize my online-being, and that indeed it was an acceptable and somewhat common practice. Just today I saw a tweet from someone, can’t recall who – uh oh what does that say about me – saying they were “between twitter identities for the moment”. It obviously meant, “don’t expect me to write much here, I might be writing somewhere else, or not at all.”

What was most freeing about @rasmateaching was it is a receptical for all the news articles I stumble  across that I want to be able to refer to in my teaching, either for my own research or to have students read. I have the equivalent version of this in my office, old piles and binders full of printed copies of articles I “might someday use”. I usually don’t get around to reviewing them in time to use them. But about this time of year, when I should be cleaning my desk and myriad bookshelves, I find them and think – oh that! – gotta use it next year.

I am somewhat kidding, but the essence of my self-depricating assessment is true. Now, the wonder of twitter is that I can with a few clicks send the interesting articles to my twitter account, and tell my students to look for them there. I don’t know if with time those links will be dead and the articles no longer accessible, but by that time – hint, hint – you probably aren’t going to use them anyway.

Eventually, if all goes as planned, my office will unclutter and my rat-pack approach to research will be safely stored in the vast confines of cyberspace. I have insider information that the NSA server stored in the hills or caves of Utah has an unthinkable capacity for storage – so there is nothing to feel guilty about in cluttering it up.

But this isn’t what I was going to talk about.

What prompted the headline for this entry is a complaint I have about this ridiculous and even offensive way in which the media tracks us on twitter. I click on a tweet from Slate, a serious news source, about the Sundanese Christian who might be beheaded because she married a Muslim and won’t denounce her own religion, and anyway the state doesn’t allow you to convert to Islam… you know the case. Tragic, outrageous, lucky for her the world is watching – thanks to the Internet – and perhaps that will help her plight.

An interesting and important article. What I DON’T want to find at the bottom of it under “related stories” is “Whales and Dolphins Can Only Taste Salt”. That is a related story? That is something the spycrawler cookie eating search-and-survey intelligence has found out I might want to read?

I am grateful for the way tweets will lead me from one interesting topic to another, and give me news I might not otherwise have seen. But the technique is far from perfect. Internet: I don’t want your recommendations. Leave me alone to think my thoughts when I come to the end of an article.  Stay the froot out of my head and away from my screen.



This entry was posted on 02/06/2014 by in Uncategorized and tagged .


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