I have asked many friends to explain to me the charms of social media. I use these services, but I’ve never quite understood their appeal. Is it all idle gossip? A way to keep in touch? A harmless distraction, like BuzzFeed, or Weird Al?
To understand the role of social media in society, we have to understand how social media are understood. We need to analyze how different actors and organizations see and think about technology, the forms of knowledge that people draw on as they make sense of, develop, and use social media. Central among these is bullshit.
While erasure was once a rare technique, often used tacitly by writers who expected readers to recognize their intertextual references or to hear in the text’s language an appropriated voice, it has now become so common as to prompt scholar and poet Craig Dworkin to say “I hope I never see another.” Our answer, of course, is to automatically produce a tremendous number of erasure poems, corresponding to every page on the World Wide Web, in the interest of opening up a worl in this tangled network.
At first I couldn’t put a finger on why this six-legged dance looked so odd- until I realized that when one moves, so do the others, and when one pauses, so do the others- but all in different directions. It’s a cohesive, start-and-stop movement that I haven’t seen before in any animal.