Invitation to join an experimental social media community

September 08 2015

I like The Listserve so much that I made something a lot like it, a Twitter account: @TheTweetserve.

It's a bot. Here's how it works:

* Follow @TheTweetserve to see what it's posting.

* Mention @TheTweetserve to join the retweet lottery. Every few hours it retweets one of the last 200 people who mentioned it and follow it.

If this sounds a little complicated, it's because I would like @TheTweetserve to respect your privacy. You only get retweeted if you BOTH follow and have mentioned @TheTweetserve.

Besides that, two books that are very underrated in my opinion are The Ethics of Ambiguity, by Simone de Beauvoir and Dictionary of the Khazars, by Milorad Pavić.

Here's something I learned recently that I wish I had understood better a long time ago:

The world is full of belief systems that people have written down. I've spent a lot of time trying to solve the question of what to believe by solving the riddle posed by those writings.

I would read one thing, then try to find where it contradicts something else, and so on. Same with the ideas and values people would tell me. I would go out of my way to find more and different people to collect new ideas and try to fit them into the jigsaw puzzle with all the other ideas.

I don't recommend doing this. It is based on an incorrect assumption that words mean something when removed from their context. This is especially a problem with all the words on the Internet. What's the context? Who knows?!

Words happen because they are tools to hold particular social contexts together. Their meaning is situated. And the beliefs they express are habits of behavior suitable to a context. It's the easiest thing in the world to take ones beliefs and misapply them out of context.

I'm not saying there is no Truth. I still think there is. It's just that the more you know about it, the less there is to say.

I came to this conclusion *after* I designed and built @TheTweetserve. It's ironic, actually, to have this opportunity to tell you both about the bot and the reason why its design is fatally flawed. Maybe you will find it as entertaining as I do.

I wish you all the very best in life.

Sebastian Benthall
Berkeley, CA

comments powered by Disqus