4 Oct, 12 | by Iain Brassington
Questions to which the Answer is Eh? What are you on about? No, really: what?, part 2: Should people who live-tweet conferences be thrown out and barred from future conferences?
[A]nyone who live-tweets a conference should be immediately disinvited from the event, and any future ones.
He elaborated later:
The medium of twitter is not suited to discursive reasoning or extended analysis or argument. But philosophy presentations contain discursive reasoning and extended analysis and argument. Therefore a twitter version of a talk will necessarily mutilate it. Since mutilation of someone’s work has no value, people who attend a conference should have the courtesy not to try to tweet the talks. If they do not have that courtesy, they should be thrown out. There may be fields where presentations lend themselves to tweeting; on that issue, I’m agnostic. But philosophy isn’t one of them.
The first sentence (I’d call it a premise, but that seems to overrate it) of this is possibly true, but not obviously so. For sure, you can’t get much into a single tweet, but a succession of tweets is capable of generating serious discussion. There’s not room for nuance – but that might mean simply that you’re forced to cut to the chase. Thus, though the second sentence is probably true, the third is false.
The claim about courtesy bears a bit more scrutiny. more…