National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation revisited civil discourse today. Of course front and center in that discussion is Representative Joe Wilson. This isn't about him, however.
A caller spoke for what seemed an eternity and managed to string together an impressive collection of cliches. So loosely connected were the ideas that it seemed (and maybe it was) an advertisement for Bing. Thoughts mingled as they do and I came to ponder two things. One is the challenge of how many cliches can one fit into 140 characters?
On a more important note what is the role of twitterism in the devolution of dialogue? I use Twitter a lot (and chances are you got here from a link on Twitter). But we've progressively favored shorter and shorter communications. As instant messaging, already frequently abbreviated, yields to Twitter how does the 140 character limit impact our society? You lie, fits in a 140 character limit. A nuanced and considered discussion of what makes our lives better does not.
Before the screams come, I'm not dissing Twitter. I'm not suggesting it should go away. It's not that I don't get it. It is a question of what is the impact of a technology that makes a 30-second television ad seem like a tome.