Monday, 23 March 2009

Is this a spoof?

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Hot news off the wires: it is Twitter that has wrecked Western capitalism. Nothing to do with Bernie Madoff, or AIG, or the insane derivatives guys, or Fred the Shred (sorry, I should say Sir Fred the Shred). It was Twitter, you dolts, not complete lack of regulation or hedge funds run mad or raw human greed. Do keep up at the back.

Now, I have been as blindly rude about Twitter as the next girl, although I am starting to come to the conclusion that it may be in fact a miracle of modern science, but this does seem to me a Step Too Far. And call me old-fashioned, but when you read a headline that says 'Economist blames Twitter' do you not hear the wailing of distant alarums? Apart from the delicious Paul Krugman, who is right about everything, most economists did not see any of this coming. They wrote their learned articles in their impenetrable jargon, wallowing joyfully in their endogenous macroeconomic growth theory, when they should have been saying, in plain English: slicing and dicing dodgy mortgages and selling them on as investments that almost no one understands is never going to end well. I'm just saying.

Interesting sidebar on my blogging learning curve and how it all works:
My plan for today (because one must always have a plan) was to write about fireplaces. I took the dogs out into the shiny, windy, Scottish morning, and ran into a man who builds fireplaces for a living. He knows everything about brick and flues and how fires draw, and gave me a fine lesson in the mysteries of flame and smoke. He had tough working hands, and the faraway gleam in the eye of someone who does something really, really well. I was struck by the absolute satisfaction that comes with expertise.

But then I found I had a new follower on Twitter, who linked to the economics article. I found that the kooky story about some crazed economist making statements (as my old dad likes to say) was of more urgent interest. Either this proves that professor Susan Greenfield is right, and the evil interweb is teaching us all to have the attention span of gnats. Or it shows that the blogosphere encourages a supple mind that can, like a Daisy Ashford hero, ride off in all directions at once. Dear Readers, you decide.

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