Arpith Siromoney 💬

Expressing Something New

Deb Roy’s talk at TED this year, where he describes how he and his collaborators analysed the way his son learned words.

And what we found was this curious phenomena, that caregiver speech would systematically dip to a minimum, making language as simple as possible, and then slowly ascend back up in complexity. And the amazing thing was that bounce, that dip, lined up almost precisely with when each word was born – word after word, systematically.

A great example of this resonance is Sarah Kay’s incredibly powerful talk–again, at TED–on spoken word poetry. We’re at a point where online interaction is increasingly real-world centric, and constellational thinking is actively encouraged by the availability of data.

Very obviously, then, Twitter coverage of the earthquake spikes within the first hours of the event, at nearly 7500 tweets/hour – this is the phase when locals and more distant onlookers alike are likely to be tweeting and retweeting the first reports in order to get the news out; a very clear illustration of what Alfred Hermida has called Twitter’s ‘ambient journalism’ role: it may lie dormant for most of the time, but it’s there when you need it.

Feels like something new.