The Wisdom of Crowds Is Not the Being-Wise-Enough-to-Know-When-to-Shut-Up Kind of Wisdom (or: Yeah, What IS Up With Keanu Reeves?)

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Jan. 14 2011 3:33 PM

The Wisdom of Crowds Is Not the Being-Wise-Enough-to-Know-When-to-Shut-Up Kind of Wisdom (or: Yeah, What IS Up With Keanu Reeves?)

Twitter! Can we pause for a second and discuss something? Of course we can't. People are too busy insta-publishing the noise inside their heads to talk. But, please, look. This collective enterprise has a problem, which is in fact the entire problem of the

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era of communications, neatly distilled to its essence (Twitter!).



When you click on one of the "Trending Topics" nowadays, because you see [THING X] listed and you wonder why it's there (sudden death? Startling personal revelation? Indiscreet use of Twitter? Prank? Collaboration with Justin Bieber?), all you get is a whole batch of posts from people saying, "Hey, why is [THING X] in the Trending Topics?"



OK, that's a funny self-reinforcing phenomenon, kind of, briefly. Whatever the original reason was, now the reason something is a Trending Topic is that it's a Trending Topic. It's like culture-jamming-jamming. But the upshot is that Twitter—in its mass-aggregated form—is getting too stupid (or, more precisely, too ignorant) to inform or entertain. Or it does get entertaining, but in the

:


Oi Keanu Reeves, Alicia Silverstone and Dave Grohl are trending. It must be the 90s again woop!

Alicia Silverstone, Keanu Reeves & Dave Grohl are trending & there's no time to pull over my Dodge Neon & stop drinking Zima to find out WHY

haha wow Keanu Reeves and Alicia Silverstone are trending!

Keanu Reeves, Alicia Silverstone and Dave Grohl are trending. Is it 1995?

Keanu Reeves, Dave Grohl, and Alicia Silverstone are all trending. Welcome to Twitter '95.

Alicia Silverstone, Keanu Reeves, and Dave Grohl are trending. I feel like Twitter found a wormhole to the 90's.

Dave Grohl and Keanu Reeves are trending. It's like going back in time to the 90's.

Alicia Silverstone, Keanu Reeves and Dave Grohl are trending. Is it just me or are we back in 1996?

Keanu Reeves and Alicia Silverstone is trending... so this is what it feels like to have Twitter in 1994.

Etc.! Thanks for sharing.


Tom Scocca is the managing editor of Deadspin and the author of Beijing Welcomes You: Unveiling the Capital City of the Future.

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