#twecon 2013

The author of the blog “EPISTO!,” Matthew Dentith (HORansome), invited paper titles and abstracts for the 4th #twecon (a Twitter-based conference), which was held on May the 21st, 2013.

The brief for this tweet-based conference was open and thus any papers on any topic were accepted.

Details about the previous #twecon, including copies of the papers given at the conference, can be found here, here and here.


1. Papers may be no longer than 6 tweets in length (with one of those tweets being a compulsory title/byline).

2. Each tweet must be numbered.

3. Tweets may link to images, short video clips (less than thirty seconds in length), but cannot link to written material unless it is a link to a quote, further readings, et cetera.

You should not use a link in a tweet to get around the 140 character limit.

4. Each tweet must have the following tag: #twecon

The Conference Papers

Introduction – @HORansome

1. Introductory statement! – #twecon

2. Welcome to the 4th Annual, run-off-the-smell-of-an-oily-rag-which-is-on-fire #twecon. It’s good to be back.

3. We have twelve tweeters this year, most of whom are scientists or science-communicators. Humanities scholars beware! #twecon

4. Remember, presenters: only six tweets total (including title) per paper, and each tweet needs to include the hashtag #twecon

5. Papers will be archived here: https://www.mrxdentith.com/allembracing/allembracing/twecon/twecon-2013/ I’ll repost this throughout the con. #twecon

6. Usually I include a photo in the introductory remarks: here’s me pretending to be Cmdr. Hadfield: http://img.ly/uTF6 #twecon

7. As per usual, there is no schedule other than let’s try not to get in each other’s way. The con starts now, so get tweeting! #twecon

How Cats Get Famous on the Internet: Changing Approaches to Feline Celebrity – Andre Alessi

1. How Cats Get Famous on the Internet: Changing Approaches to Feline Celebrity – Andre Alessi #twecon pic.twitter.com/VoL6oDD8s2

2. In the early years of the Internet, cats became famous as context-free images: Happy Cat, Serious Cat, etc #twecon pic.twitter.com/oJ6Fh1OBRh

3. These images, still anonymous, combined with “LOLspeak” to create LOLcats which briefly became ubiquitous. #twecon pic.twitter.com/h719UA2kX5

4. The ubiquity of LOLcats led to the declining popularity of the form just as a new star was rising: Maru! #twecon pic.twitter.com/ek1LiJ0ekn

5. Maru and compatriot Shironeko developed cult followings, as did another cat: Tardar Sauce, or “Grumpy Cat” #twecon pic.twitter.com/nSRY537REt

6. This personality-driven celebrity is now being achieved by other “names” such as Lil Bub and Colonel Meow. #twecon http://t.co/7GYTQtMfRM

Post-disaster gardening: private commemorations and public art in Christchurch. – Cheryl Bernstein

1 “Post-disaster gardening: private commemorations and public art in Christchurch” #twecon

2 Following the 2011-12 quakes, Chch is a city in transition; in a strange limbo between the vanished past & an unknowable future. #twecon

3 The Garden City’s local soil conditions, so conducive to gardening, also produced liquefaction & widespread land & property damage #twecon

4 Transitional rituals have developed; new public works of art, made by communities dealing with sudden trauma & its aftermath. #twecon

5 Many of these aesthetic rituals involve flowers & plants; they range from memento mori (eg road cone vases) to guerrilla gardens #twecon

6 Gardening is helping to build a new city as people remake lost places, civilising wastelands w/ planter boxes & crocheted flowers. #twecon

Smells like books: Modern practices of book fetishisation – Donna Robertson

1. Smells like books: Modern practices of book fetishisation. Celebrations of the book as object are taking new forms. Kia ora #twecon

2. Found on the Web: quotes on books & reading, photos of bookshelves. Book worship is in full effect – varying from twee to ace. #twecon

3. Books smell good too & perfumes aim to bottle that FTW: Paper Passion, CB in the Library, Paperback. http://episodictable.wordpress.com/category/perfume/ #twecon

4. The project My ideal bookshelf turns favourite books into an illustration – and a definition of self. http://blog.idealbookshelf.com/ #twecon

5. In Sorted Books, artist Nina Katchadourian clusters books – titles create poetic & gnomic statements. http://www.ninakatchadourian.com/languagetranslation/sortedbooks.php #twecon

6. Blogs, art and projects that fetishise the book are in turn becoming books. To be a book, that is the answer. #twecon

It’s conspiracy theorists, not conspiracy theories, which might be the problem – @HORansome

1. It’s conspiracy theorists, not conspiracy theories, which might be the problem – #twecon

2. A common confusion is the conflation of the rationality of conspiracy theorising and the warrant of belief in conspiracy theories #twecon

3. Conspiracy theorising is taken to be a pathological activity even in cases where a given conspiracy theory turns out to be true. #twecon

4. Theorising about conspiracies produces conspiracy theories but the merit of such theorising is separate from that of the theories #twecon

5. It’s not clear that conspiracy theorising is a problematic activity; it all depends on the society the theorising takes place in. #twecon

6. Even so, worries about the psychology of conspiracy theorists should be separate from worries about whether conspiracies occur. #twecon

Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School : using marae based frameworks across the organisation – @librarykris

1. Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School : using marae based frameworks across the organisation. #twecon

2. Courses in various aspects of stagecraft. Tikanga Maori an essential part since 1989. Underpins a collaborative environment. #twecon

3.Has evolved into marae frameworks, more spec. te powhiri structure: matataki, karanga, whakatau, whaikorero, waiata, hongi, hakari #twecon

4. Framework underpins organisational culture. Application varies e.g. Powhiri (obviously!) + workshops (this section = karanga). #twecon

5. A polished expression of the concept e.g. harmonised waiata, less important than the action e.g. showing support to the speaker. #twecon

6. Enhances collaborative working environment – all working on concept, not expression. #twecon

“Sad Sylvia” The repression of literary women in the mid 20th Century – Pauline Dawson

1. “Sad Sylvia” The repression of literary women in the mid 20th Century #twecon

2. “There were women, they were there, I knew them, their families put them in institutions, they were given electric shock…” #twecon

3. “… In the ’50s if you were male you could be a rebel, but if you were female your families had you locked up.” Gregory Corso #twecon

4 Plath’s Bell Jar, sketches a disturbing portrait of repression of the nonconformist woman.Faces in the Water tells a similar tale.#twecon

5.While Sylvia donned the apparel of conformity it wore thin. Frame wrestled with the self & won. Society was forced to accept her. #Twecon

6. These women, voicing their inner selves, were subdued by society but with very different outcomes. Sad Sylvia is sad #twecon

Orgies and cannibalism in New Zealand. A shocking tale of widespread depravity – Siouxsie Wiles

Orgies & cannibalism in NZ. A shocking tale of widespread depravity #twecon 1/6

Meet Arachnacampa luminosa, the NZ glow worm. Its actually the larvae of a fly so should really be called the ”glow maggot’ #twecon 2/6

These beautiful larvae live suspended in a silken hammock from which they hang their deadly fishing lines #twecon 3/6

Glow worms are very territorial; build a hammock too close to a neighbour = fight to the death with the defeated maggot eaten #twecon 4/6

After spending a year as a maggot they pupate, emerging 2 wks later as a mosquito-like fly with one big difference – mouthless! #twecon 5/6

Living 3-5 days = sex, sex, sex! Lucky males can mate for up for 24h, while the unlucky try to get them off > all die exhausted #twecon 6/6

The rise and fall of Victorian postmodernist allure in 21st Century New Zealand – My Kiwi Outpost

1. The rise and fall of Victorian postmodernist allure in 21st Century New Zealand #twecon

2. Victorian thinking & institutions were transplanted 2 the colonies to inoculate the modernist idea of endless progress #twecon

3. The economic grounds of the “Victorian Pasifika” came to extinction after 100 years plus, not so the cultural/economical model #twecon

4. Fwd to 21st c. Victorian cities (Oamaru e.g.) depleted of a. economic activity b. cultural paradigms & therefore: c. people #twecon

5. Disregarding other cultural/economical models post Victorian NZ reiterates its past: The arise of steampunk as apocryphal success #twecon

6.TheUK embraced a new set of ideas related 2 a changing world environment. Is possible a future without steam guns or sheep herding?#twecon

Pleistocene Rewilding Possibilities in New Zealand – Mike Dickison

1. Pleistocene Rewilding Possibilities in New Zealand #twecon

2. The idea that extinct species could be replaced by “ecological surrogates” to help restore ecosystems is becoming popular. #twecon

3. In the USA, Pleistocene Re-Wilding advocates want to bring back not just wolves and bison but elephants and camels. #twecon

4. Suggestions that e.g. emu approx ≈ moa and could be trialled in native bush are knee-jerk rejected in NZ; no real discussion. #twecon

5. But some extinct species, like NZ quail, have nearly identical relatives elsewhere (Australian stubble quail): bring them back? #twecon

6. Surrogates are dodgier. Papuan Eagle: big, endangered, nests in ≈kauri, eats possums. Could NZ forests use an eagle again? #twecon

Interesting food-health associations: confounding or publication bias? – Thomas Lumley

1. Interesting food-health associations: confounding or publication bias? (with Brad Drayton) #twecon

2. Media reports food-health associations all the time. They must mostly not be real, but what are the major failure modes? #twecon

3. Publication bias, aka cherrypicking, means that chance associations get amplified by media Ken Ring #twecon

4. Confounding means that associations occur for unrelated reasons: as @bengoldacre says, people who eat healthy diets are weirdos. #twecon

5. We use NHANES survey data to replicate associations. Failure to replicate suggests publication bias rather than confounding #twecon

6. So far, PFOA and heart disease seems to be publication bias; tomatoes preventing depression seems to be confounding. #twecon

Testing times: what does effective classroom assessment look like in the 21st century? – Stephanie

1. Testing times: what does effective classroom assessment look like in the 21st century? #twecon

2. National standards & league tables are symptomatic of distrust by policy makers and community about the efficacy of assessment #twecon

3. Current assessment is moving away from teacher professional judgement. Does making assessment teacher-proof aid learning? #twecon

4. Assessment may seem more accurate when marked by a computer but lack of context diminishes the validity of results to an extent. #twecon

5. Knowing ‘where a child is at’ does not on its own help child move forward in their learning. What happens next is more important. #twecon

6. Standardised assessment has its place in education. However it should be as the servant of learning not the master. #twecon

Closing Ceremony – @HORansome

1. #twecon closing ceremony!

2. Well, that was grand, I think we can all agree. Eleven marvellous papers by eleven wonderful thinkers. Congrats all. #twecon

3. Thanks also to the people who attended #twecon, asked questions, retweeted and favourited tweets. No point running a con without you!

4. Were lessons learnt? Yes; more forewarning of #twecon seems necessary. I’m also still trying to work out how to make it more global.

5. As per usual, a photo of the organiser as a zombie (in a suit): img.ly/uUSq #twecon

6. So, that wraps up #twecon for this year. Slap on some pants and go to work!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.