The 140 character limit of an utterance imposes a brevity that makes the tweeter get right to the point. Living within this harsh constraint you'll find SwamiRoberts or @swamiroberts on Twitter. The Swami began tweeting in 2010 when something became important enough to comment about.
While the Swami offers up opinions on many topics, most can be classified into the categories: Work, Wise, Love, Cash, Soul, Joke, Tech, Twitter and Food. These are the chapters of the book with insights onto each.
Language is a fascination of the Swami. Recently the phrase "throwing sheep" came to mean offering up a pointless or senseless comment. The Swami strives to avoid throwing sheep, but on occasion will refrain from seriousness. Often there is a serious side to the Swami and a truth inside the funny comment. The Love and Soul chapters are more serious than the other sections, although fans of Dilbert or Office Space will find the truths in the Work chapter familiar.
The world around us is the inspiration for the Swami. Here in Portland, Oregon food carts have exploded all over town. I just don't recall seeing very many before 2009, but now they are everywhere. One such food cart sold mini (small) sandwiches. Eating one such sandwich inspired the Swami tweet: "When you are very hungry eat a mini-sandwich and you will only be hungry."
2012 was the year that the ancient Mayans predicted as the end of the world, or at least some kind of apocalypse happening. In the chapter Wise there are eleven apocalypse survival tips the Swami gives you. My favorite is tip number one: "Do not warn others about the coming apocalypse."
In the past it was only the court jester that could speak the truth safely to the king. Of course even the jester had to be cautious and was careful to conceal his insight with humor. Take the Swami in the same vein. There be truth in these tweets.
twisdom has an entire chapter on Twitter and while it's not exactly a course in manners, there are dos and don'ts -- not just for Twitter, but also for Facebook, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Google+ and any other social network. The Swami also has some thoughts on the differences between these social networks.
There are a few quotes in this book. Paul Bingman was a close personal friend who died in 2011. I really wish he was here to read this book, although he did read the Swami's tweets and had fun feedback. Paul's quote is "All you really have is your time and your attention." That was the philosophy of at least his later years, where Paul always strove to help others and do the good he could while also having some fun.
You might take the Swami in small doses. You might gorge your eyes and mind with a long good read. I find myself reading the Swami when I'm feeling lost or down and the Swami always picks me up a bit. Here's hoping the Swami lifts you to a higher self too.
Swami Roberts is the alter-ego of John R. Roberts, a long-time technologist and aspiring writer. In 2009 during a period of unemployment Roberts discovered Twitter, the perfect combination of technology and concise writing. The attraction was instant if the inspiration was not. What then to tweet? There are plenty of Twitterers who post every mundane aspect of their life, but what about someone reflecting on the higher meaning of life and the paradoxes we encounter every day.
This was the inspiration for writing something that someone else might want for read, even if only in 140 characters or less. Kind of a new form of graffiti, more transient, more ordered, but that same quality of random human expression. Yet with those constraints can something profound or funny or profoundly funny emerge? That is the idea of Swami Roberts.
On August 23, 2010 the first psychic tweet of @swamiroberts emanated out into the ether. The Swami has been emanating ever since.
As a reporter, commentator and blogger on mobile technology, I’ve collected what happened in the industry in 2015 and make predictions on what will and won’t happen in 2016.
You can read what did happen in the mobile technology in 2015. Often I deliver a comment with the news item and usually there is a link to the web page of the original announcement. This way you can dive into any detail level you desire, read my news feed for the overview or follow the related web link to the longer article.
History is moving so fast now that it is all recorded electronically, but I’m surprised no one else has collected it and presented it for consideration. Here is 2015 from the mobile technology industry for your consideration along with my own observations and opinions about where things are headed.
It’s often overlooked that the technology industry is an industry. By that I mean its main concerns are profit and growth. As consumers we love the new products and unique abilities we are gaining from technology, but it is a business akin to any other, trying to seduce us to pry money out of our wallets. So I cover the horse race aspect of the business, who’s up, who’s down. Is that changing? Is that likely to change?
The longer implications of what the technology industry is doing are vast and social. We are moving to an always on, always connected society where we can communicate with someone instantly and find an answer to any question quickly. The entire database of human knowledge is now available in the palm of your hand whenever you desire it. Everything is there, the good, the bad, right and wrong, hate and love, music and noise. We are obsessed with technology, not in and of itself, but as a means to an end. Technology is the means to satisfy our curiosity or even our desire for self-expression. We are taking photos machine gun-style with our smartphones and choose the few to share. As humans we are gathering ever more data about ourselves and sharing more about ourselves than we probably thought possible.
Bill Gates was once asked why the computer industry had generated so much improvement in its products over a relatively few years. He gave some boring answer about Moore’s Law, but the real answer is that computers are in their teenage years. They are growing and growing. They will not always do so. So too the technology industry is in a state of rapid change. I see the shift to smaller devices as a new paradigm, smashing some businesses and growing others into giants. Their stories are here in the news.
In short here are predictions for what won’t and will happen in 2016 for the mobile technology industry, breakdowns of marketshare figures on the horse race aspect of the business, chapters on Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Blackberry, Amazon, Yahoo, news about social media giants Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, SnapChat and the carriers themselves Verizon, AT&T, Sprint andT-Mobile. You can also review my 2015 mobile predictions and see my track record on predictions.
Finally there are some essays on how all this mobile tech is figuring into our lives.
I’ve divided the news into the subjects it covers, but also put in the appendix all the news as it came out in chronological ordering. You can read the firehose of events in the appendix, or just read about one topic at a time in the earlier chapters.
But terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.
As Jenny says:
"Some people might think that being 'furiously happy' is just an excuse to be stupid and irresponsible and invite a herd of kangaroos over to your house without telling your husband first because you suspect he would say no since he's never particularly liked kangaroos. And that would be ridiculous because no one would invite a herd of kangaroos into their house. Two is the limit. I speak from personal experience. My husband says that none is the new limit. I say he should have been clearer about that before I rented all those kangaroos.
"Most of my favorite people are dangerously fucked-up but you'd never guess because we've learned to bare it so honestly that it becomes the new normal. Like John Hughes wrote in The Breakfast Club, 'We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.' Except go back and cross out the word 'hiding.'"
Furiously Happy is about "taking those moments when things are fine and making them amazing, because those moments are what make us who we are, and they're the same moments we take into battle with us when our brains declare war on our very existence. It's the difference between "surviving life" and "living life". It's the difference between "taking a shower" and "teaching your monkey butler how to shampoo your hair." It's the difference between being "sane" and being "furiously happy."
Lawson is beloved around the world for her inimitable humor and honesty, and in Furiously Happy, she is at her snort-inducing funniest. This is a book about embracing everything that makes us who we are - the beautiful and the flawed - and then using it to find joy in fantastic and outrageous ways. Because as Jenny's mom says, "Maybe 'crazy' isn't so bad after all." Sometimes crazy is just right.