Did you know that Twitter can make you smarter? It sounds incredible, but it’s true: social media can occasionally have a positive effect on our lives, enlightening and educating us.
If your news feed is anything like mine – stuffed with lolcats, porn and Kim Kierkegaard – this may come as a revelation. Twitter? Smartening up instead of dumbing down? That’s not what it was invented for! Like it or not however, Twitter is capable of being a force for good. Not much good admittedly, but enough to justify at least some of the hours you spend in front of that hypnotic rolling feed.
Hang on, didn’t EU recently blog about Twitter?
Yep, we sure did. And now we’re gonna do it again. It’s Friday and I can’t be arsed doing any work, so instead I’m gonna write some more frivolous nonsense about Twitter. That cool with everyone?
OK, minimise that GDoc you were pretending to tinker with and cast your gaze this-a-way: it’s #FollowFriday, a Twitter tradition that’s about to be presented in blog form, so that I can devote way more than 140 characters to praising these clever accounts.
To counteract the stupidity of last week’s Twitter list, here’s an intelligent one: a ying to its yang, an omega to its alpha, a Dustin Hoffman to its Tom Cruise.
The 10 Smartest Twitter Accounts1. Bret Easton Ellis
Not to sound too much like Bateman but the James Perse t-shirts and hoodies I bought a week ago are the best clothes I've worn in a year…
— Bret Easton Ellis (@BretEastonEllis) July 13, 2010
Bret Easton Ellis tweets about movies, literature and gay actors – none of which are of particular interest to the cultural Nazis who run Ed Uncovered.
What does interest us however is the fact that Bret Easton Ellis is the closest thing to an IRL embodiment of our all-time hero – Patrick Bateman. The American Psycho author doesn’t always tweet like PB, but when he does, it makes us moist around the gills.
The Bends by Radiohead may be the greatest rock record of the 90s but OK Computer will be looked at as the decade's most overrated record…
— Bret Easton Ellis (@BretEastonEllis) August 27, 2012
2. RealTime WWII
400,000+ Jews now trapped in 1.3 square miles of Warsaw. Over 7 people to a room. Water & sewage grotesquely inadequate pic.twitter.com/JB3ammLE
— WW2 Tweets from 1944 (@RealTimeWWII) September 12, 2012
If you’re not already following Real Time WWII, get your shit sorted. This fascinating account is currently tweeting its way through wartime events as they unfolded on this day in 1940.
Real Time WWII makes you wonder how much different the war could had been if we’d had Twitter back then. Would Hitler have launched a massive army of Twitterbots to invade Russian servers, only to be pushed back by a severe Soviet DDoS that crippled the German internet? Would 6,000,000 Jews have been perma-blocked on Twitter? Sadly we’ll never know.
3. Letters of Note
A bomb has severely damaged Madam Tussauds's waxworks, scattering wax arms & heads across Marylebone Road. Hitler waxwork slightly chipped.
— WW2 Tweets from 1944 (@RealTimeWWII) September 9, 2012
Shaun Usher runs Letters of Note, a site dedicated to publishing, well, letters of note. Even if you hate reading letters – regardless of their notability – you’ll love some of the gems that can be unearthed here. Expect wit and wisdom from such luminaries as Mark Twain, Charles Bukowski and Alfred Hitchcock.
In 1970, as Willy Wonka was being filmed, director Mel Stuart sent a fascinating progress report to the producer: http://t.co/zeb0E695
— Letters of Note (@LettersOfNote) August 31, 2012
Intelligent women love it when you quote profound stuff at them. Memorise the best lines from Letters of Note and you’ll never have to sleep with a nail technician again.
4. War Tard
War Tard tweets about as often as I shower, but his missives are worth the wait, for each one heralds a new blog, and when WT blogs, the world swoons. Why? Because he dances with words. US foreign policy and proxy resource wars may sound drier than a box of crackers, but somehow, War Tard makes the unsexy sound fuckably good. His blogs tend to be of the tl;dr variety, but trust us – these badboys are worth your time.
New post on the Surveillance Society and the sci-fi dystopia: http://t.co/H2HXnTgw
— War Tard (@WarTard) May 4, 2012
War Tard will leave spaghetti in your throat and a warm glow in your stomach. He’s like a better Ed Uncovered. But better.
5. Kim Dotcom
He may be a shameless self-promoter and a shamefully fat bastard, but it’s hard to hate Kim Dotcom. No one sticks it to the FBI as hard as KDC. Then again, he’s got reason to be nursing major butthurt after the feds pwnd Megaupload and freezed Dotcom’s assets. Thankfully, he’s still got a smoking hot wife to bang and 140,000 Twitter followers to share his pain with. Ask him nicely, and he might even invite you to his pool party. Ask him super nicely, however, and he’ll refuse to let you piece his awesome wife – trust us, we’ve tried.
WHITEHOUSE.SYS corrupted… Re-install @BarackObama? (Y/N)
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) August 26, 2012
6. Jacob Appelbaum
In the next few years, if we do not fix our structural problems, we will have the technology for total totalitarianism – just waiting for us
— Jacob Appelbaum (@ioerror) August 18, 2012
Jacob Appelbaum is a security researcher, developer and leader of the Tor project which helps people anonymise their internet browsing (so they can look at pr0n). He’s also an outspoken critic of government tyranny and best buds with the other JA – Julian Assange. In short, he’s one of the good guys.
We can honestly state that Appelbaum is our favourite gay Jewish activist. You won’t understand everything he tweets – not unless you’re accustomed to fapping over package signatures and XMPP protocols – but add JA to your Twitter feed. You’ll feel a lot smarter for it and who knows; you might learn some shit along the way.
My favorite libpurple 0day so far? The one that can be used for deanonymization, triggering another known bug and finally, a heap overflow.
— Jacob Appelbaum (@ioerror) August 26, 2012
7. Utter Ben
Well, he got that covered up quickly… pic.twitter.com/Noz1hNzu
— Ben Horsley (@bendoscopy) September 11, 2012
Utter Ben is a graphic designer who specialises in creating lulzy images and humorous tweets. He’s also annoyingly good-looking, which kind of makes him a dick. Not as good-looking as Pete Cashmore admittedly, but that’s another story about another dick we’re jealous of.
See? Even Bob agrees.
8. SI Vault
Michael Jordan at the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest: pic.twitter.com/YFQgYUOR
— SI Vault (@si_vault) September 6, 2012
Andy Gray tweets pictures from the SI vaults. Archive images of long-forgotten basketball players may not sound particularly moist, but the pics are surprisingly trouser-tightening. Lol at the stupid haircuts. Rofl at the awesome bling. Gasp at the spectacular slam dunks. Then get back to your shitty spreadsheets in your claustrophobic grey cubicle.
The Lingerie Football League practices tackling: pic.twitter.com/lI2wr2A9
— SI Vault (@si_vault) August 29, 2012
9. Is Anyone Up
If you have nudes of a girl/guy you hate, just tag her Facebook or her twitter @ and ill re-tweet them so we can make fun of her. <3
— DJ Catalyst (@djcatalyst) September 12, 2012
Is Anyone Up is an extremely annoying – but maddeningly addictive – Twitter account that helps people get laid. If your idea of NSFW is pics of body parts showing up in your feed, then IAU is definitely NSFW. If you can wait till after hours however, you’ll be rewarded with a clutch of desperate dirties begging for you to stalk them. There’s cocks too – because IAU caters to both sexes – but that’s life; sometimes you’ve got to beat your way past ten hard cocks just to reach a wet pussy.
— DJ Catalyst (@djcatalyst) September 11, 2012
10. DBZ Nappa
‘It’s over 9,000!’ is an overused meme that describes an infinitely large quantity of something – aka a fuck-ton. The meme is taken from a character in Dragon Ball Z who states that Goku’s power level is ‘Over 9,000!’
DBZ Nappa is an auto-responder bot that tweets at anyone who mentions the hallowed number on Twitter. Don’t believe us? Fire off a 9,000 tweet of your own and see what happens.
Unless you want your Twitter feed to be filled with over 9,000 tweets an hour, we wouldn’t recommend following DBZ Nappa. (The joke starts to wear a bit thin after the 9,000th time.) Everyone should tweet an OVER 9000 shout out however, if only to encourage Dragon Ball Z Nappa to keep fighting the good fight.
What have we learned today?
OK, so half of those Twitter accounts weren’t smart in the slightest, but to be honest we ran out of inspiration halfway through the list. The moral of the story? Don’t judge a blog by its title. If you want really dumb Twitter accounts to follow, go read EU’s 10 Dumbest Twitter Accounts – who knows, there might even be some smart ones lurking in there.
Follow @whisperednothin ⇦ Ed Uncovered on Twitter.