The Twitter flight (well, train)

I was on an Amtrak train from New York to Washington today that got stopped cold by a torrential water-main break in Baltimore. Reflexively, I went to Twitter to see what others were saying (which would be more than Amtrak was telling us then). In short order, I heard from Andrew Baisley, who was on the same train, one car behind. I needed a way to get from Baltimore to Washington and Andrew offered a seat in a car with him and his colleagues from The Feed Room. I had a fast and free ride and good converstaion. We even did business. I was heading to the Web Manager University for government webmasters and promised to plug something they’re doing. I also told them about the amazing work Bild is doing with video in Germany. A disaster turned into a great experience thanks to Twitter.

Now ain’t that amazing?

I’ve been trying to push for sometime the idea that Twitter and internet connectivity will bring us societies on airplanes. So it happened on a train.

  • Giving rise to the phrase, “You say trainwreck like that’s a bad thing!”

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  • Jeff,

    How did you get in contact with the other guy on your train? Did you tweet the train number or something? I know for planes you talked about using the flight number. Just curious.


    • I tweeted about the delay and I think he followed me anyway. Or maybe not. He searched Twitter (for Amtrak or Acela, I’d imagine).

      • This is Andrew (@abaisley) – I followed @jeffjarvis already, but we were also searching on Twitter for acela, amtrak and water main. Turns out that there were several Twitter users on the train.

        The fact that Jeff got first dibs on the extra seat in our car was mostly because I knew Jeff through some past business relationships. Although, if he didn’t want the seat, I would have offered it to one of the other stranded passengers.

        Strangely, on the way back to NYC on the Acela, that same day, I had another Twitter encounter. Fred Wilson sat down directly in front of me. I wasn’t sure it was him until I saw a tweet from him that he was on the train heading back to New York. So, I said “hi” and shared my story about Jeff from earlier in the day.

        Jeff was happy to get a ride, Fred was happy to hear the story and I was happy about spending some time with two people I look up to.

        While I’m at it, have to plug the company website:


  • Nancy

    Every day i am more and more amazed about how these new technology tools are changing our world. I am not a techy..but use a blackberry, facebook, the internet for all kinds of things…i read blogs, and yes, newspapers online. But still i am amazed at what this means for all of us. Thanks Jeff for shedding light on the tools and technology of our world.. As we get ready to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the landing on the moon…yes it will be 40 years in July of is simplly amazing isn’t it…the changes we have experienced.

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  • Jim Wilson

    Thanks, Jeff. It’s hard for me to explain to my non-tech friends (and even to myself sometimes) what Twitter “is.” Concrete examples like this help a lot.

  • wonderful story.

    he ran into me on the train home, also via twitter

  • DAW

    This story is amazing! I’ve been debating for months whether or not to join the Twitter bandwagon, and this miiiight just cause me to do it. If Twitter starts putting commercials out there this story would definitely sell me… kinda like the iPhone application commercials!

  • William H. Depperman

    The Rafik Hariri Assassination, Authorized by the United States and
    Carried Out by Israeli Mossad, was a Provocation Aimed at Syria!
    Yasser Arafat Was Also Assassinated by U.S/”Israel and France!
    U.S./“Israel” Continues Its Failed Policy of Provocation by Assassination
    By Sacrificing one of their Fascist Chistian Phalangists, Pierre Gemayal
    In Vain to try to Prop Up Their Puppet Lebanese Government!

    The U.S.-Israeli Mossad Axis literally bombed out (assassinated) Rafik Hariri with a gigantic bomb and blamed it on Syria, who had no motive for such a crime! The Syrians incidentally have no special history of assassination in the Mideast or anywhere, while the Israeli IDF uses assassination as one of its most frequent weapons of choice and is the most experienced in the entire Mideast in assassination! Since the Hariri “Blow-Up” the U.S. has authorized a veritable stream of assassinations in Lebanon carried out by the “Israeli” Mossad in order to inflame anti-Syrian opinion, which has no motive to assassinate anyone! Previously the United States’ authorized Israeli agents to also assassinate Arafat! Nothing happens in Israel policy wise without U.S. authorization, although isolated Zionist crimes do occur from time to time. The dog wags the tail—not the other way around, despite lies to the contrary which anti-Semitic (rarely anti-Zionist) conspiracy theorists try to push. Israeli is not actually a conventional state, it is an entity (the Zionist Entity), a U.S. puppet/proxy state because it is completely dependent militarily, economically, politically and diplomatically on the United States for its existence. It is the cat’s paw of U.S. imperialism in the Mideast! For example, in order to keep Israel out of the 1991 U.S. Invasion of Iraq the Bush Regime threatened to cut off $6 billion in credits to Israel to keep the fanatic Zionists in line. The U.S. authorized the Israelis, with the helpful assistance of its proxy agents of Fatah—Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) & Co., to initially administer Arafat poison in Ramallah, giving him an isolated case of thrombocytopenia (low platelets) with no other symptoms, symptoms which could only occur by poisoning, as his doctors in Ramallah, and individual doctors in Paris who had examined Arafat, so testified! (See New York Times!) The French provided timely assistance first by immediately sedating Arafat and apparently starving him to help weaken him so that when he arrived in Paris he could not speak or know what was happening to him. French “intelligence,” which has historically always worked closely with Israel and Mossad in many assassinations carried out by Mossad in Paris of PLO militants in the 1980’s, and, of course, with the United States (except in Iraq!), indubitably administered the final overdose of anti-coagulant or other poison in order to induce the stroke, which was the reported immediate cause of death. To cover up their dirty work the French also gave Arafat a platelet transfusion when he arrive in Paris, totally useless in the presence of another administration of poison. In order to muzzle those physicians in the French hospital who had stated that it looked like Arafat had been poisoned, when Arafat finally died on November 11, 2004, the French stated “there would be no details about the cause of death because of French privacy laws (!)” Arafat used to be their boy but was sacrificed primarily because he had largely lost the support of his militant constituency and the capitalists wanted to install new “leadership” personnel, which has turned out to be a total failure for them once again. The irony is that during the 1980’s several assassinations of highly militant PLO figures were carried out by Mossad in the close proximity of Arafat, sometimes in Arafat’s own house in Tunis, always leaving him untouched. This time the capitalists sacrificed him.

    Yassar Arafat Did Not Die of AIDS!
    Yassar ArafatWas Assassinated by the U.S.-Authorized
    Proxy State of So-called “Israel” and France!

    The idea to try to discredit Yassar Arafat as a homosexual originated with David Frum of the National Review, who first coined the Bush regime phrase “axis of evil.” In order to cover up the assassination of Arafat and to cloud the issue, spread confusion and falsely defame Arafat as “Gay,” Mahmoud Abbas, the U.S./”Israeli” proxy and actual assassin of Yassar Arafat, made the claim to Ahmad Jibril, founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command in Damascus, an early friend who later became a long-time enemy of Arafat, that Arafat had died of AIDS. (!) There was however no mention of AIDS in Arafat’s final medical records although this was first alleged by the New York Times the day after Arafat died November 12, 2004! The New York Daily News, July 20, 2007, also confirmed that there had been no mention of AIDS in Arafat’s final medical records. But Ashraf al-Kurdi, Arafat’s personal physician in Ramallah before he was transferred to Paris stated in an Israeli newspaper that French doctors told him that Arafat had AIDS when he died! Ashraf al-Kurdi stated that Arafat had tested negative for AIDS only 3 months earlier and said that Arafat had been deliberately infected with the AIDS virus in order to hide the poison which had been used to kill him. Ashraf al-Kurdi got it completely right! That is the only explanation which fits the facts and is precisely what happened. (See Daily News Ibid.)

    It is true that the Syrian leaders are completely opportunist and have worked closely with both the U.S. and Israel. The Syrians have and will continue to torture absolutely anybody the U.S. sends them through their so-called “Extraordinary Rendition” Torture Program, which incidentally is not extraordinary for the capitalists but routine and an everyday event. But Syria would have NO MOTIVE whatsoever to assassinate Hariri! Only the United States and Israeli, the puppet of U.S.-led world imperialism, and Mahmoud Abbas have the motive! The motive of the Hariri assassination was 1.) to generate the pretext to pressure Syria to withdraw from Lebanon—which was the almost immediate result and 2.) to supply the pretext to try to overthrow the Baath Socialist Party-led government of Syria! Syria has a socialist system, which provides full employment, no homelessness, free education to the highest level and free medical and dental just like Iraq used to have, all of which is unavailable in the United States! The capitalists want to get rid of it and institute so-called “freedom and democracy,” which under capitalism have become euphemisms for capitalist dictatorship, enslavement and the “freedom” to exploit and super-exploit. Just like they have done in Iraq and everywhere else possible, including the U.S.A.! But they are losing this battle in Latin America, which has begun electing some Communists. Long and convoluted articles based on CIA files, e.g. the November 3, 2005 article in the New York Times demonstrate how determined the capitalists are to try to undermine the Syrian Baath Socialist government and falsely implicate Bashir al-Assad, a former ophthalmologist as supposedly having given the order to assassinate Hariri! But Hariri had already resigned from the government when he was assassinated! If the Syrians hated him so much they would have assassinated him while he was in office! The reason that he was assassinated after he left office rather than when he was in office and presumably more of a “threat”, which he never really was, was that such a provocation simply did not occur to U.S. and Israel earlier. The truth is that Hariri never ever had a majority support for his anti-Syrian position! Not even close! Not even after he was assassinated! Not even now! Syria has supported Hezbollah, whose defensive attacks against the illegal Israeli invasion and occupation of Lebanon, forced Israel to finally pull out of Lebanon and all the Lebanese know it! The U.S.-directed “Israeli” Mossad is widely recognized and understood to be the assassin of Hariri and Arafat, etc. throughout the Mideast! It’s time to wake up here in the USA!

    To assassinate Hariri the U.S. directed Israeli Mossad assassins used a huge truck bomb, which they drove through Syria, or assembled in Syria, and painstakingly filmed leaving Syria and driving all through Lebanon and Beirut before being blown up, where it was also filmed at the point of detonation! It is not credible that surveillance cameras would be so strategically placed to document this event so precisely unless it had been planned in advance. This is very similar to the video that was made of “the first AIDS ‘Typhoid Mary’” (so-called patient 0) where the capitalists deliberately infected a promiscuous male airline steward through his “doctor” with the AIDS virus then followed him, videotaping him going from one assignation to another unknowingly spreading AIDS. But what these Biowarfare enthusiasts, who could not have made the film for any other reason than to document their Biological Warfare handiwork, did not realize was that the film actually implicated those who made it. The questions immediately arose: 1.How did the video tapers know that person had AIDS? 2.) Why didn’t they stop him? The same thing applies with the film of the Hariri truck bomb.

    Instead the United States has ordered its United Nations puppet leadership to begin a phony “investigation,” which has been authorized by the Security Council! The only problem is that the capitalists currently have only one “witness.” (Of course more can be manufactured if necessary!) The witness, Hossam Taher Hossam, who identified himself to the UN inquiry as a former Syrian intelligence officer, alleged in a 75-minute interview on November 27, 2005 that Hariri’s son, Saad Hariri, met him several months ago and offered him $1.3 million to testify against top Syrian officials. But the question of credible motive and who only benefits from such assassinations—the United States and its cat’s paw Israel—is never raised in this brazen provocation. The capitalists are running totally amok! Everything the capitalists attempt turns into a fiasco. On June 28, 2006 the U.S. ordered its Proxy Zionist Army of Israel to buzz the Syrian coast and the house of Syrian leader Bashir al-Assad while threatening to attack Syria on the pretext that the exiled supreme leader of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal, living in Syria ordered the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier! Right! This was carried out while the U.S. Zionist Proxy State of Israel was invading Gaza under the laughably fraudulent pretext of trying to “rescue the kidnapped (murderer) Israeli soldier,” for whom they do not give a damn, and relentlessly bombing and shelling Gaza population centers and torturing the population all night with sonic booms in order to deprive them of sleep just like they torture prisoners in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, all in direct violation of International Law, just exactly like its U.S. master which writes Torture Memorandums and gives virtually all the orders.

    The U.S. and its Zionist Proxy State of Israel also wage economic war against Hamas by having Israel collect over $500 million in taxes from the Palestinians and then refusing to turn the money back over to the Palestinians to run their government because the capitalists do not really believe in democracy when the masses choose to elect Hamas. They actually thought that they might be able to impose the election of Fatah on the Palestinians after it was taken over by U.S./Israeli Puppet Mahmoud Abbas after he was nice enough to help poison Arafat! After the assassination of Arafat by the U.S./“Israel”/Abbas-Fatah Axis the majority of those Fatah leaders who had been loyal to Arafat were expelled from Fatah, which has now been taken over lock stock and barrel as a tool of the U.S. and its Zionist Proxy State. Fatah has been organized to attack Hamas and to create chaos in Gaza (New York Times, August 29, 2006), while Judeo-Nazi “Israel” simply arbitrarily arrests dozens of Hamas cabinet ministers and legislators. (Reuters, June 29, 2006) Prior to its air attack on Lebanon the U.S. “Israeli” Proxy State pledged to bomb the infrastructure of Lebanon back to the Stone Age, which they did, while they threatened Syria and Iran! All completely authorized by their master the USA! Bombing a country back to the Stone Age was precisely the policy of the U.S. in Vietnam! This is why in order for there to be a genuine solution in the Middle East there first must be a Socialist Revolution in the United States!

    The U.S./ “Israeli” Mossad Assassinates Pierre Gemayal in a Vain
    Attempt to Try to Prop Up Their Puppet Lebanese Government!

    In any crime motive is primary: who benefits? Who has the real motive and the access and a long-standing prior history of assassination—the U.S./ “Israelis”! In order to try to prop up the U.S./“Israel”-backed Fuad Saniora puppet Lebanese government and create division within Lebanon, which is about to fall because of widespread popular support of Hezbollah among all of the 17 Lebanese sects, the U.S./“Israeli” Mossad, as a provocation in its typical style, assassinated Pierre Gemayal on November 21, 2006. Gemayal was a minister in that puppet government and was the Fascist grandson of Pierre Gemayal, who supported the NAZIs in WWI and the nephew of Bachir Gemayal, the leader of the Fascist Christian Phalangist Militia who carried out the 1982 Massacres of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shittila refugee camps, which was directly ordered by Ariel Sharon! The subsequent demonstrations on November 23, 2006 organized in support of their sacrificed Phalangist fell flat totally and were countered and completely overwhelmed by demonstrations beginning on December 10, 2006 in support of Hezbollah which numbered over 2 million people—over half the Lebanese population—demonstrating in the center of Beirut Lebanon peacefully calling for the U.S./ “Israeli”/French backed puppet government to step down!

    The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin Was a “Queen Sacrifice” Carried Out by
    the Israeli Government, under Authorization From its United States Master, in Order to Increase Support Among Israelis for the Oslo Peace Accords in 1995
    But Was Gratuitously Sabotaged by Likud-directed Shin Bet!

    In 1995 support for the Oslo Peace Accords was substantial among Palestinians because it represented a better situation than they had, but Israel was split right down the middle with supporters versus opponents. Because the Mideast and the Oslo Accords were so important to the United States, Israel and the entire capitalist world, both politically and economically, potentially opening up an area which had been shunned by big investors because of the Intifada and constant threat of suicide bombings, the capitalists decided to carry out what is known in politics and chess as a Queen Sacrifice in order to increase support for the Oslo accords among the Israelis. At a rally in support of the Oslo Accords on November 4, 1995, members of the Israeli security forces deliberately allowed a Zionist fanatic, Yigal Amir, to breach security around Rabin as the rally ended and Rabin was on his way to his car. (In this respect the Rabin assassination was very similar to the 9/11 Trade Center Attack, which was also a government-facilitated provocation, where the Bush Regime deliberately opened the door to the Islamic Fundamentalists to permit them to obtain flight training for jumbo jets in the face of local FBI protests [see above] and kept the Air Force jet interceptors grounded for over an hour in order to permit the 9/11 Attack to be successfully carried out.) After the Rabin assassination support for the Oslo Accords among Israelis increased to over 71%!

    The assassination of Rabin appeared to be a “success!” But shortly thereafter on January 5, 1996, the head of Shin Bet, Avi Dichter, known up to that time only as “Kaf,” under pressure from the fanatical Zionist Likud Party and acting against the objectives of the United States and its puppet Israeli government, gratuitously assassinated the chief Hamas suicide bomb maker, Yehiya Ayash, in the Gaza Strip by planting a radio-controlled bomb in his cell phone. But Yehiya Ayash had had no business for years! Ayash was no longer a viable threat because nobody wanted to volunteer for suicide bombing against Israel and in fact there had not been any suicide bombing in Israel for several years after the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords, which stood to improve the situation for Palestinians living in Occupied Palestine. Support for the Oslo Accord was also at an all time high among Israelis after the “successful” Queen Sacrifice of Rabin. Avi Dichter was a literal example of a loose cannon and his motive was clear as crystal! The Israeli government and the United States were furious! The Shin Bet Chief “Kaf’s” offer of resignation was accepted several days after he ordered the assassination of Ayash. Previously “Kaf’s” pro forma offers of resignation after the carefully planned Rabin assassination were turned down by Peres, who was also part of the Rabin assassination, which briefly advanced Israeli interests! In order to expose “Kaf” for acting against Israeli and U.S. interests, the new Shin Bet Chief, Ami Ayalon, former Rear Admiral in the Israeli Navy agreed to openly accept the position as the new Shin Bet Chief one week after the Shin Bet assassination of Ayash, allowing his name to be known for the first time as the new Shin Bet Chief in order to permit the Israeli government to be able to then reveal the name of his trouble-maker predecessor, “Kaf,” who was Avi Dichter, who would no longer enjoy the government security he had while head of Shin Bet!

    It was a completely new precedent in Israeli politics to announce the name of the head of Shin Bet, and was designed to jeopardize the security of those Zionist fanatics who would act independently against Israeli interests and U.S. interests. (Yigal Amir, the Zionist fanatic who assassinated Rabin was manipulated to advance U.S. and Israeli interests.) The assassination of Yehiya Ayash of Hamas was a deliberately calculated provocation by Likud to sabotage support for the the Oslo Accords among Israelis by providing the pretext for retaliatory suicide bombing by Hamas and other Islamic Fundamentalist groups, which began immediately after the assassination and has continued ever since right up to the present moment. On September 28, 2000 Ariel Sharon went onto the Temple Mount, Al Haram ash-Sharif in Arabic (Noble Sanctuary), as a deliberate provocation, after the Camp David negotiations broke up earlier on July 5th, in order to deliberately incite the Palestinians and start up a Second Intifada and resulting “Israeli retaliation,” which was used as the pretext to further crush and oppress the Palestinians and to try to force them into total submission. But that will never happen!

    William H. Depperman, Coordinator
    United Front Against Racism
    And Capitalism-Imperialism

  • David Gunn

    You may be curious to learn that many Amtrak employees use Twitter as a way to learn about what’s going on on the trains before our systems tell us. It’s a very handy tool, and using a train number is the best way to ensure people know what you are talking about when you say “my train is late/lost/going backwards/under water”