Saturday, February 13, 2010

Greatness Today

Reading this article by Anil Dash on the perks and perils of being on Twitter's A-List, brought to mind lines from  Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and of course the irony in having made that connection itself :

"but be not afraid of greatness: some
are born great, some achieve greatness, and some
have greatness thrust upon 'em."

In the Twitter situation, Dash has had "greatness thrust upon" him but as a blogger, did "achieve greatness" on his own . In that both are true are true for and about him, one might hazard a guess that he may have also been "born great" as in he had always possessed some innate, natural ability that would turn him into something of a celebrity geek in due season.

In Shakespeare's view greatness could come by in one of three ways to an individual - and presumably they were exclusive. But the modern world, challenges that notion. Greatness and fame are related and Francis Bacon considered some questions about the nature of fame:

What are false fames; and what are true fames; and how they may be best discerned; how fames may be sown, and raised; how they may be spread, and multiplied; and how they may be checked, and laid dead.

Extending the Twitter parallel, Biz Stone has probably given us the modern response to Bacon's question " how fames may be sown, and raised; how they may be spread, and multiplied;". It would probably fall to Dash and other like him to determine "how they may be checked" or if they were so disposed "laid dead"

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