• 09.13.13

12 Of The Smartest People On Twitter This Week

Fast Company editorial intern Miles Kohrman shares his picks for the most thought-provoking people on Twitter this week.

12 Of The Smartest People On Twitter This Week

I don’t consider myself a good tweeter. In fact, I’d consider myself just the opposite. The very thought of this article drummed up a knee-jerk reaction of, “Wait, no! There are no smart people on Twitter!”


Of course, I’m wrong. There are plenty of thoughtful and meaningful tweets out there–just look at the recent installments of this series by Fast Company‘s Anjali Mullany and Christina Chaey. But it takes some effort to sort through the fluff and find what really matters. Here are a few tweets from the past week that I feel rose above the rest and that offer some redeeming commentary or information. And while I don’t necessarily agree with all the tweets below, navigating the Twittersphere is a journey and we should be on it together.

For good reason, military intervention in Syria dominated headlines this week. Will we or won’t we? Following President’s Obama’s speech on September 10 in the midst of rising congressional opposition and an increasingly standoffish relationship with Russia, BBC’s Middle East Bureau Chief Paul Danahar weighed in:

Later, Danahar pointed out that as Western powers bicker over what to do, much of the confusion, and mess, of the situation comes from an often overlooked source:

Yolande Knell, a Middle East correspondent for BBC reporting live from the field, showed us that yes, opinions everywhere are split:

Previously, the New Yorker‘s Philip Gourevitch brought up a challenge to the justifications of intervention:

And then James Mena of the Institute of Modern Russia‘s Interpreter Magazine:


But if you step away for too long, as the Wall Street Journal‘s Tom Gara showed us, you might get your wires crossed. The other big news of the week, Apple’s unveiling of two iPhone models, took the Twittersphere in a different direction:

This week also marked the 12th aniversary of 9/11. Early the next morning, The New York Ballet released a beautiful tribute with a performance of Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain, performed on the rooftop of 4 World Trade Center in lower Manhattan.

Twitter was also graced with the fall of former Business Insider CTO Pax Dickinson, whose overt sexism, racism, and homophobia (or in his words, “satire“) was taken to task.

Tasneem Raja of Mother Jones called out Dickinson’s attempt to dismiss the allegations against him:

Designer Matt Quintanilla brought in another point, perhaps suggesting that opinions in the world of technology aren’t as diverse as they should be:

The New York City mayoral election got under way on Tuesday, with Democrat Bill de Blasio and Republican Joe Lhota securing party nominations. But the real winner emerged before the polls even closed: WNYC’s Data News Team, who provided beautiful, comprehensive, and up-to-the-minute results to the public.


In the thick heat of election night, New York Times reporter Thomas Kaplan made sure to stick to the important stuff:

Anthony Wiener’s abysmal results at the polls left Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere with only one question:

And with that, we’ll end on a contemplative note. It’s been a long, tough week. Take it away, Yoko:

Of course, I don’t have to say that this list isn’t complete. These are simply my picks; they represent the small fraction of tweets that show up on my timeline. If there’s a person or tweet you feel has been particularly smart this week, please share with us in the comments!

[Image: Flickr user Hunter Desportes]

About the author

Former Editorial Assistant Miles Kohrman helped run Fast Company's homepage and completed miscellaneous tasks around the newsroom. He is a 2013 graduate of The New School.