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    • Join Date: Nov 2009
    • Posts: 6
    #1

    fast or slow?

    Hi,
    I am here for the first time.
    I am reading an article talking about the Department of State:
    ".... in some ways, the Department of State, a noble antique, is still trying to come to terms with the invention of the telephone. In an era when Twitter haiku-messaging rules, diplomacy moves at the speed, and requires the nuanced complexity, of literature....."

    2 questions I would like to ask for help to explain:

    1.Is the diplomacy here an act of the Department of State, or a social activiy among the people in general ?
    2. What "at the speed... of literature" means here? Is it slow or fast?

    Thank you for your help!

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    • Join Date: Oct 2008
    • Posts: 1,211
    #2

    Re: fast or slow?

    The Department of State is the "home office" of diplomats, so the work of State is diplomacy.

    "Literature" (especially when contrasted with 140-character-limited Twitter) is generally assumed to be something worth reading slowly, savouring, going back to again and again, generation after generation.


    • Join Date: Nov 2009
    • Posts: 191
    #3

    Re: fast or slow?

    , and requires the nuanced complexity, of literature....."

    jlinger`: "...and is generally assumed to be something worth reading slowly, savouring, going back to again and again, generation after generation."

    ...hmm ...yes, jlinger. But I think "nuanced complexity" refers more to depth of understanding and thought put into the observance of "diplomacy", as opposed to some superficial appraisal of a situation -( the difference between tossing off, "It's awesome" on a gut level, and actually being able to think through, understand, and articulate why)) - contrasted with some my-life-is-boring and meaningless-nothing-to-else-to-do-so-I'll-ring-somebody-else-and-ask-what-they-are-doing--it passes-the-time Twitter-type contact.
    Last edited by Excalibur; 24-Nov-2009 at 07:47.


    • Join Date: Nov 2009
    • Posts: 6
    #4

    Re: fast or slow?

    Thank you jlinger and Excalibur for your help! And I would like to ask for your further explanation:

    referring the beginning of the words:" in some ways, the Department of State, a noble antique, is still trying to come to terms with the invention of the telephone."
    In my understanding the the Department of State is far behind of useing IT means to deal with diplomacy. while,on the other hand, according to jlinger's explanation, I understand that the "literature" here means the written message limited and spread by Twitter, so that can I furtherly understand that the Department of State uses Twitter to deal with its Diplomacy? If yes, I will be confused since the two understandings seem incompatible, and the either should be wrong.

    And still, I can't understand the meaning "at the speed of literature" in the article, what the author want to express?

    for your eazier and further judgment, I would like to paste more of the article:

    "How is the Sec State doing? Time Magazine provides a mid-term grade and its a mixed review:
    The job of Secretary of State is more thankless than glamorous; in some ways, the Department of State, a noble antique, is still trying to come to terms with the invention of the telephone. In an era when Twitter haiku-messaging rules, diplomacy moves at the speed, and requires the nuanced complexity, of literature. Power has drifted from State to the National Security Council and the Pentagon, especially in wartime. Only a few of Clinton's recent predecessors have distinguished themselves. Henry Kissinger, a National Security Adviser who belatedly became Secretary of State, was Richard Nixon's schizophrenic alter ego; George Shultz was a strong policy voice in the Reagan Administration; James Baker had clout because he was George H.W. Bush's best friend and a world-class dealmaker. Most of the others have been frustrated or forgettable. And yet this is Hillary Clinton we're talking about — the second most popular American in the world, an eternally compelling and supremely talented character, the subject of constant speculation, a walking headline. Her very presence in the job makes it crucial once more."


    Thank you for your great help!!!
    Last edited by longmarch; 24-Nov-2009 at 10:32.


    • Join Date: Nov 2009
    • Posts: 6
    #5

    Re: fast or slow?

    Referring "in some ways, the Department of State, a noble antique, is still trying to come to terms with the invention of the telephone."

    my original understanding to "In an era when Twitter haiku-messaging rules, diplomacy moves at the speed, and requires the nuanced complexity, of literature. "
    was:
    While in the age when Twitter haiku-messaging rules, the Department of State still deals with its deplomacy in a very traditional way--all must be communicated in a written-document way for its nuanced complexity concern.

    May be I was totally wrong, since English is not my mother tongue.


    • Join Date: Nov 2009
    • Posts: 6
    #6

    Re: fast or slow?

    Bring up my post to seek help! Thanks!

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