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Joanna Cruz

Student , The Cooper Union For The Advancement of Science and Art

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Would you rather be an information producer, propagator, or consumer?

In my Bioelectricity class this week, we talked about the propagation of electrical signals in the body. We learned that sensory cells and neurons act like information "producers." As sensory cells in the eye, ear, nose, tongue and body generate the electric signals that stimulate neurons, "information" is produced by the body! This information is then transmitted in the form of action potentials (or "spikes") along myelinated axons which act as "information propagators" as they efficiently and rapidly distribute these signals. These signals may be received by the dendrites of other neurons which act as receivers, or "consumers" of the action potentials.

Learning this material has inspired me to ask: how can biology inspire us as we disseminate "ideas worth spreading?” or as we consider our roles as information producers, information propagators, or an information consumers? How can we best help propagate worthy and novel ideas?

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    Feb 27 2012: I think we all like being the "consumer" of information (at least I know I do. That is why I spend hours watching TED Talks), but that is a very passive position. In my mind, the most important position here would be the "propagator," the position spreading the information (message). This world is certainly not short of ideas, including plenty of good quality ones. The issue is getting these ideas to "stick." The ability for an idea to propagate relies heavily on peoples' willingness to spread the idea. We need to know what is important to our audience and relate those elements to our ideas. This will adhere our ideas to them. The stronger a link we make, the more likely the ideas will spread.

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