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Andrew Tam

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What makes an idea spread? Duration? Quality? Loudness?

In my Bioelectricity class this week, we talked about the propagation of electrical signals in the body. In the body, cells transmit action potentials (or "spikes") which propogate along the cell membranes of electrically excitable cells like neurons and muscles. However, these action potentials are only produced if the stimulus is of long enough duration, or of high enough amplitude. If signals are too weak, they instead dissipate as they decay in time and space. I was wondering: is the same true of the real world? If news spreads rapidly, is this reason to believe that the news is of of good quality? Is the spread of news proportional to the quality of it?

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    Feb 22 2012: it seems like for an idea to spread it has to have a lot of potential at its berth; that is, it has to relevant enough to grab peoples attention. then, once it has peoples attention, it has to be intriguing enough to convince people to further research the topic and spread the word among their peers. it seems like the most effective way of spreading information that is "true" is by word of mouth through face-to-face communication
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      Feb 23 2012: Exactly Kieran! Relevancy!
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      Feb 23 2012: Hey Kieran,

      I agree! Ideas spread by word of mouth and face to face communication always seem to be more credible. It seems that the further along an idea propagates through mediums such as the internet, the more the idea gets skewed and distorted.

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