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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 25 2012: I think what makes an idea spread is ultimately quality: how 'true' it is, and also how timeless it is

    There are ideas that have been around forever--religion, love, friendship...That's why Shakespeare has always been (and I think will always be) popular-- his ideas never get old.

    In terms of how 'true' it is, even though I don't believe that anything can be proved to be absolutely true, there are things that everyone experiences, and the truth in something develops out of that. Ultimately I think an ideas' merit is what makes it propagate-- loudness doesnt matter-- in fact, loudness often goes ignored.

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