TED Conversations

Andrew Tam

This conversation is closed.

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?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Feb 26 2012: Three things are required for an idea to spread:

    Novelty - The idea must be original in some way.
    Relevance - The idea must amplify the moment.
    Harmony - The idea must be symbiotic, i.e. beneficial for both the messengers and the recipients.
    • thumb
      Feb 27 2012: Hi James,

      I agree with your parameters for idea to be worth spreading. I believe they can be categorized into the quality aspect to makes an idea spread. A idea that has good quality basically will have long duration and speaks loud for itself.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.