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Gone viral
Spreading of idea, not thing.
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2013/10/13
10:31pm
Robert
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One might say it’s wrong to say a song has ‘gone viral,’ just because it clocks a million hits on YouTube– reason being  there is still no multiplying of the song, nor anything spreading its own copies, like a virus.  

But change how one interprets it, and it becomes one nicely fit analogy:  it is not the song itself, but the awareness of it or the happiness it brings that actually spreads from persons to persons, most definitely largely through the digital gossiping– a mental viral contagion (hopefully of the good kind ) to match the digital one.  

So, internet language can sometimes be smart too.

2013/10/14
8:10am
New River, AZ, USA
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Yeah, the term “gone viral” is definitely in current use as a metaphor. You describe it as a “mental viral contagion” which is accurate and very much like the term “meme” coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene. Interestingly, that book came out a decade before the internet got started, and the internet has since become the primary “vector” (to use the biology term) for transmission of memes.

 

2013/10/18
8:37pm
johnkerry
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Heimhenge said
Yeah, the term “gone viral” is definitely in current use as a metaphor. You describe it as a “mental viral contagion” which is accurate and very much like the term “meme” coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene. Interestingly, that book came out a decade before the internet got started, and the internet has since become the primary “vector” (to use the biology term) for transmission of memes.

 

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