the viral age

“Social media” – a total cliché, right?  But the truth is, we are often just as connected with people on the Internet as we are with our own coworkers.

In the viral age, many small efforts never take off, but there is a higher chance than previously that they can reach a critical mass because the high degree of interconnection lowers society’s boiling point, creating critical mass at a lower temperature.  It now requires less infuriating bullshit and less organization to set people off, because in reality, people are already semi-organized spontaneously by the Internet.

For example: connect all points on a triangle, and you get three simple lines.  Connect every point on a ten-sided shape, and you get a messy tangle of overlap.  That’s the Internet.  Admittedly, socializing existed before the Internet, and we could have made a similarly-tangled map of people’s offline relationships.  It’s just that now, there’s even more of it, a whole new layer.

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