Disturbing the Universe

David L Clements, science and science fiction

Mimetic Epidemiology: The Gift that keeps on Giving

1 Comment

Over two years ago now (874 days according to twitter) I tweeted a little joke:

Q. How many copy editors does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A. Do you mean replace or have sex in? Please clarify.

It got retweeted quite a lot and I thought that made it quite an interesting experience in mimetic epidemiology.

Over the last few days there has been a new outbreak of this infection, with (currently) 29 new retweets of the joke. I guess this just goes to prove that infectious memes can lie in wait for a long time before exploding back into action, unlike most infectious diseases (though there are exceptions like anthrax).

It’ll be interesting to see how long this new outbreak takes to settle down…


Author: davecl

Astronomy, science, science fiction

One thought on “Mimetic Epidemiology: The Gift that keeps on Giving

  1. Many years ago BB invented a lightbulb joke for musicians while we were on tour in Canada: How many studio engineers does it take to change a lightbulb? – I don’t know, what do you think? He told it on stage at a festival and by the time we got home it had beaten us back to the UK.

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