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I'm Tav, a 29yr old from London. I enjoy working on large-scale social, economic and technological systems.

Meme Time Tending to Zero

It's no secret that Meme Time — the average time taken for a meme to spread far and wide — has been getting shorter. Scarily so. It took Christianity over a 1,000 years to achieve what Facebook has done in less than 4 years.

This thought-provoking video is worth watching:

It reinforces the words of Mamading Ceesay: "The whole world is going to be experiencing environmentally-induced ADHD pretty soon".

Which leads me to worry about the social implications of this increasing pace. Being able to overcome information overload and limiting your attention to what really matters to you is going to be absolutely vital in the future.

But if we are going to prepare for that, we also need to know the rate of the current flow. How long does it take for a meme to become a part of daily life for a population of 10 million people? How long does it take for a meme to be known by 100 million people?

By knowing these and other related data points to “Meme Time”, we would be better placed to adapt. Maybe we are heading towards The Singularity after all?

Would it be possible to start gathering enough statistics to get a relatively accurate picture? How could we do this so that it brings the greatest benefits to everyone? How would we handle the privacy issues?

As usual, let me know your thoughts in the comments. Thanks!