Re: virus: Meme Transmission Rate Experiment

Tim Rhodes (
Wed, 11 Jun 1997 11:23:16 -0700 (PDT)

On Mon, 9 Jun 1997, Dave Pape wrote:

> Okay, good idea Tim you blazing diamond of unfettered truth.


> But
> How were you planning to record the response rate? Would you use something
> like the "send a copy back to..."? Cos it COULD be (if your virus was strong
> enough) that you were making a rod for your own back. Interested to see how
> this could be got round...

That, I thought, was the beauty of the chain letter I received. It asked
you to CC: someone (ACS) every time you forwarded the letter. Now you
would have to set up an account /just for that/ otherwise you'd never get
out from under the pile up of responses. (In truth, I'm not sure this
would be 100% effective. One of the copies I got of this particular
letter /hadn't/ been CCed by the person that sent it to me! Go figure.)

> A couple of my friends were thinking of using stuff like searchbots and
> numbers of search-engine hits (getting stats out of things like AltaVista)
> to track spread of ideas... but I can't see AT ALL how /that/ would work,
> cos I've got no idea how they were going to go about getting the stats.

I understand. I'm no enough of a geek to know how to go about such things
myself either. But I keep several geeks around for just that reason.

-Prof. Tim