An ubiquitous game to help predict the spread of an idea?

Recently a popular internet game that traces the travels of dollar bills, has been used by scientists to unveil statistical laws of human travel in the United States, and develop a mathematical description that can be used to model the spread of infectious disease in this country.

… Like viruses, money is transported by people from place to place. They found that the human movements follow what are known as universal scaling laws (from local to regional to long-distance scales). Using the game data, they developed a powerful mathematical theory that describes the observed movements of travelers amazingly well over distances from just a few kilometers to a few thousand. The study represents a major breakthrough for the mathematical modeling of the spread of epidemics.

Reading this article I remembered my idea of the ThinkPill project. The analogy I saw is that, to certain extent, we can assimilate the circulation of an idea to that of a virus. So a nice project would be really to map the diffusion of an idea on the planetary geography.

Of course an idea is retained and assimilated for what the carrier perceives and understand of that idea. The context where the carrier lives is also very important to determine how the idea is slightly modified and adapted by the culture or personal situations.

Moreover, this mapping platform would be a terrific tool for tackling this issues from an ethnographical and multi-cultural perspective.


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