Muphry’s law of virality

My tweets don’t go viral. They get the odd reply, a few retweets here and there, the occasional favourite, but almost always from first order readers – the decay rate on successive propagations is enormous. That’s not a problem – twitter is at its best for me as conversation rather than as broadcast. On rare occasions, something takes on a life of its own, and I almost wonder whether a threshold number of likes and retweets is itself a signal people use, perhaps unconsciously,  in deciding whether to send it further.

For no obvious reason, this one was different. Those six words, which are of course not my six words, say a lot. And the tweet rattled around the UK for a while before crossing the Atlantic to skip across US academia, popping up in New Zealand as the time zones moved before looping back to Britain.

And all of that happened with two glaring typos in the ten words I had added from a mobile keyboard, which I am powerless to correct. All I can do instead is codify a corollary to Muphry’s law:

The probability of an entity containing obvious errors will increase in proportion to the distribution of the entity