Re: Join the Crew Meme

Agner Fog (
Tue, 10 Feb 1998 20:50:42 +0100

From: (Agner Fog)
Subject: Re: Join the Crew Meme
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 20:50:42 +0100
In-Reply-To: <>

I can testify to the extraordinary virulence of the Join the Crew E-mail Meme.
I received it from a computer expert, the webmaster of the Copenhagen
Engineering College where I work. He had forwarded it to everybody in the
electronics department. I was the only one who got suspicious. When I mailed
him back and told that it was a hoax he got surprised and asked how did I know
(It only took a few minutes of AltaVista search to confirm my suspicion).

It ought to be obvious to an electronics expert like our webmaster that the
message was a hoax, but apparently he didn't think twice before he forwarded
the message to everybody.

The hook of the meme is a very powerful one: the threat of wiping out your hard
disk. Can such a powerful hook make people stop thinking?
Agner Fog, Ph.D. See my electronic book: 'Cultural Selection'
Denmark at:

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