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Information Wants to Be Shared by Joshua Gans

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5

Sharing the News

On January 8, 2011, the Wall Street Journal published an article by Yale law professor Amy Chua titled, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior.” The piece was provocative; indeed, much more so than the book from which it was excerpted. [1] Reactions to it quickly filled up other newspapers’ columns, blogs, and Twitter and Facebook feeds. The article quickly became one of the newspaper’s most-read for 2011. Its meme—the notion of a Tiger Mother—endured throughout the year and, I suspect, beyond.

In the predigital era, Chua’s piece would likely have gained the attention of other newspapers, which would have republished it. Its ideas certainly would have generated discussion. But the process would have been slow. If you had wanted ...

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