Today's Tipping Point

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The tipping point is the magical moment when an idea crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Even the smallest push, when targeted precisely, can have wide social impact. For example, tipping points can set off a huge fashion trend, which has the hippest fashionistas wearing Hush Puppies, or spur a rise in a particular behavior, and all of a sudden teen smoking rates skyrocket. In this scheme, ideas and messages spread just like a virus, not in steady increments but like an epidemic. What kinds of "tips" are we in the middle of, today? And how does the new global interconnectedness affect tipping?


This program aired on February 4, 2002.


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