There is a striking parallel between the spreading of germs and the spreading of ideas or propaganda. On the one hand we are dealing with a virus which can be transported and transmitted under certain conditions which favor or limit its transportation or transmission: on the other hand with ideas, religions, and doctrines, which can be described as germs, benevolent or malevolent, according to the point of view one takes up. These germs can either remain at their source and be sterile, or emerge in the spreading of infection.
Do you know why the leaves change colour, Makin?" They did look spectacular. The forest had grown around us as we traveled and the canopy burned with colour, from deepest red to flame orange, an autumn fire spreading in defiance of the rain. "I don't know, " he said, "Why do they change?" "Before a tree sheds a leaf it pumps it full of all the poison it can't rid itself of otherwise. That red there-that's a man's skin blotching with burst veins after an assassin spikes his last meal with roto-weed. The poison spreading through him before he dies.
Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash, and it is gone; But there's half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on, Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea. And there is no way of telling where the end is going to be. Drop a pebble in the water: in a minute you forget, But there's little waves a-flowing, and there's ripples circling yet, And those little waves a-flowing to a great big wave have grown; You've disturbed a mighty river just by dropping in a stone. Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute it is gone; But there's half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on. They keep spreading, spreading, spreading from the center as they go, And there is no way to stop them, once you've started them to flow. Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute you forget, But there's little waves a-flowing, and there's ripples circling yet, And perhaps in some sad heart a mighty wave of tears you've stirred, And disturbed a life was happy ere you dropped that unkind word. Drop a word of cheer and kindness: just a flash and it is gone; But there's half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on, Bearing hope and joy and comfort on each splashing, dashing wave Till you wouldn't believe the volume of the one kind word you gave. Drop a word of cheer and kindness: in a minute you forget; But there's gladness still a-swelling, and there's joy a-circling yet, And you've rolled a wave of comfort whose sweet music can be heard Over miles and miles of water just by dropping one kind word.
James W. Foley
It is raining DNA outside. On the bank of the Oxford canal at the bottom of my garden is a large willow tree, and it is pumping downy seeds into the air. ... spreading DNA whose coded characters spell out specific instructions for building willow trees that will shed a new generation of downy seeds. ... It is raining instructions out there; it's raining programs; it's raining tree-growing, fluff-spreading, algorithms. That is not a metaphor, it is the plain truth. It couldn't be any plainer if it were raining floppy discs.