by Kenneth Rudich
This post is about A-Viral the Good and his evil twin Z-viral the bad. The only thing they have in common is a mutual desire to go viral. Other than that, they are complete opposites in character and personality. Indeed, the phrase “two sides of the same coin” couldn’t be more fitting.
z-viral the bad
Z-viral the bad – or just “Z,” as friends’ malware, adware and spyware like to call him – is bent on inflicting his sinister intent wherever and whenever he can. The bigger, the broader, the more widespread…the better for him.
One recent foray involved an ambitious plan to upset the health and welfare of people all over the world. You might have heard of it. It was called H1N1 or the Swine flu. What he did was let it loose in Veracruz, Mexico, and then he sat back and waited for what he knew would naturally occur.
The real genius of his plan lay in having it spread person to person through respiratory droplets. Z was well aware that modern transportation methods give people the mobility to crisscross the globe with relative ease, so he set out to use the social tendencies of the species against itself.
And it worked like a charm! In almost no time at all the swine flu achieved a broad global reach, with countless clinics overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of people infected with it. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic in 2009. According to one source, Z launched into dancing an impromptu jig upon hearing the news.
It bears repeating that Z-viral the bad is really quite indiscriminate about when, where, and how he will ply his devices. He has an equally strong affinity for attacking computer files and networks. This is yet another domain where he has shown himself to be majorly clever. His viruses have the capacity to replicate themselves with such harrowing speed that an army of anti-virus practitioners had to be formed in hopes of slowing him down.
Tarnishing brands and spoiling reputations are part of his repertoire, too. The mere idea of thrusting these into the throes of disgrace causes the grin on his face to twist with delight. All he needs is the slightest exploitable weakness — one little slip, stumble, lapse, miscue, or indiscretion — and he’ll pounce like a cougar on prey.
Some describe his appetite for wreaking havoc as shamelessly heartless and utterly relentless. Personally, I’d rather live in obscurity than be in his unmerciful hands.
a-viral the good
A-Viral the Good, meanwhile, is a friend of the human condition. He has a knack for giving exposure to things that are brilliantly executed and genuinely deserve lots of attention.
Got an interesting video or picture? Let him see it! Know of a captivating trend? Show him! Heard some awe-inspiring words? Pass it on! Saw an object of outstanding merit? Send it to him!
Then watch it resonate all over the place, getting recognition beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.
A-Viral epitomizes the embraceable side of all worthy human endeavor. He takes ingenuity, grace, compassion, and soul, and lifts it up high for everyone to see. His talent lies in an uncanny ability to share like no one else ever possibly could.
Getting in A-Viral’s good graces is like winning the lottery not once but twice. And who among men — and women — wouldn’t want that to happen to them?
Going viral is neither inherently good nor inherently bad.
Rather, it’s about who you feed, and what you feed him. Depending on that, it can go anywhere from A to Z.