5 Responses to Twitter Is Faster than an Earthquake

  1. Andrew Gelman August 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    Nothing special about Twitter or the internet. Phone calls and radio are faster than earthquakes too.

    • William Ockham August 25, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

      Most people do not have radio transmitters and those who do will have protocols about how information is vetted before being aired. Phones are both connection-oriented and point-to-point. Twitter is not connection-oriented (at the application level for people who already logged in) and broadcast. That really is a substantial difference.

      • Andrew Gelman August 26, 2011 at 7:54 am #


        I was just objecting to the pop-science gee-whiz, wow, twitter-is-faster-than-an-earthquake thing. But, yes, I agree with you that twitter etc. offer new modes of communication.

      • Ed Darrell August 28, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

        Probably 50% of the Tweets come from hand-held radios. We call them “cell-phones,” but that doesn’t change what they really are, just as calling a calf’s tail a leg, does not make a five-legged calf.

  2. David A. Bedford November 8, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    No surprise here. Earthquakes propagate through rock very quickly, but any communication based on electricity and radio waves travels at the speed of light (minus traffic issues and relay times).