February 7, 2012

Inventions S2E01: Alfred Wallace Moment


An Alfred Wallace Moment is when you come up with an interesting original idea and share it with the world when someone points out that a similar thing has already been said by someone who is more popular and suddenly you look like an asshole who stole someone’s idea (or worse a tweet) for no fault of yours!

A bit of History:

When I say Theory of Evolution, who is the first person who comes to your mind? Charles Darwin? See that is the problem. Alfred Wallace, a contemporary of Darwin, has independently come up with the same thing around the same time. Yet Darwin got all the credit (and all the heat) solely because Darwin had a Victorian age equivalent of having more Twitter followers compared to our poor Al (Alfred, I call him Al) Wallace. 

This is not a one-off incident. History is full of Alfred Wallace characters if you look carefully. Engels and Marx both came up with the whole communism thing together whereas it is now known as Marxism (In Marx’s defense, Engelsism doesn’t sound like something you want to try, does it?)

In Twitter-speak:

An Alfred Wallace Moment happens when you think of something very funny and make that wisecrack on a trending topic on Twitter only to realize that someone has already tweeted some variation of the same thing and then your fellow tweeple will suspect you of plagiarism and you drown in shame.

How to deal with it?

It can be quite a delicate situation. It happened to me a few times, most notably with this gultrage comic and it happened to Flawsophy too!

When you face these kinds of Alfred Wallace Situations, immediately go into damage control mode. Remember, the onus is on you to convince your followers that you’re not a loser who steals other people’s tweets!



  1. Ha ha.. Been there.. felt really ashamed..

  2. I faced a similar situation recently..this stupid blogger went around accusing me of plagiarism, I just ignored that idiot..!


don't be lazy