Saturday, January 24, 2009

The masses

It's natural to assume that a crowd of people will behave like water or an amoeba or a nest of ants, creeping and probing until it discovers a path. But a human crowd isn't focused on discovery; it's focused on desire. It's goal-oriented, like a lightning bolt or a cobra. When an event occurs -- a spreading rumor, an opened gate, a shouted order -- each individual calculates what effect it will have on his or her immediate personal objectives and the crowd reacts suddenly and unpredictably.

The best way to control a crowd of humans is therefore to never present it with new information.

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