Ten things I’ve learned from crowds

  1. There is one acceptable place to look in a crush of people on a subway in rush hour. Up.
  2. When you are in a mob, you feel powerful. When you are facing a mob, you feel desperate.
  3. Crowds allow for many things you can’t do on your own: crowd-surfing, crowd-sourcing, ‘the wave’, orgies.
  4. Elevators are always too crowded.
  5. There is a kind of aimless group mind that happens with a crowd. A listless communal lurch that you see in parades or protests.
  6. It is easy to be anonymous in large groups of people. That is one of the reasons I like big cities.
  7. People need leaders. I used to flirt with anarchist philosophy ok? I know all about collective bullshit decision making. I know from experience that large groups of people get stupid or incapacitated without somebody to make decisions.
  8. People attract more people.
  9. There is nothing like the sound of a group of choral or gospel singers. The variety of tones, how they fill the aural space. It is glorious.

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