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Kitty Genovese syndrome strikes again; Hartford officials unsurprised.

This is just sickening:

A 78-year-old man is tossed like a rag doll by a hit-and-run driver and lies motionless on a busy city street as car after car goes by. Pedestrians gawk but appear to do nothing. One driver stops briefly but then pulls back into traffic. A man on a scooter slowly circles the victim before zipping away.

The chilling scene _ captured on video by a streetlight surveillance camera _ has touched off a round of soul-searching in Hartford, with the capital city's biggest newspaper blaring "SO INHUMANE" on the front page and the police chief lamenting: "We no longer have a moral compass."

"We have no regard for each other," said Chief Daryl Roberts, who on Wednesday released the video in hopes of making an arrest in the accident that left Angel Arce Torres in critical condition.

...

In the video, Torres, a retired fork-lift operator, walks in the two-way street just blocks from the state Capitol after buying milk at a grocery. A tan Toyota and a dark Honda that is apparently chasing it veer across the center line, and Torres is struck by the Honda. Both cars then dart down a side street.

Nine cars pass Torres as a few people stare from the sidewalk. Some approach Torres, but most stay put until a police cruiser responding to an unrelated call arrives on the scene after about a minute and a half.

What in the hell is wrong with those people?! Seriously -- watching the video you see no cars stopping, no people trying to help him out -- although plenty of people seem interested enough to stop and peer at him from the sidewalk. There seems to be a good bit of curiosity, but no one seems to think that maybe, just maybe, they should stop and help the guy out.

Also, what is the deal with the two cars? The first one clips him, and the second one nails him. They don't so much as hesitate for a second, and then speed down an alley. Seems a little suspicious to me.

Anyways, there is NO excuse for such callous and despicable behavior. NONE. How is it that not one single person found it necessary to try to go and help the man? Instead, it's peer at him from the sidewalk. Take pictures with your cell phone. Circle around him with your motorcycle and stare. Self-absorbed assholes, each and every one.

Let me do a quick contrast here. When my brother was in the car accident that ultimately killed him, his body was flung over the windshield of the over car, where he ended up lying sprawled across the intersection of Blanding Blvd and 218, a very busy road. What happened? Well, an off-duty paramedic was behind him, coming home from fishing. He was towing a boat behind his truck and saw the entire accident. He immediately swung around and blocked traffic with his truck and trailer, and no less than nine people called the police and reported what happened. They all testified to the police as well.

See a difference?

What would've happened to my brother had his accident taken place in Hartford? He probably would've been run over again because no one would've cared to take a second out of their self-absorbed lives to help someone else out. And as officials have said this is just the latest in a string of incidents showing the "callous" attitude permeating Hartford, I'd say there's something very wrong with that city.

When it comes down to it, though, there is no excuse for this. None whatsoever.

Hat Tips: Hot Air and Rachel Lucas

Kim adds: I saw this on Fox News today and was stunned at how the citizens of Hartford just walked by or, at the most, looked on from the side walk and just kept on going about their business and did nothing to assist that man.

This made me think of something someone told me once. Many years ago, I was working at an engineering firm and was in a meeting with other employees about a buyout our company was going through. The new company didn't have American Express business cards and many of the engineers who had to travel to remote, underdeveloped, third world countries on business wanted them because of the life insurance policy that came with them. One engineer named Dan said that in some of the countries he traveled to, the culture was so backwards, that if someone were to be injured, or God forbid killed, rather than provide any help, the locals would more likely just push the body to the side of the road and keep moving. He felt better traveling to those countries with an additional life insurance policy applicable to his job.

I was shocked at hearing Dan's story. I couldn't' believe any culture could be so cruel, so backwards, so lacking in any sense of morality that people would just step over someone who needed help.

Frightening, isn't it, that we are witnessing this very thing, not in some remote, underdeveloped, backwards, third world country, but right here in an American city.


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Comments (47)

Jesus Wept....... (Below threshold)

Jesus Wept....

So many lawsuits by people ... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

So many lawsuits by people like Silky Hair Edwards that people are scared to get involved.
A lot of states still don't have laws to protect the average citizen when 'doing their best' to help people involved in accidents.

Now we have so many real and so many phony cases of child molesting that even as an EMT on an ambulance I was hesitant to touch a child without their parents approval, which they can't give if they're seriously injured or dead.

Lawsuits by shady ambulance chasing lawyers like Edwards have killed a lot of people.

I still would have tried to assist the victim of the hit and run driver.

There are also millions of ... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

There are also millions of people in this country that will not help, but will lift your wallet and watch as you lay dying in the street, not just Hartford. That's just a fact of how far we have fallen and the fall is not over. The do anything that pleases you liberal crowd has influenced liberal politicians so much no one cares about anything but self.

This makes me want to puke ... (Below threshold)
swink:

This makes me want to puke right here at my pc. What the hell is wrong with these people?!! I can't believe my eyes! NO ONE STEPPED OUT! NO ONE!!! ALL THEY HAD TO DO IS STEP IN THE ROAD AND STOP TRAFFIC! Don't give me that, "I'm scared I'll get sued," garbage. Andybody can frickin' stop traffic on a street like this. This is not like a 6 lane highway. I want to puke again. I hope Hartford is very, very proud. Yeah, I saw that fat pig snapping a pic to show all her fat friends. Sick.

Because liberals have foste... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Because liberals have fostered the opinion that all problems are handled by the government. This is a liberal town isn't it? ww

This has nothing to do with... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

This has nothing to do with liberal/conservative issues or lawsuits. This is all about the sick twisted minds of every single passerby that went about their business after a man was just hit by a CAR! Slowing down just enough to catch a glimpse as if he was some sort of sidewalk artist. This is absolutely morally reprehensible, I'm so disgusted with every single person in this video. What a bunch of assholes!

Yeah this is my Connecticut... (Below threshold)
Daivd:

Yeah this is my Connecticut. By the by, I was driving to New Mexico last year (to visit my parents, my daughter's future school, and to go to the opera) and in Arkansas a car wrecked right in front of me and several dozen cars and trucks stopped to aid and assist. We are going back this summer (to settle my daughter in) and I plan on taking a full first aid kit just in case (last year I could just call emergency services and watch, I do not want that to happen in the future).

This is just my way of saying that this absolute callousness is a Northeast thing.

By the way, in 2000 I got a... (Below threshold)
David:

By the way, in 2000 I got a flat in pouring rain in Colorado and a kid stoped to help me change my tire. My engine died here in CT (Rt 169 if you care) and I literally had to jump in front of a state trooper's car to get some assistance. I live in a sick state.

Doesn't happen in Texas or ... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

Doesn't happen in Texas or Arkansas. On the few occasions that I have broken down in those two states, someone always stopped to help.

I guess what happened in Hartford just goes to show how backwards we folks are in the sticks like Texas, Arkansas, Colorado, and New Mexico, as opposed to the sophisticates in the Northern to mid-Atlantic Coast states.

Lots of the people appalled... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Lots of the people appalled by this video would do the same exact thing. It's one thing if you see the accident, but it's another to come upon such a scene. The first thing you see doesn't add up. There's a man sprawled out in the middle of the road and people are looking at him, but no one is helping him. You wonder what they know that you don't know? Is it a set up like you've seen on some really stupid TV shows? Does the crowd already know the guy is dead and beyond help? Does he have a gun? Someone must have already called 911, right?

Save your disgust for the people who ran this guy down and for those who saw the accident, but did nothing. As for the rest of the people, well that's what most of you would do in the same circumstances. At least before seeing this video, anyway. It's called crowd dynamics and it's a science in it's own right.

Its a big blue city right? ... (Below threshold)
gianiD:

Its a big blue city right? Wasn't the mayor under investigation by the state for something, as he was running for election?

Liberalism definitely played a role in the apathetic response of passers-by.

You miss the point Mac, the... (Below threshold)
David:

You miss the point Mac, the people who witnessed the act should be the first responders. What is even more sickening is NO ONE called 911. A police car responding to another call just happened upon the accident scene.

And to anyone else, the street thugs that did this should find themselves in jai for a long time, they are the ultimate scum.

By the way, I am totally in... (Below threshold)
David:

By the way, I am totally incensed about this and I need time to stomp around and scream between comments. Many of the people who watched the accident actually knew the guy that got hit. What part of disgusting doesn't that hit you?

You miss the point... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
You miss the point Mac, the people who witnessed the act should be the first responders.

I didn't miss it at all. Read my post again. You'll find this sentence "Save your disgust for the people who ran this guy down and for those who saw the accident, but did nothing."

Mac,No, "crowd dynam... (Below threshold)
Jess:

Mac,
No, "crowd dynamics" is a sales pitch and an excuse.
I've actually stopped to help in a case similar to this (injuries were nowhere as severe, thank goodness), and afterwards I was thanked by the police captain at the scene.
I'm more thankful @ the time another driver ran into me in my car (she ran a stop sign), and I was assisted by others within seconds.

Funny part was, that was in gun owning, religious, and (we're told) bitter West Virginia..

J

Sad state of affairs.... (Below threshold)
epador:

Sad state of affairs.

Many of the people... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Many of the people who watched the accident actually knew the guy that got hit.

Where did you get that information from? I didn't see that in any of the news releases. I did find this however "four people dialed 911 within a minute of the accident"

Or could it be that these f... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Or could it be that these folks are just indifferent to the situation cuz this sh!t happens all the time in Mexico...

I'm more thankful ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
I'm more thankful @ the time another driver ran into me in my car (she ran a stop sign), and I was assisted by others within seconds.

That's not the same thing for two reasons. First, a car accident is obvious even if a person doesn't see it happen. Second, in your case those who helped you within seconds had to have seen and/or heard the accident.

Two words.Blue. St... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Two words.

Blue. State.

People are rightly appalled... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

People are rightly appalled by the behavior they see in this video, and I know that telling them they would likely do the same thing doesn't win me any points, but it's true.

Put yourself in this position. You come across this scene of a man sprawled out in the middle of the road with people looking at him, but no one helping him. Your expectation is that if this were a real accident people would be helping the victim, but because they are not, this can't be a real accident. And so you wait to get more information; adding to the number of onlookers taking no action to help, which just sets up the same dynamic in the next person who happens upon this scene.

It takes one or more of the following three attributes for a person to go against the crowd's behavior. Authority, special training, or specific knowledge.

A cop has authority and special training, so he's either going to help the guy or arrest him for endangering the public. A doctor, nurse, paramedic, or firefighter all have special training and would go to this guy's aid. Anyone who saw the accident or knew the man would have specific knowledge and would go to this guy's aid.

Someone how has one or more of the needed attributes, but doesn't give aid fails on moral grounds. Those you should be appalled at, but the rest are acting like most people would act. Sorry if that offends some.

I live in CT, I watch the e... (Below threshold)
David:

I live in CT, I watch the evening news (usually wfsb)and get the Hartford Courant and other CT papers. It was a byline on much of the news. Actually this came after a prominent citizen had the crap bet out of him because he could only give the robbers 8 bucks. Carbonne may have to undergo brain surgery.

"What in the hell is wrong ... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

"What in the hell is wrong with those people?!"

"Eloi"

FWIW there were several people that called 911, but other than that they were *all* just onlookers. They have been sufficiently trained to be dependent on others to solve any problems that arise in life for them.

There were no independent thinkers that were willing to step forward and give aid.

Yeah Calixto Torres, city p... (Below threshold)
David:

Yeah Calixto Torres, city polititian said there were four calls, the 911 center is aware of none. Well we know what famous liars 911 centers are.

Mac,You're so incorr... (Below threshold)
Jess:

Mac,
You're so incorrect - on a number of levels.
It was rural - only one other person witnessed the collision (and how is a person sprawled across a street not "obvious"?),
and two - I can give you specific instances in which "civilians" did exactly what you claim they won't do, and one case where I did the same, and that's fact, not anecdote.
The very least one of these "people" (and I use the term very loosly) could have done was to stop their car and block the scene from others.

J

It was rural - onl... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
It was rural - only one other person witnessed the collision

And yet you said "I was assisted by others within seconds". So if the person who witnessed the collision assisted you then that's expected because they had specific knowledge (see post 21). If "others" means more than one, then how did they assist you within seconds without being on the scene? They would have at least heard this collision

and how is a person sprawled across a street not "obvious"?

Well it's obvious that a person is sprawled across the street, but it's not obvious why they are there or that they need help. Maybe it's a drunk passed out in the street and someone has already checked them out. Or maybe the guy is dead and someone has already called 911.

Even if someone drives up to a car crash after the fact, it's obvious it's an accident. Fluids are leaking, smoke or steam may be coming from the vehicles, parts may still be spinning. It's not the same thing.

I can give you specific instances in which "civilians" did exactly what you claim they won't do, and one case where I did the same, and that's fact, not anecdote.

But can you confirm that none of these "civilians" had one or the three attributes I listed in post 21? It only takes one person to break the crowd's behavior, but it does take that one person.

The very least one of these "people" (and I use the term very loosly) could have done was to stop their car and block the scene from others.

Well at least one person did stop their car in the same lane the guy was laying in. They sat in their vehicle, but they did stop. It was either that or run over him.

I linked to a crowd dynamics web site in post 10. They have a very good white paper on crowd dynamics. Go read that and then tell me I'm wrong.

Mac,"Seconds" means ... (Below threshold)
Jess:

Mac,
"Seconds" means just that - have you never driven on rural roads?? Events can be well out of sight & sound within a very short timeframe.

Yes, I can fully and reliably confirm that each of the civilians I referred to (myself included) do indeed exclude those criteria.

I did read that sales web site.

You are making an assertion. I can provide specific evidence to refute that assertion.


J

That there's some correlati... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

That there's some correlation with liberalism is a stupid suggestion and blatantly insulting to me. My mother and I were driving on the 401 (largest highway in Ontario) between Toronto and Windsor, when a motorcycle ahead of us wiped out. At least five cars pulled over immediately. This was fifteen years ago at least, so nobody had a cell phone, so a guy set up road flares and flagged down a tractor trailer to use its radio. My mother, a nurse, held the dying girl for twenty minutes until an ambulance showed up. When she got back in the car, she was covered in blood, and refused help from the paramedics. We sat there for an hour until she could drive again, though she probably shouldn't have. (The girl died that night. My mother had to take a week off work.) The driver, the girl's boyfriend, was decapitated.

All these liberal Ontarioans were so anxious to help that there were almost several accidents as cars hit the shoulder. My mother is as liberal as I am. So fuck anybody who says liberals are not sympathetic to distress, and do not act for the sake of others.

"Seconds" means ju... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
"Seconds" means just that - have you never driven on rural roads?? Events can be well out of sight & sound within a very short timeframe.

I've driven lots of miles on rural roads. If the witness was there and giving aid that changes the dynamic, same as if witnesses of this accident had given aid. In addition, a car accident is obviously an accident. That's not clear if you see someone laying on the ground in a city with many other people around, but no one giving aid.

Yes, I can fully and reliably confirm that each of the civilians I referred to (myself included) do indeed exclude those criteria.

Well you're very familiar with those civilians to know that none of them met any of the attributes needed to break with the crowd. What, are they your family members or relatives? No one would know this detail about people they didn't know very well. Even if you're accurate, we are dealing with human behavior; it's not 100% predictable.

I did read that sales web site

How about the white paper I mentioned? It's a doctoral thesis of 9 chapters.

You are making an assertion. I can provide specific evidence to refute that assertion.

Yes I am. Crowds act in predictable ways and that behavior can be broken by individuals with certain known attributes. This is the science of crowd dynamics. A specific case would be considered anecdotal evidence and you would need a lot more than that to negate the large body of research backing what I have been saying.

On the other hand what evidence do you have that these people are all morally lacking? Or are you offering another explanation?

Maybe the liberal are diffe... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Maybe the liberal are differenct in rich liberal land of Conn? Maybe a more selfish breed? More callous? Less caring? ww

Mac,Yes, as I said, ... (Below threshold)
jess:

Mac,
Yes, as I said, I'm familiar with them - and these are not anecdotes, but evidence.

A white paper is neither a thesis nor a dissertation, and you are staggeringly innacurate in asserting that I made any comment addressing anyone as "morally lacking" or similar.

What's funny is that you're willing to say that human behaviour isn't 100% predictable, and then say that crowds' (of humans) behaviour is predictable.

BTW, the "science" of crowd dynamics refers to the movement of groups, generally in confined or well defined areas (such as a stadium audience, or the circulation of participants in a specific event), NOT the willingness of a given (or number of) participant(s) to provide aid.

J

Jess, 100% predictable</... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Jess, 100% predictable and predictable are wildly different things, and without a proper handle on this distinction, you cannot properly comprehend any tenets of contemporary theories on human psychology, economics, and sociology. You know that, though, so quit trying to make Mac Lorry look like he's contradicting himself.

If you haven't asserted (implied) that anyone is morally lacking, then what exactly are you disagreeing about?

#28 hyperbolist:>Tha... (Below threshold)
Kenny:

#28 hyperbolist:
>That there's some correlation with liberalism is a stupid suggestion and blatantly insulting to me.
So fuck anybody who says liberals are not sympathetic to distress, and do not act for the sake of others.


Just because you're too stupid to understand that most liberals wont stop to help while most conservatives will is no reason to post your insulting comment.

Having grown up in rural Oregon and now living in the great socialist state of California, I've seen plenty of instances where people living in the rural areas (generally conservatives) stop to help other people, while in more populated areas (generally liberal), people just look but don't help.

I think it may come from the conservatives belief in personal responsibility, and the liberals rejection of responsibility.

So go fuck yourself, asswipe. Maybe grow up a bit and engage your brain for a change.

hyper,read the posts... (Below threshold)
Jess:

hyper,
read the posts! Or is that too difficult for you to understand?

J
(if that's too difficult, I'm disagreeing with the assertion that such behaviours are either a)typical, or b)a deference to some expertise or authority.

Kenny, what the fuck has pe... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Kenny, what the fuck has personal responsibility got to do with helping someone else in need? if you want to trade stupid caricatures of one another's political stripes, how about this:

Us evil collectivists take one another's well-being seriously, as the Machine works better with all of the cogs functioning properly (e.g., not disrupting traffic by lying in the street); and

You ruggedly individualistic conservatarians believe that when hit by a car, one ought to drag oneself up by one's own bootstraps and show up on time at the coal mine.

Pretty fucking stupid making inferences about someone's character based on how they vote, is the point. I never met one patchouli-stinking Marxist in university who didn't care very deeply about humanity as a whole, regardless of how back-asswards their politics were (are).

Liberals care about people. Conservatives care about people. As you're not intelligent enough to engage with the ideas that Jess and Mac Lorry are discussing (namely, that in crowded environments, people's behaviour is radically different than on, say, a country road), maybe you should find something else to be indignant about--meaning, other than my indignation at the notion that people who share my political outlook do not care about other people. Retard.

Jess, I don't know what you... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Jess, I don't know what you mean by deferring to expertise in this context. As for this behaviour being typical, it's obvious that sympathetic human beings behave very differently in different situations. And nobody's saying it's a good thing, or justification for anything. It merely is.

Hyperbolist,People... (Below threshold)
Kenny:

Hyperbolist,

People who believe in personal responsibility (generally conservatives) tend to help someone in need because we believe that:
a. it is the right thing to do and
b. it is up to us to do it.

People who don't believe in personal responsibility (generally liberals) tend to stand around and watch other people in need because:
a. it is the right thing to do and
b. it is up to someone else to do it.

I'm sorry that you're too stupid to understand that difference.

You can search google for various proofs of this. for example, studies have shown that conservatives give more to charities than liberals because of that belief difference.

>Pretty fucking stupid making inferences about someone's character based on how they vote
If you think that's pretty fucking stupid, you should go back and re-read your comments here on this blog.

And now, dropping to the daily kos level of discourse that you understand (and with apologies to the other readers of this blog): Go fuck yourself!

Yeah, because I think healt... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Yeah, because I think health care and education should be provided by the government, I thereby wouldn't stop to help someone who was hit by a car. You could think about things being discussed, or you could resort to asinine ideological oversimplification on an issue that has nothing whatsoever to do with ideology.

Find something, anywhere, written by any liberal that says standing around watching someone suffer is the right thing to do; or acknowledge that you are a moron. As for reducing the level of discourse, refer to comments #5 and #11. I'm not supposed to be pissed off? FOAD.

Yes, as I said, I'... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Yes, as I said, I'm familiar with them - and these are not anecdotes, but evidence.

Well if it's not anecdotal evidence than it must be part of a controlled study, is that what you are saying or don't you know what anecdotal means?

A white paper is neither a thesis nor a dissertation, and you are staggeringly inaccurate in asserting that I made any comment addressing anyone as "morally lacking" or similar.

It's a PhD thesis. If you looked at it you would know that. I also asked if you had another explanation for the behavior of this crowd besides being morally lacking. If it's not crowd dynamics and not a moral issue, then what explains the behavior? It's a weak argument to claiming it's neither of those, but you don't know what it is.

What's funny is that you're willing to say that human behaviour isn't 100% predictable, and then say that crowds' (of humans) behaviour is predictable.

I believe humans have free choice, so predicting what a given person or a given group will do is some situation is not 100% accurate, but that's not the same thing as saying people and groups are unpredictable.

BTW, the "science" of crowd dynamics refers to the movement of groups

That's only one small aspect of the science. Crowd dynamics is also known as Group dynamics with similar disciplines of Crowd psychology, Group behavior, and many more descriptions. The science goes back to Sigmund Freud's crowd behavior theory.

In a crowd people observe the behavior of others in the crowd and tend to mimic that behavior. Over time different people will take different roles such as leaders and followers, but initially everyone is gathering information.

The two women who saw the accident set up the dynamic by not going to the victum's aid. They may have gone is the store to call 911. The first SUV to pass the victim pulls into the next available parking space. Other's coming upon the scene see other's holding back and follow their lead. The cop is on the scene in 90 seconds, and if you are not trained or have specific knowledge it takes time to assess this unusual situation and act.

This same thing could happen in any city. Apart from the drivers who caused this accident, these are not bad or uncaring people.

Hyper,Exactly my poi... (Below threshold)
jess:

Hyper,
Exactly my point. Events such as this are rare, thus to assign a perfectly valid tool (crowd dynamics) in an attempt to either explain or excuse (not saying or implying that anyone here has excused such behaviour) such a rare event is puzzling to me.

Further, I belive the post author did a disservice by attmpting to link politcal ideology with some sort of morality. This rare event is an example of assorted bad behaviours, nothing more, nothing less.
To mangle a quote, "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar".

J

Hyperbolist,Nice t... (Below threshold)
Kenny:

Hyperbolist,

Nice try to changing the subject. Did I say anything about heath care or education? No. Just like a good liberal to try to change the subject when they don't want to admit the truth.

Since I'm talking to a liberal, I'll have to slow down for you.

Conservatives care about oyther people, just like liberals do.

The difference is that conservatives tend to act directly while liberals look to someone else to do the work.

So when these kinds of horrific events happen, they tend to happen in a city.

So what are you going to try to change the subject to now? Or will you just fuck off and crawl back under your kos-rock?

The rarity here is not the ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The rarity here is not the event or even the behavior of the people, but the fact that it was caught on video. To the untrained eye it looks like the people at the scene are callous and uncaring, when in fact, this is normal behavior.

The group gathered in the street near the victim is there for only 30 seconds before the police arrives and they can hear the siren of the police car as it approaches. What is someone unequipped and untrained in first aid going to do if they can hear approaching sirens? Ask yourself what would you do, and could you make a decision and act in less than 30 seconds? Not everything is as it first appears.

Crowd dynamics can sway eit... (Below threshold)
epador:

Crowd dynamics can sway either way in a given situation. Had one person rushed out to help immediately, likely more would have followed. I don't think this has anything to do with whether the people on the street not doing anything are liberal or conservative voters. The social atmosphere in Hartford is what is at question here, and this is a sad demonstration of lack of community response, or better put, lack of community. Its a sad state, of affairs.

Crowd dynamics can... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Crowd dynamics can sway either way in a given situation. Had one person rushed out to help immediately, likely more would have followed.

Exactly correct, but you do need that one person.

Years ago I was on vacation riding motorcycle in Yellowstone when a thunderstorm blew a tree down blocking the road. As I approached the scene there was already a long line of cars, campers and other motorcycles stopped. Thinking that as a dirt rider I might be able to squeeze by, I rode in the left lane to the front of the line. However, the tree was completely across the road and the ditches were like trenches; I was stuck just like everyone else.

There were about forty men and teenage boys standing looking at the tree that was obviously too large for anyone to move without tools. Another guy came up to me and pointed out that the tip of the tree was broken and maybe he and I could drag it off the road and at least let the motorcycles get by. We went over and started pulling on the tree and as soon as the crowd saw what we were doing they all engaged the tree at the same time. We moved that tree off the road as if it were nothing. All that was needed was one person to show the way, even if that person was trying to do something else. That's my anecdotal example of crowd dynamics.

I expect there were people further back in the line that were disgusted when I went by them in the left lane, but changed their minds when it appeared that I took charge of a crowd and turned it into a team that cleared the road for all. That's not what I did, but it might have looked that way to some. Not everything is as it appears.

I'm pretty appalled. I woul... (Below threshold)
LiveFreeOrDie Author Profile Page:

I'm pretty appalled. I would call it cultural rot, though I'm not sure I would call it liberal. It would never happen (I mean in present times) where I live in NH. Personally, I think this type of behavior arises when systems become de-localized, which can happen with both socially liberal policy and with run-away market consolidation, which tend to go hand in hand.

I have a related story:

1989, Ohio State Univerity. 12 story coed dormitory, with the men's rooms on one side of the hallway, women's on the other. Four people to a room. We have been in session long enough so that everyone knows each other at least by sight. My room is the last on the hallway on my side. I'm sitting at a desk goofing around, and the door is closed.

A female voice starts screaming in pain. It's obviously a little way down the hall. The screaming has now lasted a few seconds. One roommate, closer to the door, gets up to investigate. The door is now cracked open and I can hear that plenty of people are moving to help. The screaming is much louder with the door open. I sit and listen. By about 20 seconds into the episode, people are backed up to my door, and I decide to find out what the hell is going on.

I peek outside the door and the hallway is packed. The sceaming is coming from inside a room about 5 doors down. The room has its door open, and people are packed around. I muscle my way passed, into the room. These are decent rooms for the time, with a central room, and a bedroom off to the right, and a relatively spacious (for a public university) bathroom off to the left.

In the bathroom, on the floor, naked with a towel over her, is a young woman who I recognize - have perhaps breifly spoken with. Ten people are standing around her, watching. I push to the front of that gaggle so that I am standing over her and look down. She is screeming and slamming her hand against the side of her leg. I kneel beside her, look at her:

"Your knee is out of joint?"

She shakes her head yes. I've never put a joint back into place. She can't talk.

"Just grab your lower leg, and strike the knee on the side?" I'm guessing at the proper course of action based upon her thrashing, and I gesture the motion as I say it. She shakes her head yes.

I perform the action, the knee snaps into place, and she immediatley stops screaming. I stand up and start walking out of the room.

There's the floor RA, looking at me.

"They told us in training not to attempt any medical maneuvers", he says.

Those big blue cities are e... (Below threshold)
gianiD:

Those big blue cities are exactly what most intelligent people think they are, cold, heartless, selfish, crime-ridden, liberal.

No one can offer any proof of professional accomplishments of the Dem presidential nominee, can anyone offer any proof of a big blue city that is safe, with low taxes, high H.S. graduation rates, low crime, etc?

Kenny, I'm actually persona... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Kenny, I'm actually personally offended by your conception of what it means to be a liberal. Yes, I think the government ought to provide us with certain things; but no, I don't think that absolves us of respecting the dignity of other people, nor does it desensitize us to morally imperative situations. You will never find a single example of a liberal theorist or activist who advocates for a more detached attitude towards one's fellow citizens as a corollary of a substantial government role in society. So, I'm sorry, I did not mischaracterize your position. Also, I don't read Daily Kos, but thanks for the suggestion.

GianiD--Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto, Manhattan, Seattle, Berlin, Stockholm, Oslo, Prague, Austin... I don't know about comparative tax rates, but that's far less important than overall quality of life indices (of which there are several available). Furthermore, I don't mind paying high taxes here in Toronto as I earn a good salary and can afford to live well. Work hard, stay in school, and all that.




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