Friday, September 30, 2005

People Are Stupid

Alternate Headline: Thank God I Wore Sneakers Today

The Red Line wasn't working this morning when I got to Park Street at 8:45. Apparently, someone had jumped on the tracks, though the official word from the MBTA was that there was a "medical emergency."

Park Street station, for those who don't know, is the nexus of the Green Line and the Red Line, and one of the busiest stations during rush hour for that very reason. Add in some overly zealous tourists and you have a real mess on your hands in Downtown Crossing when the Red Line is out.

Suffice it to say, it's truly amazing the herd mentality in these situations. People take the escalator to the top and then just stop and congregate right outside the door, causing a backup when more people (like myself) get to the top of the escalator, and then, like some kind of clown act, we all bump into each other. Then all the people get on their cell phones to alert their friends and coworkers that the train isn't working, and blah blah blah blah blah, and totally miss the fact that the cops are letting us cross the street. And when you — or rather, I — say something like "C'mon people. Move," you're looked at like you're a jerk. And I suppose it's all the more frustrating when you've left your apartment earlier than normal because you needed to get to work at a more decent hour.

There's a book called The Wisdom of Crowds that apparently says something to the fact that a group of people is smarter than all the individuals, um, individually. After witnessing the chaos outside of Park Street this morning, I can't get behind that theory.

Happy Friday, everyone.



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