Posts Tagged ‘moment’

About Crowds

Friday, October 8th, 2010

The theory of  the Wisdom of the Crowd supposes that it is possible to create collective wisdom out of the combination of the wisdom of many disconnected independent intelligent (wise) individuals.

This theory has nothing to do with a Crowd. As you will see Crowds are not intelligent. Crowds are groups of people that are totally synchronized and act out of their collective emotions.

When people talk they move into a state of entrainment within a few seconds. The reason is the dialogue itself. If focuses the participants on the same issue.

When many people focus their attention at the same subject  (television, movie, music, soccer match, a ritual, ..) the same effect happens. Individuals in a crowd become the crowd.

When many individuals  are not focused on a shared goal they will never become a crowd. In this case every individual will go his own way looking for a “real” crowd.

Human beings want to be part of a crowd because a crowd is one of the most effective ways to generate a lot of personal energy.

Most people, the generators,  are energy producers. Some people are energy consumers. Extraverts take their energy out of the crowd. Introverts accumulate energy when they are alone and relaxed. It is not easy to entrain introverts.






Why Crowds give Energy

Entrainment or Trance is a state of the body in which the Left and Right Brain are synchronized. When this happens the Human becomes his Emotions.

Sociologist Randall Collins has called this interactive rhythmic entrainment the “hum of solidarity“.

As in an empassioned conversation, the synchrony of our rhythms forms an inaudibly low frequency, we hum. If you record such a conversation and speed up the recording a few octaves, you will hear it. Laughing together is a perfect example, often showing rapid synchronization.

Ritual practices (meals, parties, etc) help sustain these moments of solidarity over time. The local energy exchange is a fine-grained flow of micro-events that build up in patterns of split seconds and ebb away in longer periods of minutes, hours, days.

These local interactions combine, giving rise to another form at a ‘higher’ degree, a social emotion. Emotional energy is defined by Randall Collins as a feeling of confidence, elation, strength, enthusiasm, and initiative in taking action. And it is the giving and recieving of emotional energy that keeps a practice, an idea, a fad, a tune, and a people going.

Shamans and cultural leaders have known this for centuries and used rhythmic or emotional entrainment to heal, commune with, or even to brainwash and destroy one another.

The role of rhythm in trance music is largely in synchronizing an individual’s internal rhythms (heart rate, respiratory rate, blood flow, neural potentials) with those of others. And this is done by using a swift, loud, clear rhythm to drive everyone.

When people synchronize they experience a rise of their energy-level and this energy-level persists for about a week. That is why spiritual rituals are repeated every week on a Sun-day, the day of the Energy of the Center.

crowd in panic

How to control Moving Masses

Events that create a huge amount of emotional energy like concerts and soccer-matches attract huge amount of people. There have been many incidents where the movement of the entrained crowds has created many casualties.

People in crowds obey just two rules. Copy the other and keep a certain distance to the other.

The distance is a very important variable. When the distance exceeds the limit of the personal field, the personal fields merge and the personal identity dissolves into the collective identity.

At that moment the crowd starts to move on its own. The “leader“, the first person in the crowd,  becomes a very important person. When the “leader of the crowd” does not know what to do, the crowd will start to behave in a chaotic way. Experiments show that about 5% of the people in a crowd are “leading’ the crowd.

When you want to control a crowd you have to control the people that are in front of the crowd.

When you want to control a moving crowd you have to create a structure that guides the crowd (“way-finding”).  One of the most important mistakes is to create a bottleneck in this structure.

When the crowd moves into this bottleneck it will slow down the speed of the crowd and the distance between the members of the crowd will decrease until the crowd will stop at a certain point creating a “traffic jam”.  At that point people will be crushed.

When people participate in a crowd the Emotions of the crowd become dominant. When the crowd is attacked or is unable to find its way,  the negative Primary Emotions appear.

In  this state individuals are able to produce highly agressive behavior (Fight), extreme passive behavior (Freeze) or extreme avoidant behavior (Flight).

When the flow of the crowd is disturbed somewhere and the collective moves into the state of panic the bottleneck will certainly kill or injure many people.


How to manipulate the Masses

The predictable behavior of a crowd has been known for a very long time. This knowledge was used by intelligent “dictators” who wanted to use the masses for their own aim. Good examples are of course Hilter and Goering, his communications manager.

When they tried to move the masses, the mass media were in their infancy. At this moment it is possible to reach millions of people with ease. The ”leaders” of this moment know that they have to behave and talk in a certain way to entrain their followers.

The big problem is that crowds are unable to think so they have to simplify their message and emphasize certain “mantra’s“. The effect of their behavior is that the world becomes very simple.

The most effective way to influence the Crowd is to divide the Crowd into two parts, the In-Crowd (“we’) and the Out-Crowd (“not-we”) and to project everything that is wrong on the Out-Crowd. Hitler used the Jews but at this moment the Muslims are the most used “Out-Crowd”.

There is nothing wrong when Leaders use the Psychology of the Masses to move the Masses. The masses, the Sheep,  need a leader, the Shepherd. Without a leader they start to drift and will never reach the Promised Land.

When Leaders misuse innocent people of the Out-Crowd to increase their own power there is something terribly wrong.  These Leaders are criminals and should be treated this way.


About the Good and the Evil

About the Fascist State

About Entrainment

About Trance

About the Left and Right Brain

About the Emotions

Randall Collins, Interaction Ritual Chains

How crowds behave in a public place

Why Crowds Panic

A Scientific paper about Entrainment and Religion

Resting in the Centre (citations out of the Zhuang Zi)

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

A friend gave me the Dutch translation of the Zhuang Zi (translated by Kristofer Schipper) for my birthday. In the cover we read “The classic book about Taoism”. Trying to be with the Tao is something I strive for all my life. Getting to know Chinese philosophy started when I was about twenty.

I discovered the I Tjing (and of course Jung) and started to read.

My first manager at ABN was an old Colonel of the Intelligence and he taught me everything about Tzun Zu. Tzun Zu is about fighting a war without fighting. Let your opponent waste his energy until he destroys himself.

I always believed that most of the time you have to do nothing because things go their way (this is called Wu-Wei). I could manage many people and huge projects without spending much time. At a certain moment in time (called the Magic Moment) there is a fork (Chaos Theory) and a choice can be made. The fork can be felt. It feels like there is a lot of flux (Something is coming on don’t know what it is but it’s getting stronger (Blood, Sweat & Tears)).

Clever Managers don’t do anything (they delegate) and only act at the Magic Moment.

When I encountered the Unknown the Zhuang Zi opened itself to me. I understood what was told and what was meant by The Dawn, The Centre, The Loner and The Light.

The message of the Zhuang Zi is very simple and very complex. It is simple if you experience or want to experience the Unknown.

It is utterly incomprehensible when you are still Thinking.

Here are some citations (Translated out of the Dutch text, sorry) that could be helpfull to get out of Thinking.

“Without the Other there is no I and without the I we can’t see a difference”. Every Other is a Mirror. In this Mirror we project Our Self.

“From the moment we have received our body we keep waiting for the moment that we die”. The Fear of Dying is prohibiting us to Live.

“Speaking is not blowing air. People that utter words say something. But what they are saying is changing all the time”. Theories are constantly changing because Words are unable to express What IS. When we become Silent (“Meditate”, “Reflect”) we know everything because there not much we have to know.

“Every creature is “the other” for “the other” and every creature is Yourself for Yourself”. You are the Source of Everything.

“If you take the perspective of the Other you can’t see Yourself”. Don’t look Outside. Look Inside. Everything that is Outside can be found Inside.

“The Other emanates out of Yourself and Yourself depends on the Other”

This is the Law of Complementary Opposites. Just as Life produces Death and Death produces Life and Wrong produces Right and Right produces Wrong. There is no Right and Wrong. They are the sides of the same Coin but we are unable to see the Coin. We are constantly flipping from one side to the other side.

“If this is true, is there really “The other” and “Yourself”?

“If we merge the Two we enter in the Centre of the Wheel (The Tao)”.

“In the Centre there is no movement”.

“We come to rest and live in the Light”.

The Only thing we have to do is to Stay and Act out of our Centre, The Heart.

I will tell you a little secret.

The Zhuang Zi contains many references to an old civilization called MU. In the City of Xian (mentioned in the Zhuang Zi) the Chinese have for a long time hided a White Pyramid that contains the same pictures as the famous Pyramids of the Mayas.