How Crowds Go Mad

Henry Dampier

We live in the age of the triumphant crowd. Liberated from the need to have every person be useful thanks to machinery, electricity, and human ingenuity, each person finds themselves at the center of a magical electronic universe. A feed of pictures, words, and sounds flows into their minds, mediated by soft glass screens responsive to touch.

We humans rely upon our fellows and their thoughts to us what is true and what must be done. If everyone around us believes something to be true, we also must believe it to be true as a short-cut, because complex thinking is expensive and not everyone is capable of doing it.

Today, technology permits people raised as people who go from crowd to crowd to pick and choose which crowd to join at will. Because it is nearly illegal to organize based on anything other than the crowd-principle, few people know anything…

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