When a group is lesser than the individual

12 07 2008

I read somewhere that in a group setting, human beings tend to feel absolved of responsibility to participate or provide assistance.

E.g. When a person screams for help in the middle of the night in a highly populated residential area, few or none of “the group” will call the police for help – their reasoning being, “Someone else will do it”. However, if an individual knows that he/she is the only person in the area that is able to provide assistance, chances are he/she will do something to help.

I was pretty skeptical of that article. I mean, it’s more to do with upbringing and culture, right? If I was brought up to help folks in need, or brought up in a culture which emphasizes community spirit, I surely would help no matter what.

As fate would have it, I had the chance to test this theory …

Venue: Elevator, Ely’s office, Hong Kong

Time: Lunch time rush hour

Record of events:

– I have to make a stop at the company mailroom, 6 floors down from my office. The lift lobby is crowded as it’s lunch hour.

– Lift arrives at my floor. Several other people enter the lift with me.

– I press the button for my floor and move towards the back of the lift. I notice that no one else looks at the lift panel or presses the button for the ground floor.

– The lift stops at almost every floor on the way down. Others enter the lift. Still, no one looks at the lift panel. No one notices that “ground floor” hasn’t been activated.

– I reach my floor and exit. The lift doesn’t move. Everyone stares blankly forward and waits for the lift to continue its descent. (Of course that doesn’t happen, you didn’t activate the ground floor button. DUHHH!)

– The lift stops and starts going up instead. A lift-load full of apathetic people now have to make the journey up, then down again. Their inaction has wasted them at least 5-10 minutes of their lunch time.

Perhaps the theory is true — in this country, at least 🙂

On a side note, I finally got a new phone:

Samsung Soul U908



The case of the moving belongings

6 07 2008

Was at the hair salon this afternoon, decided to trim + straighten + do treatment on my hair – which took, in all 4 hrs and involved 4 hair shampoos/rinses, one after each stage of the “ritual”.

Strangely, each time I returned from the shampoo, I found my belongings mysteriously moved to another seat and arranged in exactly the same way I had left it. After the 2nd or 3rd time, I was seriously spooked out.

Imagine you return home one day to find your belongings moved into another room.

Or return to your hotel and find yourself ushered to a different room, on a different floor … but with all your stuff there and arranged in the exact same order you left it in the morning.

Ugh … imagination running wild now.