Thursday, April 30, 2015

President Obama and the Clown Car Liquor Store

The other day the president asserted the media is deliberately misleading the nation on the extent of violence by protesters in Baltimore by showing the same footage of a burning CVS, over and over. I think he's not so much ignorant or dishonest as he is confused. He probably saw this remarkable footage of a liquor store being looted.
So many protesters make their way in and out of the store in ten minutes one might get the impression every black person in Baltimore set foot inside. The thing is a remarkable study in mob dynamics. So many people file in you wonder how the little store holds them all. Periodically a mass of people rush back onto the street like a fleeing herd. Seeing this happen the first time I thought someone had let off a gun inside, but as soon as the store has relieved itself in this way, the crowd starts pouring in again, as if filling a vacuum.
My favorite part is when a car pulls up and an obese woman gets out and goes inside. A car full of people and she, apparently, is the most mobile one available for the task of weaving through the wilding throng. She returns later empty-handed, and appears to wave to someone in the crowd:

 



Baltimore is in a cognitive trap

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