WHEN the people of Tunisia took to the streets to topple the corrupt dictatorship of Zine Ben Ali, there was a tourist in the crowd who had more than a passing interest in how the events were unfolding.
Psychologist Dr Chris Cocking was on holiday in the north African country when the revolution began. But for the London Metropolitan University lecturer, watching Tunisians call for a fresh start was not only uplifting in terms of seeing a people rise up in the name of freedom – it was interesting from the point of view of his current research, too.
The academic found himself in the midst of revolution in the Middle East as he conducts
new research in the psychology of crowd behaviour. So rather than cower in a hotel room, he went to investigate.
“We found ourselves caught up in a couple of riots,” he explains – and while this may sound like a daunting experience, for Dr Cocking, the behaviour of the crowds confirmed his theory of how humans act when large groups find themselves in potential danger.
“Despite press reports, we felt safe,” he says. “The only time we felt concerned was when the police arrived and people scattered.
“People spoke to us, and we found that not only were they not threatening, many were coming up to reassure us – to explain why they were targeting certain buildings and not others, and give their view of the president.
“It gave me first-hand evidence as to how crowds are reported compared to the reality on the ground. I have to take issue with the media [because] they pursued an angle – “terrified British holidaymakers caught up in the middle of a revolution” – that buys into outdated views not only of how crowds behave, but also ignores how people are more resilient in the face of adversity than they are given credit for.
“This reflects a deeply pathological view of crowds pervasive in social discourse, but not supported by evidence.”
Kansas City Jewish Community Center shooter: “I was an FBI Informant” 2014 04 24 Kansas City Jewish Community Center shooter: “I was an FBI Informant”
…… Which is EXACTLY how we called it when this story broke a few weeks back. We also mentioned that the SPLC, just discarded from the FBI “hate” website… Would be the prime benefactor.
Ex-KKK Leader Was Given a New Identity Years Before Shooting
Glenn Miller Claims He Was an FBI Informant
Meet AISight – The Artificial Intelligence Software Being Installed on CCTV Networks Globally 2014 04 24 If you thought that CCTV cameras tracking your every move in public was bad enough, you’re going to just love AISight (pronounced “eyesight” of course). The invention of a Houston, Texas based company called BRS Labs (which stands for Behavioral Recognition Systems) is headed by former secret service special agent John Frazzini, and this Orwellian surveillance platform brings artificial intelligence ...
Biofuel Made From Corn Waste Less ‘Green’ Than Gasoline 2014 04 24 Biofuel created from corn waste may not be the clean, eco-friendly oil alternative the United States government is hoping for. A new study has found that fuel generated from harvested corn leftovers creates more greenhouse gases than conventional gasoline — at least in the short term.
The fuel under study, called cellulosic ethanol, has been touted in recent years as a ...
Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king 2014 04 24
Scientists pried open the 850-year-old casket of King Erik the Holy on Wednesday, hoping to find out more about the king, his crown, and his eating habits.
"This was a very special occasion, especially considering the importance of Saint Erik religiously in Sweden," Uppsala Cathedral Chaplain Lars Åstrand told The Local.
The casket contained the bones of King ...
John Kerry and the Pope set to face off with Jewish Knight Templars on the Temple Mount 2014 04 24
This is the week that supposedly spells the end of the peace process or its end. My money is on a continuation that has no real substance or direction.
What’s the alternative?
With Passover and Easter over, Secretary Kerry can return to the Middle East crisis. This, after dealing so successfully with crisis in the Ukraine. [Is the author joking? - RIC]