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The Bystander Effect
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Ergasiophobic



Joined: 10 Jan 2007
Posts: 349

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:43 pm    Post subject: The Bystander Effect Reply with quote

This story is old and certainly not the first case of such but quite startling.

Shoppers Stepped Over Woman Having Seizure

Quote:
POSTED: 6:39 p.m. EST November 28, 2003
UPDATED: 7:41 p.m. EST November 30, 2003

"ORANGE CITY, Fla. -- A 41-year-old woman was knocked unconscious and then trampled by a mob of shoppers who continued to step over her as she suffered a seizure during a Friday sale at Wal-Mart in Orange City, Fla., according to Local 6 News.

Authorities said that Patricia Van Lester arrived at Wal-Mart at 3 a.m. for an early sale on a DVD player for her mother. When the store's doors opened at 6 a.m., Van Lester grabbed the DVD player but was quickly overcome by hundreds of shoppers rushing into the store.

The woman was knocked to the ground, slammed her head on the ground and suffered at least one seizure, according to Local 6 News.

Her sister watched the incident and tried to stop the crowd as they made their way to the merchandise.

"I screamed, 'Stop, don't step on her, my sister is on the ground,' and nobody would listen," the woman's sister, Linda Ellzey said. "I've never seen so many people in a store at one time -- in one area. If there was a fire, nobody could've gotten out of there."

When Orange City and EVAC paramedics got to the store they found Van Lester lying on her left side on top of the DVD player, surrounded by shoppers seemingly oblivious to the unconscious woman, said Mark O'Keefe, a spokesman for EVAC Ambulance.

Van Lester was airlifted to Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach. Ellzey said her sister will likely remain hospitalized for days." Emphasis mine


Unbelievable.


Last edited by Ergasiophobic on Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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barkmoss



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 100

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stepping on people feels good man, don't push your morality on me!

She got her DVD Very Happy

Seriously, you can get those for like 20 bucks. C'mon and VHS, aren't those free?

Personally, I think people stepping on people in a crowd like that often do it because they figure they can get away with it. It's not greed; it's unreasonable pride. You aren't supposed to step on people, even if it looks tempting.

I know, I'm just a buzz kill. *Don't Step on People's DVD's*

http://static.flickr.com/32/53323211_199c4cf6e5_o.jpg
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Ergasiophobic



Joined: 10 Jan 2007
Posts: 349

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Certainly, rushing crowds happens. I think what gets me the most is people shopping while apparently oblivious to the injured lady having seizures on the floor.

Definitely not proof of greed, though. Interesting, none-the-less.

Maybe evidence of apathy.
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barkmoss



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, they don't care.
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barkmoss



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 100

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's easier because they are in a crowded department store, but ultimately what's lacking is regard for their fellow man. People will step on you, they don't care anymore and the frailer you get, the worse it gets. Furthermore, no one will help you anymore, except (maybe) your family.

My general impression is that people used to be more helpful and considerate than they are today. That's a loss.
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yougetajob



Joined: 14 Jun 2006
Posts: 672

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just incredible selfishness perhaps?

Last summer I was in a mall. When I left, I took the stairs to go down the parkade. It was really crowded. When I'm in a mall, I'm usually not in a very good mood so generally I move very quickly and get easily agitated when someone slows me down by walking slower than I want to walk. So anyway, I'm going down the stairs and the woman in front of me suddenly stops and puts her rests her hands on her thighs, sort of like when you've just ran a sprint and you're trying to catch your breath. I know there's something wrong, maybe nothing, but I feel like I should do something. But instead I just walked around her. It turned out her husband was walking just a bit ahead of us and he came back to see what the hold up was. She had just got a cramp or something, nothing serious. I felt bad though. I knew that someone else would deal with it. That's probably what a lot of those people in that story felt like too, but if everyone thinks that, then, well it's pretty obvious.
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Ergasiophobic



Joined: 10 Jan 2007
Posts: 349

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, giving them the benefit of the doubt, they aren't paramedics and likely can't help a seizure victim anyhow...

Perhaps I just thought my thread title was catchy. Smile

I remember in middle-school when a student had a seizure outside once, during a bombthreat (so everyone was outside of the building) and we all just stood there looking; what could we do? People who knew what to do soon arrived, spoon-in-hand, to care for her. I had never even heard of seizures beofre that experience. Though we certainly didn't keep on playing dodgeball as though nothing was happening.

Also, we can only go on the reports, we were not there. Maybe my mental picture is innacurate. I envision people happily shopping for their widgets as though a human isn't laying there suffering, which is likely not really the case.

It's sad, however, that people would rush the store in such a fashion as to knock a poor woman down like that. It's also tragic when it happens at music concerts and the like.

Bah, I was trying to find (with no success) the George Carlin quote where he talks about being in a plane crash and stepping over children, old people, and midgets to get out of the plane ASAP in order to 'help others', quipping that he can be of no help to anyone while trapped inside of a plane. Smile

During my search I coincidently found these too: Kansas Shoppers Step Over Dying Woman and susequently, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitty_Genovese

Quote:
"The fact that people were more interested in taking a picture with a cell phone and shopping for snacks rather than helping this innocent young woman is, frankly, revolting."



Quote:
"For more than half an hour thirty-eight respectable, law-abiding citizens in Queens watched a killer stalk and stab a woman in three separate attacks in Kew Gardens."


These are perhaps worse examples. Not simple apathy, but actual voyeurism.

Quote:
Tool
"Vicarious"


Eye on the TV
'cause tragedy thrills me
Whatever flavour
It happens to be like;
Killed by the husband
Drowned by the ocean
Shot by his own son
She used the poison in his tea
And kissed him goodbye
That's my kind of story
It's no fun 'til someone dies

Don't look at me like
I am a monster
Frown out your one face
But with the other
Stare like a junkie
Into the TV
Stare like a zombie
While the mother
Holds her child
Watches him die
Hands to the sky crying
Why, oh why?
'cause I need to watch things die
From a distance

Vicariously I, live while the whole world dies
You all need it too, don't lie

Why can't we just admit it?
Why can't we just admit it?

We won't give pause until the blood is flowing
Neither the brave nor bold
The writers of stories sold
We won't give pause until the blood is flowing

I need to watch things die
From a good safe distance

Vicariously I, live while the whole world dies
You all feel the same so
Why can't we just admit it?

Blood like rain come down
Drawn on grave and ground

Part vampire
Part warrior
Carnivore and voyeur
Stare at the transmittal
Sing to the death rattle

La, la, la, la, la, la, la-lie

Credulous at best your desire to believe in
Angels in the hearts of men
Pull your head on out
Your head believes it give a listen
Shouldn't have to say it all again
The universe is hostile
So impersonal
Devour to survive, so it is
So it's always been

We all feed on tragedy
It's like blood to a vampire

Vicariously I, live while the whole world dies
Much better you than I


"The bystander effect (also known as bystander apathy, Genovese syndrome, or bystander intervention) is a psychological phenomenon in which someone is less likely to intervene in an emergency situation when other people are present and able to help than when he or she is alone."

"Solitary individuals will typically intervene if another person is in need of help: this is known as bystander intervention. However, researchers were surprised to find that help is less likely to be given if more people are present. In some situations, a large group of bystanders may fail to help a person who obviously needs help."

"A common explanation of this phenomenon is that, with others present, observers all assume that someone else is going to intervene and so they each individually refrain from doing so. This is an example of how diffusion of responsibility leads to social loafing. People may also assume that other bystanders may be more qualified to help, such as being a doctor or police officer, and their intervention would thus be unneeded. People may also fear "losing face" in front of the other bystanders, being superseded by a "superior" helper, or offering unwanted assistance. Another explanation is that bystanders monitor the reactions of other people in an emergency situation to see if others think that it is necessary to intervene. Since others are doing exactly the same, everyone concludes from the inaction of others that other people do not think that help is needed. This is an example of pluralistic ignorance and social proof. An alternative to explanations of rational motivation is that emotional cues to action can be as powerful as irrational ones, and the presence of a group of inactive others is a pre-rational emotional cue to inaction that must be overcome."
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Ergasiophobic



Joined: 10 Jan 2007
Posts: 349

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In light of the results of our conversation and new-found understanding, i'll change the thread title.
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yougetajob



Joined: 14 Jun 2006
Posts: 672

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting stuff Erg.

I was experiencing a syndrome!
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antiant



Joined: 05 Dec 2005
Posts: 293

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm just going to add to this and that is all i have to say on the matter at hand:

i think it's just plain old human nature to not give a fuck, honestly who really cares? it is the 'social environment' that teaches us to care, the social conditioning that teaches us the 'golden rule'...get rid of that and we are what we are, call a spade a spade, survival of the fittest, perhaps...without all this 'mumbo jumbo' inbetween and sugarcoating the 'reality' of the matter...


trying to analyze human nature and or attempting to 'define' it, people seem shocked at the 'odd' discoveries they do find when putting it under a 'microscope' yet it is so hard for people to comprehend that this type of stuff goes on through out history, it is cyclical, it's repetitious, it has a pattern, yet people can't buy a vowel, nor do they have a clue...people like 'warm and fuzzy' they can't deal with harsh realities...maybe humans aren't meant to give a fuck, why is it a 'syndrome'? Anything 'odd' is most likely categorized as some type of 'syndrome' 'disease' or 'abnormality' when in all actuality it is what it is imo...i just find these things amusing and or funny, maybe because i'm use to the typical response and or outcome of it all
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Ergasiophobic



Joined: 10 Jan 2007
Posts: 349

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Point taken. Survival of the Fittest is the law when we get right down to it.

Perhaps i'm more appalled at the hypocrisy than the apathy. (Does that mean another title change for the my thread is in order? lol)

Just like the lyrics of the song: "Don't look at me like I am a monster Frown out your one face But with the other Stare like a junkie Into the TV." "Why can't we just admit it."


While reading Nat's quote from "The Next Level" thread again today:

Nat wrote:
Quote:
"I dunno. I'm starting to wonder if there really are any sheep. It seems to me there are only naked wolves and wolves in sheep's clothing. The sheep are wolves pretending to be sheep, so they can take advantage of the power in numbers. They are cannibals, feeding on the naked wolves."


I realized that I didn't understand what he meant at first (and perhaps I still don't) but I think he's saying that there are people who know what their true nature is and those who deny it. Or rather, that deep down we are all wolves but some pretend not to be; they say one thing with their mouths and another with their actions. (Now Nat comes along and tells me that I don't know what the hell i'm talking about. I probably shouldnt' be thinking and writing at 3:30 am)Smile

Certainly we're all hypocrites in some manner. I'm probably a hypocrite just for living in America.

______________________________
"The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done." - George Carlin
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xog



Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 413
Location: Hawaii

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"...hypocrite for living in America." Man, I know that feeling. Thing is there is hypocracy going on everywhere about something. I always end up with what's the easiest culture and climate to live in.

I think survival is a true universal. So I'd say, within the wolf or sheep metaphor, wolves. Although calling humans wolves is a disservice to wolves. At least they only kill to eat the weak and diseased, and no more than they need to survive. Maybe if they had a computer they'd kill more than that. Ya think? Personally, I don't believe anyone coming off like a sheep, because no one in any of my experiences has been able to keep up the ovine guise. Well, maybe out front black sheep aren't being hypocritical.
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effectus nihil est profundus sub pensus
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barkmoss



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 100

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Kitty Genovese case isn't accurate and it isn't a "parable;" it's just another example of activist "research" coming out of the 1960's.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/10/01/genovese.ap/index.html

"NEW YORK (AP) -- It's straight out of Psychology 101: "The Bystander Effect," a phenomenon illustrated by the infamous 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese as 38 callous neighbors ignored her screams for help.

Except that while details of the case were exposed as dubious over the years, psychology instructors and students still operate off the original parable of bad Samaritans united by indifference to a gruesome attack, according to an article by three British university professors.

The since-challenged story of the circumstances surrounding Genovese's death "continues to inhabit introductory social psychology textbooks (and thus the minds of future social psychologists)," the trio write in the September issue of American Psychologist. The result is a lack of research into similar cases, their article maintains....

...As it turned out, there were two attacks, not three. The prosecutor in the case later said only a half-dozen witnesses were ever found. Others have suggested that calls to the police were made (and ignored), and that the fatal second assault occurred in a location visible to almost no one..."

http://www.mindhacks.com/blog/2006/06/remembering_kitty_ge.html

"The 'bystander effect' itself is considered to be real. With additional people comes a 'diffusion of responsibility' that makes it less likely that individuals feel a personal responsibility to take action."

Duh. If I'm on a ferry crossing a lake I'm not going to dive into the water to save a drowning victim if there are freaking sailboats all over the lake near the victim!!!! Actually, those people do have a responsibility; I cannot be responsible for every freaking person on the planet!!!! However, I would throw them a life preserver and inform the nearest ships officer. On the other hand, if I were boating with a chum and they were nocked unconscious by a flying water ski, I'd lend them aid, even if they were knocked off the boat into cold water. On the other hand, if it was icy Arctic water I wouldn't be very likely to dive in. Of course, I'd throw them a rope and hurl them up with all my might. Others might give in to the temptation to let that bloke drown, seeing as how that person might become a burden to our early twentieth century arctic expedition. Those risks, I think, are better left to the care of God.
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Ergasiophobic



Joined: 10 Jan 2007
Posts: 349

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Antiant wrote:
Quote:
"i think it's just plain old human nature to not give a fuck, honestly who really cares?"


What a mean thing to say. What an asshole you are!

Haha, only kidding. Perhaps this was just some of my advocacy here. Playing the role of the altruistic one. That ego-trip that Xog mentioned recently. Or maybe just reflecting their image back for them to see.

Of course, Antiant is right.

People pretend to care as they ignore the guy with the "will work for food" sign and yell out the window, "Get a job, you bum!"

Part of the multi-faceted facade. (that's kinda redundantly redundant.)
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xog



Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 413
Location: Hawaii

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hell, everyone not in wars ignore those who are in it, except for meaningless words feigning (or they'd be there with weapons next to them) concern or bumper stickers making statements next to the exaust pipe. Dafur? Bosnia? the Holocost? Go down the list, name any place, name any time, it will fit. Some people go, like Angela Jolie, grab a kid, adopt it, talk aesthetics, and split. Celebs are given passes like the red cross used to get. But the great majority of mankind hide from themselves. These days people are likely afraid of getting sued, even afraid to stop a thief because they might get sued. Hell of a deal. One day someone will sue a mirror manufacturer because the reflection theirself in the mirror scared them into seizure. And everyone will ignore that. To most people, people are worth less than possessions and money, basically. The oneness of everything with everything is not given any attention or energy, so people do not see themselves in others, and don't connect for any purpose beyond aquisition and personal appearance. I call it phantomized, people walking through each other.

Blink.
I woke from a nap feeling like a ghost,
a phantom that does not belong to this world,
even though it is a phantom world.
Oh, it's here. And so am I.
But we don't relate to each other.
We are both very careful not to bump into one another.
And we'd really rather each other were different,
more solid,
more comfortable to be around,
more worthy of contribution.

Even though we rarely collide,
we always walk right through each other.
We're all phantomized by that walking through.

Not quite vaporous, nearlly colorless,
like a moving x-ray hologram
with tinges of color and vague hues,
the road drives by, and all cars stay in one place,
in a hurrt to be there to they can have it,
think about how that feels,
and call that enough.

Meanwhile, the wind blows,
x-ray trees bend, the sky dribbles,
and the hoards head for the car wash,
so they can stay cleanly in one place
as fast as possible,
and so the effect of tainted sky-water
is evenly spread on their car's new pain job.
They don't want any x-ray shadows giving anyone
anything to bump into.

They are clean,......clean phantoms.
So clean that when one says "BOO!"
the rest squeak.
None peak from behind their iron vests
to test the veracity of their vision.
It's a ghostly minuet,
with all bets keeping us all at odds.

As we whoosh through each other phantomized,
the world sliding through me barely feels like wind brushing by wind.
The question is who is more hollow than who,
the world or I?
The world's phantoms don't know.
Neither do I.
We're all to busy walking through each other to care.
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