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   Undertoad  Wednesday Jul 30 12:42 PM

7/30/2003: Net-organized mob silliness



It started out as a fun idea, now it's been picked up by Reuters and all the cool kids are doing it. It's MOB, or "the mob project".

Apparently it started with messages like this, in which anonymous web readers are encouraged to meet, at an exact time, and follow the directions of a pseudo-leader to create some sort of bizarre "flash mob".

The image above was a shot of the fifth such event. In this one, NYCers were told to perch in Central Park near the American Museum of Natural History and make bird sounds.

How quickly the web culture moves: although it looks like the first example of this project was done in June, already there's a web site for similar things in a city near you.



xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Jul 30 01:41 PM

Sounds like a good way to sell drinks or bread or promote your casino/business. Just what in hell is a "truckers hat"?



Elspode  Wednesday Jul 30 01:43 PM

Uhh...this is actually kind of cool, in a pointless, frivolous sort of way.



99 44/100% pure  Wednesday Jul 30 02:15 PM

"Mommy, how did you and Daddy meet?"

"Well, dear, we were at Grand Central Station, building a tower out of bagels . . ."



DNK  Wednesday Jul 30 02:57 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by xoxoxoBruce
Just what in hell is a "truckers hat"?

A trucker hat is a ball cap that has mesh as the back half. Here's a pic...





GBA

DNK


glatt  Wednesday Jul 30 03:05 PM

Lemmings.

The participants have no idea why they are doing this. They think it's all good clean fun now, but what if these are just dry runs before the anonymous organizers use them for some evil plan? They would make the perfect distraction while a crime is committed.

Even if it isn't an evil plan, it's just a matter of time before rowdy people start getting involved and causing problems. Like the stone throwers at peace marches.



Happy Monkey  Wednesday Jul 30 03:39 PM

Weep for the future

Every "new" idea can be used by criminals... The human race is doomed.



Bitman  Wednesday Jul 30 09:05 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by glatt
Like the stone throwers at peace marches.
Nah, I think water balloons would be much more fun.


Guey  Thursday Jul 31 11:23 AM

Mouth Breathers anoynamous



warch  Thursday Jul 31 12:23 PM

There is an absurd espionage quality that's fun to see. I am reminded of sheep poetry plans.



Griff  Thursday Jul 31 12:30 PM

Sheep Poetrywas a great step forward in Oggs development.



headsplice  Thursday Jul 31 02:31 PM

Baaaaaa.....

Why would you do this? Well, why not? This reminds me of my bygone days of youth marching up and down the aisles of Kroger singing the Spam Song and then leaving the grocery store.
Absurdity for absurdity's sake is sometimes not pointless at all (dada-ism anyone?).
Just because you don't understand something doesn't mean you should mock it. *coughgueyglattcough*



dave  Thursday Jul 31 02:35 PM

Sorry? No Prize THIS Time? Please KEEP TRYING? AuuugGuUgUhU HhEHHH!



warch  Thursday Jul 31 02:53 PM

Hey, I remember WANGO TANGO!



glatt  Friday Aug 1 09:13 AM

Some random person on the web says "go to the park and make bird noises" and so you do? Yes. I'll freely mock anyone that does that.

Headsplice, I admit that I don't fully understand it, but that's not why I mock it. I mock it because the participants don't even understand it. A clearer example of lemmings would be hard to find. While the lemmings do appear to be having fun, that doesn't change their lemming status.

I somewhat admire the person(s) who are organizing this. If they can get this many people to blindly follow them, they are going to go places in this world.



xoxoxoBruce  Friday Aug 1 05:24 PM

Quote:
I admit that I don't fully understand it,
Bored people trying to get laid.


Torrere  Friday Aug 1 11:42 PM

I wonder if these could be the first flash crowds.

I've thought that concept was cool ever since I read [most | almost all] of Niven's short stories in my youth and came across it.



elSicomoro  Saturday Aug 2 08:28 AM

One of these days, we're going to do my sheep poetry-inspired plan...

Hey, they're going to be at Morimoto tomorrow here in Philadelphia, imitating Chairman Kaga from Iron Chef.

I like the actions, in the sense that they're just silly. Now I don't know if this is "the next social revolution" (apparently from Howard Rheingold's book), but if they aren't doing anything illegal, what's the harm?

Problems I see with this whole concept:

--Groupthink
--One-upsmanship
--Reaction of those around them



Uryoces  Monday Aug 4 03:47 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by glatt
Some random person on the web says "go to the park and make bird noises" and so you do? Yes. I'll freely mock anyone that does that.

Headsplice, I admit that I don't fully understand it, but that's not why I mock it. I mock it because the participants don't even understand it. A clearer example of lemmings would be hard to find. While the lemmings do appear to be having fun, that doesn't change their lemming status.

I somewhat admire the person(s) who are organizing this. If they can get this many people to blindly follow them, they are going to go places in this world.
Glatt, it's one thing to gather and make bird noises, and quite another to gather at the edge of a cliff and leap off. I'd like to see everyone get together somewhere and start carrying on like Billy Mays from the Oxyclean commercials:

"Grass stains!!! Clay stains!!! Blood!!! BLOOD!!!" or somesuch.


Torrere  Monday Aug 4 03:52 AM

If I could get a decent-sized group together, I think it would be a lot of fun to go to the park and make bird noises.

Pointless, but fun.



xoxoxoBruce  Monday Aug 4 01:09 PM

Or you could do it and see if you could get a group to gather and maybe join you. Then again you might end up meeting Dr Wolf.



Torrere  Monday Aug 4 10:11 PM

I actually have succeeded in doing something similar before. It starts to work better once you have a handful of people, because it seems to be socially validated.

As I recall, we made a human wall across a pathway -- not exactly the most productive thing to do.



elSicomoro  Friday Aug 8 11:13 AM

Apparently, the first one in Toronto (or maybe it was Canada as a whole) occurred last night. It's been getting quite a bit of attention on CBC Toronto this morning.



glatt  Thursday Aug 21 10:52 AM

"One rule of the universe, which is even more reliable than death&taxes, states that a trend is within five minutes of being over once said trend gets an NYT writeup."

Front page of the dead tree edition of the Washington Post today had a fairly long article on flash mobs. That's right. The FRONT PAGE.

It's almost as if the Washington Post was trying to nail the coffin shut.



dar512  Thursday Aug 21 04:18 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by glatt
Front page of the dead tree edition of the Washington Post today had a fairly long article on flash mobs. That's right. The FRONT PAGE.
It's the silly season.


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