Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Flash-mobs and Flascism: What Would Kant Say?

Flash-mobs and Flascism: What Would Kant Say?

Flashmobs (flash-mobs, flash mobs [reverse-order]) are everywhere.
Here are just a few headlines today:

Flash mob fever
Seattle Post Intelligencer, WA - 17 hours ago

Hundreds Flock to Coop for Local 'Flash Mob'
The Harvard Crimson, MA - Aug 1, 2003

'Flash mobs' spread to Europe
CNN - 9 hours ago

Internet-organized 'flash mob' makes Twin Cities debut
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN - Jul 22, 2003

A flash-mob is when and where people, notified by email, gather at a chosen place and time for a variety of reasons. So far, there hasn't been (as far as I have seen) any real negative consequences from this social innovation. I hope it stays that way...but I'm too reminded of certain intimidatory thugs who flash-mobbed vote-counters in Florida...

People can start to think they are invisible or lacking in responsibility as the throng swells around you. Floors are built to hold limited weight. Perhaps the appeal is just that the unexpected can happen...and is certainly more likely to.

But even though bad things may come of this trend -- and come they certainly will -- good and even great things can also occur. And not just Art. Healing can also occur.

'Twill be interesting (in the Strunkian sense) to see what new forms of flash-mobs come to fruition. I will check back now and again.