Help ATS with a contribution via PayPal:
learn more

Pearls Before Breakfast

page: 1
2

log in

join

posted on Jan, 21 2009 @ 10:53 AM
link   
I don't want to give my thoughts on this piece because it would give away certain aspects of the article. It's very interesting study and I found it impactful and moving and just wanted to link to it for those who might be interested in such a thing.

Let me just say that it's well worth the read.




Pearls Before Breakfast

HE EMERGED FROM THE METRO AT THE L'ENFANT PLAZA STATION AND POSITIONED HIMSELF AGAINST A WALL BESIDE A TRASH BASKET. By most measures, he was nondescript: a youngish white man in jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt and a Washington Nationals baseball cap. From a small case, he removed a violin. Placing the open case at his feet, he shrewdly threw in a few dollars and pocket change as seed money, swiveled it to face pedestrian traffic, and began to play.

It was 7:51 a.m. on Friday, January 12, the middle of the morning rush hour. In the next 43 minutes, as the violinist performed six classical pieces, 1,097 people passed by. Almost all of them were on the way to work, which meant, for almost all of them, a government job. L'Enfant Plaza is at the nucleus of federal Washington, and these were mostly mid-level bureaucrats with those indeterminate, oddly fungible titles: policy analyst, project manager, budget officer, specialist, facilitator, consultant.

Each passerby had a quick choice to make, one familiar to commuters in any urban area where the occasional street performer is part of the cityscape: Do you stop and listen? Do you hurry past with a blend of guilt and irritation, aware of your cupidity but annoyed by the unbidden demand on your time and your wallet? Do you throw in a buck, just to be polite? Does your decision change if he's really bad? What if he's really good? Do you have time for beauty? Shouldn't you? What's the moral mathematics of the moment?




posted on Jan, 21 2009 @ 11:18 AM
link   
I remember this article when it came out.

I can't help but wonder if this had been done on a Saturday would the results have been largely the same?

I think picking morning rush-hour stacks the deck.

Fascinating, nonetheless.



posted on Jan, 21 2009 @ 11:19 AM
link   
What a great read - I was riveted.

What does this say about humanity these days? I do think we are totally consumed with ourselves, which isn't a surprising human trait, but it's compounded by all of the technology that distracts and separates us.

I was especially fascinated by the observations of the behavior of children who were there as compared to the adults.

The whole thing makes me a little sad.



posted on Jan, 21 2009 @ 11:39 AM
link   

Originally posted by kosmicjack
I was especially fascinated by the observations of the behavior of children who were there as compared to the adults.

The whole thing makes me a little sad.


Me too.

That's what I love about having a four year old. He makes me stop to see things in a different light. Love that!

[edit on 21-1-2009 by loam]



posted on Jan, 21 2009 @ 11:45 AM
link   
reply to post by kosmicjack
 


I cried several times while reading it. What bothered me most is that we are not naturally appreciative of beauty UNLESS it's "framed" BY SOMEONE ELSE as something we should appreciate. I find it so sad that we don't make that decision that "this is worthy of my appreciation", regardless what anyone else thinks. We let others "frame" beauty in a physical frame or concert (with monetary value attached) before it's worth our time.

The beauty of the children is that they have not yet been trained to appreciate what THEY'RE told is beautiful. THEY decide.

It would be interesting to have, as part of the experiment, people who would stop and listen and have several gather to see how that affected the commuters that morning. If a group of 20 (part of the experiment) gathered to watch, that tells the others that there's something important here and maybe I should stop, too. I bet that would change the outcome considerably. And I find that very sad. Because, again, those 20 are giving "permission" to stop and gawk or "worth" to the beauty.

Also, any adult who would act as the children that stopped in their tracks would be laughed at. We are far too self conscious to just stop in awe and appreciate the beauty that the children clearly naturally recognize...



posted on Jan, 21 2009 @ 11:59 AM
link   

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
reply to post by kosmicjack
 


It would be interesting to have, as part of the experiment, people who would stop and listen and have several gather to see how that affected the commuters that morning. If a group of 20 (part of the experiment) gathered to watch, that tells the others that there's something important here and maybe I should stop, too.


Much like what often happens with threads. There are many deep thinkers and beautiful minds here that get overlooked or ignored because of the fast pace and controversial topics.

The scenario you propose is analogous to how pop culture and the MSM can shape our opinions. Who really decides what music is good? What fashions are hot? What issues are important? The crowd, often despite our better judgment.



posted on Jan, 21 2009 @ 12:18 PM
link   

Originally posted by kosmicjack
The scenario you propose is analogous to how pop culture and the MSM can shape our opinions. Who really decides what music is good? What fashions are hot? What issues are important? The crowd, often despite our better judgment.


That's likely a function of our biology-- being a social species.

Thank god for outliers.





new topics

top topics



 
2

log in

join