Wednesday, October 5, 2011

We Be Social

From the Human Mirror mission,
©Improv Everywhere

Humans are social animals.  Glaring evidence is in the fact that subways work.  What creatures can you imagine packing into a metal tube, approaching the limits of breathing space, and then you shake it, and bang it around, and every one of them is like "We be cool."

First, they don't eat each other, even if most are carnivorous and some are very hungry.  That is a significant accomplishment, a vast refinement over the natural order.  There's virtually no killing or maiming.  Each comes out possessing the identical accoutrements with which they entered, a violation of this rule being rare and celebrated.  Even the most delicate etiquette of eye contact is by and large gracefully observed.

If you started reading this with a vague bristling resistance to the idea that a subway car is a paragon of civility, just think how much keener is the evidence then:  not only are humans hard-wired to get along peacefully with strangers, you are soft-wired to expect it.


4 comments:

Shelly said...

I agree with much of what you said, however, I've more than once been subjected to a man's crotch flailing in my face after he was kind enough to offer me his seat. And I'm pretty sure it wasn't because he thought I was pregnant. Male posturing again?

Bob Stein said...

But my dear Shelly, you are contributing to my central point. How many times has an encounter like that actually resulted in you getting pregnant? Contrast with the consequences for a similar extended close proximity for dogs.

The mere fact that you and I both find your story gross is illuminating. (My first thought was "girl, why did you have to yucky up my blog?") The vaguest suggestion from a male stranger is abhorrent to us, I suggest, and this supports my tenet of extreme human civility. The fact that my points seem so outrageously incorrect is itself outrageous: us civil humans are striving for even greater civility. And I am so effing hopeful it will continue to work, with minimal backsliding.

Metalcore said...

I hate the subway, lol, but it's very useful, I just wish the London underground wasn't so hot in places, it becomes hard to breathe sometimes in there. :)

Tania said...

Ahah, indeed Metalcore,
I also hate the subway and even more the one in London x) but still it is a very usefull transport!! :)