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#361357 - 11/20/08 09:27 PM ironically, it was called "black comedy"
all hallows
Unregistered


i saw a play last week for one of my college classes; a student production entitled "black comedy". it was interesting, but that's not the focus of my post.

the small campus theatre was almost pitch black. i'd say there was around 75 people there, give or take. there was a series of four short, one-act plays before the "black comedy" which were all about ten minutes each.

after the end of the first short play, i don't think anybody knew it was over, therefore there was no clapping. after the end of the second one...still, nobody clapped. after the third one, i was the only one that began clapping...but to my surprise, i'd say 3 out of 4 people began to clap because i had.

that's so amazing to me. i thought this was very interesting; anybody else ever "toy" (for lack of a better word) with the masses like that and yield entertaining results? it really is a jungle out there.

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#361361 - 11/20/08 09:40 PM Re: ironically, it was called "black comedy" [Re: ]
Nemo Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 12573
Loc: Point Nemo s48:52:31:748, w123...
Sometimes you applaud because you like it and sometimes you applaud because you are glad it's over!

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#361420 - 11/21/08 04:41 AM Re: ironically, it was called "black comedy" [Re: Nemo]
Dfalls Offline


Registered: 06/19/08
Posts: 29
I know what you mean.. I was on vacation once, and the hotel (appartement?) always arranged the food. It was on a huge table. But nobody went to get food.. I was just hungry and went, that's were the food was there in the first place. When I stood there, everybody got up and got a plate for themselves. And I didn't have to stand in the line, haha!
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#361453 - 11/21/08 11:26 AM Re: ironically, it was called "black comedy" [Re: Nemo]
Neuroticax Offline


Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 82
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Originally Posted By: Nemo
Sometimes you applaud because you like it and sometimes you applaud because you are glad it's over!


Indeed!
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#361461 - 11/21/08 12:57 PM Re: ironically, it was called "black comedy" [Re: Dfalls]
all hallows
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: Dfalls
I know what you mean.. I was on vacation once, and the hotel (appartement?) always arranged the food. It was on a huge table. But nobody went to get food.. I was just hungry and went, that's were the food was there in the first place. When I stood there, everybody got up and got a plate for themselves. And I didn't have to stand in the line, haha!


isn't that silly? it's almost like people are waiting for it to be "ok" to do something. after the first person does it, it becomes "ok". these are entertaining scenarios to watch.

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#361466 - 11/21/08 01:15 PM Re: ironically, it was called "black comedy" [Re: ]
ArtAche86 Offline


Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 380
Loc: Cthulhu's Bowels,Kentucky
I once interrupted an entire audience and players in a regional basketball game by standing and pointing at the roof in a group of about 8 people (all of us doing it together) and saying "OH MY GOD!"...Even the players were staring!

It was a riot.

Believe it or not, I done that same thing once (without saying anything, just staring at the ceiling to see what people would do as they passed) in the high school hallway. A principal wrote me up for it.

Needless to say it was marked under the "OTHER" box in the offenses.
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#361468 - 11/21/08 01:44 PM Re: ironically, it was called "black comedy" [Re: ArtAche86]
MagdaGraham Offline
CoS Priestess

Registered: 06/23/04
Posts: 13369
Loc: Scotland
Creating such a stir in an enclosed space is potentially dangerous.
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#361483 - 11/21/08 03:55 PM Re: ironically, it was called "black comedy" [Re: MagdaGraham]
ArtAche86 Offline


Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 380
Loc: Cthulhu's Bowels,Kentucky
Are you pertaining to the ball game or the high school hallway, because if it were the hall, its assholes to elbows. Its a 1A school with a 2 or 3A student body.

You'd just have to see it. But I assure you, there was no more danger than as is normally in the hallways of this specific highschool.
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#361516 - 11/21/08 08:57 PM Re: ironically, it was called "black comedy" [Re: ]
Babydoll Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 11/03/06
Posts: 861
Loc: Australia
I think this relates to Social Proof. There's a reason they're called the herd! They just do what everyone else is doing without questioning it. You may find that you'll look to social proof when you're on autopilot, so it's good to stay aware of it.

Originally Posted By: from Wikipedia
In April 2007, the Washington Post convinced Joshua Bell, a famous violin virtuoso to play in the Washington DC subway during the morning rush hour. So he took his $3.5 million Stradivarius violin and played. Almost no one noticed or stopped to listen. He collected a total of $32 for an hour of playing (excluding a $20 bill that was given by a person who recognized him).

The above is sometimes given as an example of social proof in action. The subway commuters are using each others' response to the violinist in order to determine their own response to him. Without the cues that signal the violinist's quality that accompany him when performing in a concert hall, such as expensive tickets and posters, the violinist is judged by other commuters' reaction to him: as most commuters are primarily concerned with reaching their place of work, this forms the response the commuters signal to one another about the violinist.


It's the reason producers use canned laughter on their comedy shows. How annoying is the sound of canned laughter? But, it still works on the majority of the audience.
Originally Posted By: Wikipedia
They have found that even though viewers find canned laugher highly annoying, they perceive shows that happen to use canned laughter more funny than the shows that do not use canned laughter.


And commercially:
Originally Posted By: Wikipedia
Some nightclub and bar owners effectively employ social proof to increase the popularity of their venues. This is usually done by deliberately reducing the rate at which people are allowed to enter, thus artificially causing the line to be longer.

Uninformed customers might perceive the long line as a signal of the place's desirability and may wait in the line merely because "if all these people are waiting, the place must be good", while in fact the venue is mediocre and nowhere near its full capacity.


Social proof is used to manipulate people, but the applications are endless. It can be used to help cure a childs fear of dogs, or fear of the Dentist or swimming.

Using social proof can be beneficial e.g. if a crowd of people are running frantically away from something, you'd be best to start running too. Because they're probably shit scared for a reason. Maybe that's why we've evolved with this psychological tendency? Like a herd of prey animals in the wild, when they see a fellow herd member start to flee they just flee automatically, and it saves their life without them actually spotting the predator to begin with. This would be a very benefical response for our ancestors as they evolved, and the trait must have stayed with us (thats my theory anyway).

Check out Influence: The Psychology of Pursuasion by Robert B Cialdini. His chapter on Social Proof is really intersting. He explains research describing how when the media reports on a suicide (think Heath Ledger) the number of suicides in that month and the month following are dramatically higher than before the publicized suicide.
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#361524 - 11/21/08 09:33 PM Re: ironically, it was called "black comedy" [Re: Babydoll]
all hallows
Unregistered


wow, thanks for the wiki-link and the book recommendation! those are also very interesting examples. i imagine it can be quite a powerful thing, in regards to lesser magic, when applied properly.

it was certainly entertaining to have almost a whole theater full of people follow my direction, their very first session of clapping following my solitary lead because i had made it "ok" (this was my intent, an experiment shall we say).

and i think your theory is pretty accurate; we're all still animals, regardless of our "advantages". more often than not, watching people is much like watching animal planet. smile


Edited by all hallows (11/21/08 09:45 PM)

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#361538 - 11/21/08 10:09 PM Re: ironically, it was called "black comedy" [Re: Babydoll]
ArtAche86 Offline


Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 380
Loc: Cthulhu's Bowels,Kentucky
Very interesting! I instantly thought of the "STAMPEDE" scene in Jumanji.
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#361555 - 11/21/08 11:42 PM Re: ironically, it was called "black comedy" [Re: ]
Old_Pig Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 3969
Loc: The Deep South
Once I went with four friends to a small theater where they projected foreign films. Most people in the audience didn't understand the language of the movie and there was no subtitles, but it was supposed to be a comedy.

Neither me or my friends understood the language of the movie either. One of us waited for the appropriated moment, where it seemed to be a joke and made a silent signal for us to laugh.

Soon an increasing number of people joined, laughing on clue.

We had a variant when we went to an Anime movie and cheered every time the giant robot destroyed an enemy. After a few times half of the audience was cheering too. Then we stood and cheered at a completely irrelevant part of the movie, and a lot of people did the same by reflex. An awkward moment of collective embarrassment followed.
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#361589 - 11/22/08 03:16 AM Re: ironically, it was called "black comedy" [Re: Old_Pig]
all hallows
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: Tha_Pig

We had a variant when we went to an Anime movie and cheered every time the giant robot destroyed an enemy. After a few times half of the audience was cheering too. Then we stood and cheered at a completely irrelevant part of the movie, and a lot of people did the same by reflex. An awkward moment of collective embarrassment followed.


that's hilarious.

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#361791 - 11/23/08 01:12 AM Re: ironically, it was called "black comedy" [Re: ]
HorrorCore Offline


Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 137
Loc: WA
I always used this technique to get my house cleaned up without having to ask. when all my roommates were in the same area, I would start running around the house cleaning up. They'd see me cleaning while we were talking and hanging out and would just start automatically doing it themselves.
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