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Tuesday · June 17 2003

Chain letters that ask you to forward the chain letter to your 5 closest friends are old news. Chain letters that ask you to take part in a spontaneously forming mob for 10 minutes in NYC is The Next Big Thing. The idea is both genius and really pointless at the same time. The Squealer FAQ (for those no-fun-niks) made me laugh:

Q: I am uncomfortable with innocent fun.

A. It seems apparent.

Q. Couldn't the MOB have gotten out of hand?

A. No. I assure you: the MOB will always be
respectful, no matter how large it gets, or what it
might chant, etc.

Q. Despite this honest assurance, my stifling fear of
the unknown dictates that I squeal again.

A. Unfortunately, I have been forced to take this
possibility into account in the instructions for MOB

This whole idea of "hey what could I do if I could simultaneously harness the free time of thousands of folks I don't know" has been thought of before and I think to much better (though just theoretical) effect. Both mass toilet flushing during the Super Bowl and the population of China simultaneously jumping off of a chair have captured my imagination and curiosity more than a 10 minute gathering. But neither of those had a champion who organized the email.

© 2003 Jason Keglovitz