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  1. #1

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    Sad I find this true story to be a very sad thing

    Sad because it shows how adults are so clueless to what's around, but children don't have this Herd Mentality and will stop and be amazed. This is a true story:




    This is an amazing story .......

    From The Effective Club


    A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold, December morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

    Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

    A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

    A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

    The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

    In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.







    No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

    Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.00 each.

    This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

    One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

    If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing some of the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?
    Peter Pan Forever!!! I Will Never Grow Up.

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  2. #2

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    Re: I find this true story to be a very sad thing

    It is indeed a true story:

    snopes.com: Joshua Bell Plays in Subway

    Wow.

  3. #3

    • back in Austin
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    Re: I find this true story to be a very sad thing

    I've heard about this, and I can attest that Joshua Bell is one of the finest musicians on the planet, but I think it's unfair to judge people for their reaction to great music in a subway station. The very reason you're there is to get to somewhere else. There have been many times here in NYC when I've heard some remarkable performances in the subway but I haven't stopped for more than a minute to listen. If you're in a subway, you're pretty much in a hurry by definition.

    That said, there are tons of people who will pause indefinitely in this big space in the Times Square station next to the Shuttle to Grand Central. Typically there's some sort of percussionist there or hip-hip dancer. So maybe it depends on the type of act as well, and people don't know how to find the appeal in excellent classical violin.

  4. #4

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    Re: I find this true story to be a very sad thing

    This is sad.
    For some reason it reminds me of the movie Titanic where the violinists were playing practically until the ship went down and nobody even cared that they were there.


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  5. #5

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    Re: I find this true story to be a very sad thing

    Quote Originally Posted by IzzyInWonderland View Post
    This is sad.
    For some reason it reminds me of the movie Titanic where the violinists were playing practically until the ship went down and nobody even cared that they were there.

    Oh, you mean the part where they were all about to be plunged into the ice cold Atlantic waters and were fearing for their lives? Oh no, totally. Listening to some cello so that I could appreciate some art would SO be higher on my list of priorities than trying to survive.

    As far as I can tell, people generally don't want to stop in the Subway and listen to the performers for two reasons: 1- They're on their way somewhere and are mainly concentrating on reaching their destination. 2- If they do stop and watch, and are acknowledged by the performer, they feel as though they will be seen as cheap if they don't donate to the "cause" and will feel more guilty than if they'd just ignored the entire performance to begin with.

  6. #6

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    Re: I find this true story to be a very sad thing

    I don't find this sad. If this were an unemployed person who just happens to play the violin or another instrument, the $32 in 45 minutes equals $42.67 and hour. Not bad. Experiment or not, some people would find that good money.

  7. #7

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    Re: I find this true story to be a very sad thing

    That is sad! I think we're so wired into "keep moving!" that we forget to see little things in life.

  8. #8

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    Re: I find this true story to be a very sad thing

    Of course people keep moving. They are on their way to work, or to pick up kids. people have things to do. that does not mean they did not hear it and appreciate it in passing. If I'm late for work I get points, get enough points and I get fired. I think I would have kept moving too.

  9. #9

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    Re: I find this true story to be a very sad thing

    I don't see this as sad. If I am in a subway on my way somewhere, why would it be assumed that I have 20 minutes, or even 10 minutes, to stop and listen to someone play? Most people do not walk into a subway station to stop and appreciate the arts or sight see.
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  10. #10

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    Re: I find this true story to be a very sad thing

    Who's to say they didn't appreciate the bit they heard as they walked by, just didn't have time to stop?
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  11. #11

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    Re: I find this true story to be a very sad thing

    I find that very sad. People on a tight shift don't have time to stop and listen to music or look at the artwork but they have plenty of time to flirt with the secretary in their office or just stare at the wall because they are extremely tired.
    "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." -Henry David Thoreau


  12. #12

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    Re: I find this true story to be a very sad thing

    wow

  13. #13

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    Re: I find this true story to be a very sad thing

    Not at all surprised. As a people, we have no appreciation for beauty like that or the arts in general. We collectively have no taste. Want proof - just watch the ratings of current television shows.

    How could American Idol possibly in anyone's imagination be popular? That's what is truly sad.

    If you want a glimpse of where we are headed - watch the movie "Idiocracy".







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  14. #14

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    Re: I find this true story to be a very sad thing

    Quote Originally Posted by SCUBAbe View Post
    Of course people keep moving. They are on their way to work, or to pick up kids. people have things to do. that does not mean they did not hear it and appreciate it in passing. If I'm late for work I get points, get enough points and I get fired. I think I would have kept moving too.
    Seems like what you're saying is true. Here is another social experiment but not in the subway.

    tweenbots | kacie kinzer

    Robot/People art by Kacie Kinzer at ITP In New York, we are very occupied with getting from one place to another. I wondered: could a human-like object traverse sidewalks and streets along with us, and in so doing, create a narrative about our relationship to space and our willingness to interact with what we find in it? More importantly, how could our actions be seen within a larger context of human connection that emerges from the complexity of the city itself? To answer these questions, I built robots.
    Tweenbots are human-dependent robots that navigate the city with the help of pedestrians they encounter. Rolling at a constant speed, in a straight line, Tweenbots have a destination displayed on a flag, and rely on people they meet to read this flag and to aim them in the right direction to reach their goal.

    Given their extreme vulnerability, the vastness of city space, the dangers posed by traffic, suspicion of terrorism, and the possibility that no one would be interested in helping a lost little robot, I initially conceived the Tweenbots as disposable creatures which were more likely to struggle and die in the city than to reach their destination. Because I built them with minimal technology, I had no way of tracking the Tweenbot’s progress, and so I set out on the first test with a video camera hidden in my purse. I placed the Tweenbot down on the sidewalk, and walked far enough away that I would not be observed as the Tweenbot––a smiling 10-inch tall cardboard missionary––bumped along towards his inevitable fate.
    The results were unexpected. Over the course of the following months, throughout numerous missions, the Tweenbots were successful in rolling from their start point to their far-away destination assisted only by strangers. Every time the robot got caught under a park bench, ground futilely against a curb, or became trapped in a pothole, some passerby would always rescue it and send it toward its goal. Never once was a Tweenbot lost or damaged. Often, people would ignore the instructions to aim the Tweenbot in the “right” direction, if that direction meant sending the robot into a perilous situation. One man turned the robot back in the direction from which it had just come, saying out loud to the Tweenbot, "You can’t go that way, it’s toward the road.”
    The Tweenbot’s unexpected presence in the city created an unfolding narrative that spoke not simply to the vastness of city space and to the journey of a human-assisted robot, but also to the power of a simple technological object to create a complex network powered by human intelligence and asynchronous interactions. But of more interest to me was the fact that this ad-hoc crowdsourcing was driven primarily by human empathy for an anthropomorphized object. The journey the Tweenbots take each time they are released in the city becomes a story of people's willingness to engage with a creature that mirrors human characteristics of vulnerability, of being lost, and of having intention without the means of achieving its goal alone. As each encounter with a helpful pedestrian takes the robot one step closer to attaining it's destination, the significance of our random discoveries and individual actions accumulates into a story about a vast space made small by an even smaller robot.

  15. #15

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    Re: I find this true story to be a very sad thing

    Very interesting. These people could have listened to the beautiful music for free....taken a moment to relax in their mind, and, later found out that they'd be treated to a free show when they could have paid $100 a seat!

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