Monday, August 15, 2011

The Bryant Park Dash

There are tons of great videos on youtube showing the Bryant Park Dash, where everyone runs in with their blankets to grab a good spot for the Monday night movie. I like this aerial view (jump to :40) which makes it seem less chaotic than all of the ground-level shots.


At 1:44 AM, Blogger mjr said...

That's a remarkable display of emergent behavior. A large number of agents (e.g. humans) following a small number of rules (try to get a seat near the center, don't move anyone else's blanket once it's on the ground) solve a relatively complex social and physical problem (who gets to sit in which spot) in less than ten seconds.
Bryant Park is also a great example of queue rationing: when something of value (seats for a movie in Midtown Manhattan) is given away for free, people line up and wait for it - waiting until 5 pm to claim a spot, then until sunset to watch the film. Urban social crowd behavior at its most observable.


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