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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Zhenya Article about Joshua Bell trying busking (76* d) RE: Article about Joshua Bell trying busking 10 Apr 07

The first time around, I read a good portion of the article in full, about 3/4, before I started skimming to the end because it was so long. I just took a quick look at it again after reading some more of people's comments.

The gist of the experiment seemed to be whether people would recognize artistic genius out of context. I don't think this experiment proved it one way or the other. The problem wasn't that people wouldn't stop, but that they couldn't stop, without being late and causing adverse consequences for themselves.

Perhaps the experimenters did it at rush hour because they figured the crowds would be bigger. But if they really wanted to test people's reactions out of context, doing it on the weekend would have made more sense.

Overall, I felt the tone was very elitist and patronizing, and that's what I disliked about the article. There was really no attempt to be understanding of the pressures on people that might have influenced their behavior.

If people did know in advance that someone would be playing, once or repeatedly, they very well might want and be able to arrange their schedules to listen for awhile. But coming upon it suddenly, this probably truly wasn't an option for many people.


P.S. I don't think anyone commented yet on how the reliability (Not!) of mass transit may have figured into people's decisions not to stop.

P.P.S. Nice touch! The ad on the bottom of my page right now is for Joshua Bell Ringtones. (Perhaps some of those rushing commuters had JB on their cells!)

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