The Drover Analogy

I expect that most North Americans over 30 have seen a Western movie. Perhaps one with stampede scenes. The early version of the  movie car chase.

One person can start a stampede, whether it is cattle, buffalo, shoppers, or whatever. One person can also turn the herd. Turning a stampeding herd is a dangerous but sometimes heroic thing to do. That it is inherently risky goes without saying. Being figuratively trampled is not an effective activity unless the goal is martyrdom or suicide. Both are option reducing decisions with a bleak future. So if you ever plan on turning a herd it is probably best to send someone else; they can be honored and given a medal if successful. Stampeders seem to think there is a leader to be followed, when perhaps the one out front is running away from a good thing. Do you think cattle are stupid?

There are many reasons to start a stampede. Sometimes the cause of a stampede is never discovered. In the late 70's there was a stampede into personal communications via the CB radio. It made a lot of people a lot of money before the return to a reasonable growth curve. It was also great fun. Today a stampede to the Internet and/or to all pervasive communication systems; is building rapidly. There is no assurance of privacy in these networks, which is OK. "Only bad people need privacy".

Free advice; stay near the edge of the herd, all herds. The leading edge or the trailing edge are equally safe or unsafe. I try to stay on a side, with the option of running off by myself or taking a break when the pace is too fast.

What is the gist of this? Well herd management is important to Politicians, Psychologists, Sociologists, Spin Doctors, Advertising Agency Executives, Demagogues, Military people and lots of other individuals and groups. So if you are not concerned you are real lucky. I do not mean about being in the herd, I mean about  not being concerned about how the herd is managed. I wonder if the stampede phenomea can be simulated on a computer, like bird flocking behaviour. Just imagine the potential in the game market. Maybe discover how to get everone to vote for your favourite politician. You know it might just be that I am not up to date .

This is mostly conventional wisdom. I guess everyone knows that conventional wisdom nowadays carries some risk comparable to the cost of common sense.

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