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The Perfect Swarm: The Science of Complexity in Everyday Life by Len Fisher

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FOUR
A Force in a Crowd
A friend of mine who uses a wheelchair has an unusual solution for coping with crowded conditions. He is a well-respected scientist with a Ph.D., but when he gets sufficiently irritated with people blocking his path on a crowded street, he has been known to adopt a goony expression and tap on their backs, or even tug at their clothing. Most of them back away hastily and apologetically, and as he goes past he turns to them with a normal expression and says politely, “Thank you very much.”
The English humorist Jerome K. Jerome discovered another way to make space in a crowd when he boarded a packed train carrying a bag full of moldy cheese. His compartment emptied quickly after a fellow passenger who looked like an undertaker ...

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