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Old 2004-05-06, 14:44   Link #1
GarBhaD
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Inhuman society?

I was watching certain anime series (which I don't remember) and one of the main characters (a child) collapsed in the middle of the street because of tiredness, illness, whatever... and was unable to stand up while people just pass by. Then, the main character comes and "rescues" him/her.

At that moment I thought: "c'mon, don't try to be so dramatic! That can't happen in real life: somebody falls to the ground and nobody helps? Ridiculous!"
In fact, I've seen such a scene in anime at least twice.

A few days ago, I started reading GANTZ. My concern is about what happens at the very beginning, in the train station (wanna know? go and read it! or watch the first ep of the anime).

Now my question is: could this happen in real life or is just pure fiction? I'd like to think: "Fiction, of course!" but I heard that japanese society is very cold. Somebody knows if this limit of cruelty and indifference has been reached?
I like to think that it's an exaggeration of reality to create the mood of the story, a critique or just a negative perspective of life. But if someone could assure it, I'd feel more relieved.

Now, not just Japan, what about the US? (I'm not american and I heard that americans are pretty cold people, too).

Please, tell me it's not true...

If society becomes like this, it will be the end of humanity.
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Old 2004-05-06, 14:57   Link #2
babbito2k
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The kind of "behavior" you are referring to has more to do with urban life than any particular society IMO. In a crowded scene among strangers many people will not respond to any given incident. Lots of labels can be applied including "cold" but there are plenty of reasons not to get involved in urban street incidents - one of them, unfortunately, is the possibility that the "victim" is running some kind of scam.
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Old 2004-05-06, 15:02   Link #3
mantidor
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well, watch grave of the fireflies, that's the best example of how cold a society can be. I don't know how real can be in recent times, I remember one documentary when they did an experiment, some actor was lying on the floor on a street to see the reaction of people, NO ONE helped him for a very long time, but after a few hours someone aproach the man and in minutes many people came to help, it was quite interesting.
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Old 2004-05-06, 15:12   Link #4
Secca
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The scene in Gantz, real life people probably wouldn't jump in at all into a train track that about to come.

It's not because they are cold, it's because it's a self preservation mechanism in their mind. How much you rationalize it when you are watching a scene like that on TV. When it come into the real life and you find in the same situation, your self preservation will kick in, and you'll froze.
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Old 2004-05-06, 15:38   Link #5
MikoKikyo
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There's also the fact that most people don't want to get involved because they don't know CPR or anything that would help.

There's also the possibility that whatever caused the victim to collapse is a certain hazard around spot where they fell, so people are afraid that the location is dangerous...
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Old 2004-05-06, 16:03   Link #6
7thMethuselah
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well, there allready have been alot of studies about this and similar situations. The surprising situation was that : the more people present when you collapse on the street, the less chance one of them will help you... So these scenes in anime are in fact very realistic. The main explanation was that if you go help everyone will be watching you and most people feel very insecure about that. They did these experiments too in places with only a very few people passing by and almost everyone stopped to help.
I must be honest, when i go shopping (thus when I am in a very crowded place) I kinda ignore most people around me since half of them are weirdo's looking for attention or trying to rob you ...
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Old 2004-05-06, 16:07   Link #7
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Modern urban society fosters this kind of thing. How many of you live in a big city and actually know your next door neighbors very well? How often have you talked to them? Moder urban society is a lot of people crammed into a fairly small place, after a while the need for "personal space" drives folks into disassociateve behavior just so they can function.

Also, in the case of the train incident, many folks are paralyzed by fear, and many more feel that "someone else will help".

However, that kind of behavior is fairly restricted to high population density areas. If you go out past those kind of urban areas, people are much more likely to get involved.

In the area I live in (about 150,000 people) if you have something happen, passersby do show up to help. If your car breaks down here, people will stop and help. Even when I was living in Dallas, folks would usually stop, it might take a while but it happened. Now if it was New York or L.A., that a lot less likely to happen, although New York has gotten a lot better in the last ten years.

So, it can and does happen, but it isnt a 100% garanteed occurence.
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Old 2004-05-06, 16:12   Link #8
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This could in fact happen, especially in third world countries. I was once in honduras and people would die in the street and people would ignore it. Car would hit people and the police would do nothing... was pretty bad.
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Old 2004-05-06, 16:50   Link #9
Bullsquat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarBhaD
Now, not just Japan, what about the US? (I'm not american and I heard that americans are pretty cold people, too).

Please, tell me it's not true...

If society becomes like this, it will be the end of humanity.
Depends where u live I think. People in places like New York and Boston are infamous for their indifferent attitudes. Where I live, people are generally pretty selfless and considerate. I think the same applies to a lot of cities all over the world. I've gone to Mexico several times, mostly to Vera Cruz, Mexico City and Cancun. They are all different in their own ways, its almost like visiting three different countries (Vera Cruz being the most hospitable).

I guess the environment makes the society.
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Old 2004-05-06, 17:07   Link #10
GarBhaD
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I can't believe what I'm reading! Where do you live??? It must be hell itself.

Well, now I have a very good reason to not travel abroad. At the very least, no to a big or famous city.

I live in Spain, Barcelona. And I'm sure 100% that if something happens, people gathers and calls for help. And do what they can, even in they don't know cpr or whatever (I don't know either). In fact, I've seen a few of those situations through my life (an old man suddenly collapses, a car/bike accident or something similar to Gantz on the subway).
Some people may believe or heard that spanish people is very friendly and such. Well, that's not true, specially in cities. Maybe our society was like that some years ago, but most of it has been lost. But even with that, there's a limit to coldness. I mean, we don't go hugging each other by the street, people just walks without caring about others as you said. Yet if something happens people reacts. I thought that was a natural instinct, maybe I was wrong...

Oh, and I know my neighbours. (Although I don't speak much with them ).
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Old 2004-05-06, 18:08   Link #11
kj1980
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarBhaD
Now my question is: could this happen in real life or is just pure fiction? I'd like to think: "Fiction, of course!" but I heard that japanese society is very cold. Somebody knows if this limit of cruelty and indifference has been reached?
In recent years, we see urbanites in Japan are very cold. It wasn't at all like this ten years ago...now I guess people are just too caught up with their own problems that they pretend what they see does not exist. Why? They don't see others helping them, so they feel no guilt and are "blind" to the occurrence.

I'm sure people would care if someone helped out. But since no one does, it's something like watching the entire event through a camera viewfinder. Everyone seems to think "It's alright if I don't help, I'm pretty sure someone else would." Yes, in the end, someone would come to help - but by then, it's already too late. Then you ask those bystanders why they didn't help, and you get responses like:
"I didn't want to get involved in trouble"
"I was running late"
"I thought someone else would help it"
"It's the police's fault for not being on patrol"
"If he/she really needed assistance, why didn't he/she use her mobile phone?" (current assumption that everyone in Japan owns a mobile phone)


In dark neighborhoods, a woman being raped would yell out "help!" and no one would come to the rescue. But when she yells "fire!" people come out of their homes.

Several other examples that I have seen (which yes I admit, I too am 'guilty' in doing nothing) and/or heard on the news:

1. A pregnant woman would be in the street undergoing labor, but no one does anything
2. Teenagers would go beat up homeless people in broad daylight "just for fun & to cleanse the streets" and no one could care less
3. An elderly person would have trouble walking across the street, the light is already red, cars honk at the old lady "to go faster" and "get your old ass off the street" while other pedestrians just stare with this blank expression.
4. A suicidal person would be on top of the building who is clinging to some kind of last hope, while onlookers on the ground yell "come on, let's see some blood," and "if you are going to do it, do it now! I don't have all day ya'know?!"

and of course, since this happens almost weekly:
5. Another person committed suicide by jumping in front of the train at a certain station. Everyone sighs: "damn, I'm going to be late for work/school again" No one cares about the hapless soul who ended his/her life early. Neither do I. I'm either assimilated so deeply into urban life, I don't even think about it. All I care is getting that stamp/piece of paper from the station guy to give to my human resources dept. and my boss as an excuse why I am late for work.


Ah, living life in Metro-Tokyo. Isn't it grand?

Word of advice: go live in rural areas instead. Rural areas are 180 degrees different from this so-called utopia of a metropolis.

Last edited by kj1980; 2004-05-06 at 18:25.
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Old 2004-05-06, 18:59   Link #12
complich8
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a lot of this is the sociological phenomenon called "diffusion of responsibility"

That means the more people there are watching or listening to something, the less likely any one person is to act.

If you're alone on a street and someone collapses, you know it's your responsibility to get help for them. There's nobody to share the responsibility with.

If you're with a couple dozen strangers and the same thing happens, you "know" someone will help, so you don't feel it's your responsibility. It's "someone's" but not yours.

It's mainly a problem in places with dense disconnected populations (metro areas in general).

Back in high school, we had a mandatory cpr and first aid class. Everyone in the state had it. We talked about diffusion of responsibility, responsibilities and protections for first aid providers and first responders (good Samaritan laws). Basically it amounted to this: in the US the law encourages you to intervene and help, by automatically absolving you of any culpability. So if some old lady collapses in the park, and you call 911 and get an ambulance on the way and start giving her CPR, and she survives but with a couple of broken ribs (older people tend to have ribs break when given cpr due to less flexible ribcages) you aren't at fault. And if she dies despite your efforts, you still aren't at fault.

These protections, and this mandatory training in my home state, make us more aware of the fact that we can and should help. Being aware of our social behaviors tends to help us break free of them, and being aware that we're empowered to help also does.

In the case of Gantz, with the old drunk and the train tracks, if they had gone and immediately helped him up they'd have had plenty of time to scramble up themselves. But they hesitated, they wasted a few minutes before anyone went down to help him. That hesitation and the crowd's unwillingness to help overall is what created the negative results there.

I think that the lesson of that scenario is not that people are inhuman, but that people don't feel responsible and don't feel qualified to help. Think of the people saying to themselves "is anyone going to call the station attendant? Where's the attendant?" because they didn't know what else to do.
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Old 2004-05-06, 19:24   Link #13
mantidor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchunter226
This could in fact happen, especially in third world countries. I was once in honduras and people would die in the street and people would ignore it. Car would hit people and the police would do nothing... was pretty bad.
you are wrong. You are generalizing to much, this is a problem of specific cities, in the third AND in the first world. Here in Bogotá something like that would never happen, including the disturbing examples given by kj1980. If a woman is in labor I assure you someone will immediatly help her if that would happen here. The same with the suicides, but then again, these are uncommon here while in Japan (Im supposing here) happens constantly.

Unfortunatly as humans we tend to be conformist with our enviroment, as an example we have so much violence in our rural areas that we end up getting used to this. Every day we hear on the news about some masacre when entire families were killed and don't even care.
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Old 2004-05-06, 21:57   Link #14
Ero-Senpai
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i'm sure everyone has had a instance where something has happened to someone else in front of them. The first thing that ussually goes thru there mind is "what can i do? i'm only one person." where as there are some ppl who are so selfless that they jump into a burning building to save ppl. 9 timers outta 10 that person was saved by someone elses kindness. i like to the phrase domino affect.
and any of the circumstances posted above ppl will come to the rescue if someone else does it first i guess it gives the rest of us the courage to do what is needed at that time. as for why there is such a shortage of these "heroes" i have no clue but can ya blame then what with all the diseases and scary other stuff who can blame a person for hesitating to help a bleeding person whose been hurt? and what happens if they get hurt further from your "help" thats why most states and countries adopted good civilain(forgot the s word) laws to protect ppl who selflessly help others from legal action if said victim gets hurt worse.
i just think that if we all just did one selfless thing it would spread. just look at how much ppl have changed since 9/11 as far as helping out ppl in trouble. the courage the ppl showed there gave as all a little hope that we could do something.
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Old 2004-05-06, 22:21   Link #15
Rei's Cookies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babbito2k
.... - one of them, unfortunately, is the possibility that the "victim" is running some kind of scam.

So true!

If I saw someone hurt, I'd go to the nearest payphone and call the ambulance, and that it the most I'd do...I wouldn't linger around, i'm not a doctor, nothing I can do.

And I won't allow myself to be in danger. I wouldn't get tricked into going up to someone (especially since I can do nothing for them anyway.)


They even use children to get people. Like they have a child to run up to teenage girls and say something has happened to his dog, and the girls come to help, but really evil men are waiting to rape and murder the girls.
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Old 2004-05-06, 22:29   Link #16
Kamui4356
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kj1980
In dark neighborhoods, a woman being raped would yell out "help!" and no one would come to the rescue. But when she yells "fire!" people come out of their homes.

Several other examples that I have seen (which yes I admit, I too am 'guilty' in doing nothing) and/or heard on the news:

1. A pregnant woman would be in the street undergoing labor, but no one does anything
2. Teenagers would go beat up homeless people in broad daylight "just for fun & to cleanse the streets" and no one could care less
3. An elderly person would have trouble walking across the street, the light is already red, cars honk at the old lady "to go faster" and "get your old ass off the street" while other pedestrians just stare with this blank expression.
4. A suicidal person would be on top of the building who is clinging to some kind of last hope, while onlookers on the ground yell "come on, let's see some blood," and "if you are going to do it, do it now! I don't have all day ya'know?!"

and of course, since this happens almost weekly:
5. Another person committed suicide by jumping in front of the train at a certain station. Everyone sighs: "damn, I'm going to be late for work/school again" No one cares about the hapless soul who ended his/her life early. Neither do I. I'm either assimilated so deeply into urban life, I don't even think about it. All I care is getting that stamp/piece of paper from the station guy to give to my human resources dept. and my boss as an excuse why I am late for work.


Ah, living life in Metro-Tokyo. Isn't it grand?

Word of advice: go live in rural areas instead. Rural areas are 180 degrees different from this so-called utopia of a metropolis.
It's the same way here in the US. In fact I heard self defense classes for women tell them to shout 'fire' instead of 'help' or 'rape'. Studies have been done that show people are more likely to respond to 'fire'. Everything else I could see happening here too. Well not the train thing, but only because most people drive to work...
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Old 2004-05-06, 23:03   Link #17
Bullsquat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchunter226
This could in fact happen, especially in third world countries. I was once in honduras and people would die in the street and people would ignore it. Car would hit people and the police would do nothing... was pretty bad.
U have got to be kidding. That is indeed a very hasty generalization. I've been to Sumatra and Bali and they have some of the nicest people in the world. They always smile at you and they greet you by lowering themselves in respect. You really need to travel more.
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Old 2004-05-06, 23:12   Link #18
cindialai
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you're definately right society is cold-hearted... you see the beggers on the streets... no one gives a care about them especially youths nowadays.. some people would insult them too..
people in animes are unrealistic.. they are just too nice
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Old 2004-05-06, 23:18   Link #19
Arwyn
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Behavior like this tends to be concentrated in urban areas, the larger the city, the more common. And it doesnt matter where or how well off. Large cities are actually pretty lonely places for most people. Cities tend to be to big for people to comfortably handle, so they tend to isolate themselves from their environment.

It doesnt help that the urban environment also tends to dehumanize society as well. Everyone is obsessed with getting somewhere, and moder society is obsessed with time. As kj1980 already pointed out, your boss doesnt care WHY you are late, just that your late, and there will be repercussions if you dont have an excuse.

Large urban environments tend to foster the concept of people just being another "thing" or commodity. One breaks? Get another, there are plenty. Its sad but true.

The other thing thats interesting, is that this kind of stuff happens everywhere. I have been fortunate to travel and live in a lot of different places, and for the most part, things are not much different no matter where you go, for good or bad.
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Old 2004-05-06, 23:46   Link #20
HoboGod
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mostly in urban areas? O_o... people on the country-side and rich neiborhoods are just the fucking same if not worse. at least people in urban areas share the land rather than horde it. outsiders are very unwelcome in small towns.

all of society is cold-hearted, get used to it. those strugling to survive only care about themselves. those who are on top only care about staying on top. and those in the middle are leached off from both ends until they can't trust anybody.

this world isn't full of sunshine and lollipops. it is not inhuman for people to desprately cling to their way of life and care about themselves first... it is more human than you could possibly imagine.
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