Crosswalk Buttons, Voting Booths, and Other Illusions of Control

04/11/201716 Comments

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Did you know that only 9% of crosswalks buttons in New York City actually do anything? Or that a piece of US government legislation disabled all elevator "close door" buttons in 1990? But these buttons are still there, and we still push them, even when we know that they do nothing. But why? And what does this tell us about the other illusions of control that the social engineers have placed before us? Join James Corbett for today's thought for the day as he takes you on a walk across the street

Pushing That Crosswalk Button May Make You Feel Better, but …

These buttons we push everyday don’t actually work — here's why they're still so common

Why the Crosswalk Buttons in Your City May Not Work

Ask CityLab: Do "WALK" Buttons Actually Do Anything?

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  1. PeaceFroggs says:

    Great observation James. Subconsciously I kinda knew this already, however I always gave the benefit of the doubt to the city and chalked it up to just another broken button that needs to be fixed, but never actually took the time to notify the city about it.

    Upon reflection, it may be a good thing that only 9% of crosswalks buttons in New York City actually do anything. The traffic flow would be truly chaotic if every-time someone pushed the crosswalks button that instantaneously the traffic lights would change color, not to mention the tricksters that would repeatedly press the crosswalk buttons just for the fun of it.

    As far as placebo suggestion boxes are concerned, I’m not sure most are thrown out without being read. I work for a company that reads every single customer feed back, and they take their analytics very seriously. Analytics seems to be the new “it” thing these days. Although I would caution against analytics, since it’s only as good as the person that enters the info into the computer application, assuming that 1- the info entered is correct to begin with, and 2- that the person won’t make a mistake while entering the info.

    That said, and although I can’t prove it, I believe sites like the CorbettReport are heavily monitored by television news sites in order to give them a glimpse into what a certain portion of society, especially the Internet, is thinking about their daily news cycle and even use this info to fashion their questions and guests a certain way based on our thoughts about certain stories.

    On CNN yesterday they had a news piece on Alex Jones and Paul Joseph Watson, and went on explaining how Paul Joseph Watson panicked and had to backtrack some of his twitter comments when he started noticing he was losing twitter followers who were unsubscribing from his channel after he posted something negative about Trump.

    Todays suggestion boxes are digital, such as yahoo comment boards, twitter, facebook, YouTube etc…

    Free Speech truly is a wonderful thing.

    Thank you to whomever took a few minutes of their time today to read my comment. These are my thoughts for today haha!

    • mkey says:

      I think these crosswalk buttons shouldn’t turn lights directly, but modify the cycle in hopes of maximizing traffic flow. Say you had two roads and one crosswalk. Without a functioning button you’d always get ‘direction 1’ – ‘direction 2’ – ‘pedestrians’. With the button, as long as there are no pedestrians (or at least none that know the button needs to be pressed) you could shorten the cycle.

  2. pcwise555 says:

    Here in the USSA about 50 miles outside of LALA land, the crosswalk buttons actually do work. When pressed, the only thing that happens is that it allocates more time for little old ladies to make it across the intersection.

  3. m.clare says:

    I have often imagined the office printer / photocopier would benefit from an ass-shaped reset button reinforced to withstand a violent volley of frustrated angst. Perhaps the voting booth could be similarly equipped.

  4. Ebabyeh says:

    On a negative day, I guess one could also say that being allowed to express our frustrations online is another release. On a negative day you could say that discussing things online, no matter how clever we are is about as effective as hoping that one candidate might be a slightly better option than another. But that’s the key isn’t it, the key to what drives us, the hope that the action we take will somehow make a difference. If people are given an alternative action that they could take that would ensure a greater likelihood of success then I don’t think that they would continue to stupidly press the button (except just for fun), but at present I don’t think there is a more effective alternative being offered to replace voting, as far as I am aware not voting is even less likely to have an effect, but it might make you feel better because dashed hopes, over and over again sure are a bitter pill to swallow! 🙂
    We can only hope that this sharing of information and ideas over the internet will somehow help but at least I guess even if it doesn’t save the world it could lead to some happier lives and that alone will make it worth it perhaps.

    • mkey says:

      If you vote you legitimize a corrupt system which was set up to fail.
      I dream of the day when the talking heads will have to explain away voting turnouts of less than 1%.

  5. HomeRemedySupply says:

    Nice, upbeat, and a smooth segue to the “voting machines” and the surrounding deceptions that people are in control via the system.

    Spring time! Look at the blossoms! And the air is still cool.

  6. willrock says:

    Though they believe they are just giving us some empty hope, deep inside they and their associates receive the message that people are struggling against them, something which at least limits the amount of tyranny they want to lay upon us. Don’t get me wrong. I agree we mustn’t believe in any of them.

    Their representatives are all puppets, of course.

    But experience here in Brazil has shown me that if we just give them a blank check, they will get way much more from us.

  7. Pablo de Boer says:

    Dear James,

    read this article from PNAS and you can become a more honest man, by sending a current through your brain!!!! Researchers conclude that brain simulation promotes fairness….. How to become an honest man? Simply send an electrical pulse through your head.

    Increasing honesty in humans with noninvasive brain stimulation

  8. mkey says:

    While I was living in the capital, I used to know exactly how various crosswalks on my daily routes worked and were timed. Some buttons worked to extent that if you didn’t press it, you wouldn’t get the chance to cross the road.

    Sometimes I’d tell people, after seeing them pressing the button repeatedly, that that specific button does nothing. After saying that I’d get this look, meaning “why the hell would you even know that”. I know this look very well since I’ve been on the receiving end of it for many a occurence.

    I wouldn’t even deem miself as particularly receptive nor having an eye for details. Quite to the contrary, my vision is quite bad. But I did put stock into understanding how and why my surrounding worked. People just want to go about their day with least possible knowledge and understanding. Anyone challenging this status quo is not met with a friendly face.

  9. For almost a year as an animator at a New York studio (primarily commercials) I would recycle cans and bottles and even fish them out of the trash to put them in the proper bin. To my chagrin, I caught an intern mixing it all together to take downstairs – and he informed me that there was no recycling for the building (possibly Manhattan too, but I forgot – 20 years ago).

    One box to vote.
    Pages and pages for taxes.

    Why not pages to vote on policies not fallible egotistical people, and where the taxes should go?

    If voting were effective they’d make it illegal.

    • HomeRemedySupply says:

      I went on a college tour of a dump (a landfill) for my Environmental Sciences degree. Incredible operation. The guys who manage a landfill can make $250,000 a year. Most of the trash that fills a landfill is not household trash, but rather construction trash. There are many, many “myths” about trash which are perpetuated by the “green movement”. A large portion of “recycled waste” (that you see in communities) is subsidized. For the most part, the financial value of the “recycled waste” is not viable on its own merit…it takes extra funds to eliminate the costs associated with collecting, sorting, and transporting it — not all “recycled waste” (such as some electronics), but more than what the public is generally aware of.
      I think plasma energy would be a good way to manage trash and also give us clean energy. It is being done in some areas.

  10. m.clare says:

    False Flag? Fake news? Polar bears? Democratic idiot switches?……

    These go to 11

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