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Dance at Molenbeek by Pieter Brueghel the Younger

Charles Mackay, a 19th century journalist called itthe Madness of Crowds’. In the 14th century dancing mania broke out across Europe (shown above). Groups of men, women, and children would dance uncontrollably for hours or even days at a time for no apparent reason, only finishing when they succumbed to exhaustion. In the 17th century Holland tulip mania broke out. Driven by manic investors the price of tulip bulbs spiralled upwards and then crashed. At one crazy point, a particularly valuable tulip bulb cost the same amount as an elegant house in Amsterdam. In the 20th century, we have seen many episodes of collective madness, from the anti-vaccine movement to the terrifyingly bonkers (and baseless) QAnon conspiracy theory. …


Neil Turner

Former techy turned UX Jedi. Checkout out my blog (UX for the Masses) for more about me.

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