Posts from 14th December 2007

14
Dec 07

Self-Organizing Systems In The London Bridge Pret A Manger

FT + Proven By Science + Pumpkin Publog12 comments • 1,451 views

I have been re-reading Philip Ball’s Critical Mass, his book about “social physics”, how the study of physics can lead us to understand aggregate human behaviour better. It’s very wide-ranging and interesting, with pretty obvious implications for my day job. One of Ball’s early chapters is about path-formation and “flocking” (eg. how a mass of people can most efficiently leave a room – vital to understand this when planning fire exits etc.). He doesn’t actually mention queue formation but it’s the same sort of thing, and it’s a problem that strikes me when I go into Pret A Manger for the occasional breakfast bacon and egg baguette of a morning (om nom nom).