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I was in the mall last night picking up a new motion detector, as I was paying three people walked out of the store and the alarm goes off for stolen merchandise ( here is the epiphany ) 2 of the people stopped and the third kept going. The two people that stop had not taken anything had paid for their goods and had done nothing wrong but at the sound of that bell they stopped,halted their movement and self policed themselves. The third person who it turns out HAD stolen a few bundles of copper wire of course did not stop kept going as if he had done nothing wrong and even protested to a search of his person when the powers that be did get him back in the store.

This self policing by good people who did nothing wrong really shocked me. They knew they had not stolen or broken any rule. They had receipt in hand and the goods in a store logoed bag. it was nothing less then conditioning and for that briefest of moments I saw the world as a prison and the humans as rats in the proverbial maze.

... It happened a little over 12 hours ago and I'm still pondering it

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Michael Nystrom's picture

This reminds me of when I used to go to Borders at the mall

Borders - remember? The bookstore that is now out of business.

They had a cafe, next to a rear exit, that had metal detectors. The metal detectors would go off constantly. No one would bother to check the people, and the people didn't care.

Once I asked a clerk there about it. He said, "Oh, those are just there because the auditors from Corporate want them there. It is too much trouble to check every time they go off."

My jaw just about dropped. It is no wonder that they're out of business.

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At any rate. Good story, good insight.