Perception

PLACE:– Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then
hurried to meet his schedule.

violinist Joshua Bell

violinist Joshua Bell

4 minutes later:


The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat
and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes later:


A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his
watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes later:


A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid
stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the
child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was
repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced
their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes later:


The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a
short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace.
The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour later:


He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded,
nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was
organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about
perception, taste and people’s priorities.

The questions raised were: In a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

The answer is: MOST OF THE TIME, WE DON’T.

<img class=”size-full wp-image-27″ title=”violinist Joshua Bell” src=”http://www.interestingemails.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/violinist-Joshua-Bell.jpg” alt=”violinist Joshua Bell” width=”290″ height=”240″ />

violinist Joshua Bell

10 thoughts on “Perception

  1. Zapric

    this is like the saying in sri lanka they have that says in sinhala “nethara dakina kukulage karamala sudui” meaning the the beak of the cock we see often is white. like all that glitters is not gold all that doesn’t glitter may also be gold. how often we hear stories about old things sold for cheap in antique stores turn out to be valuable. power of marketing and appearence also matters a lot…..

    Reply
  2. Amy

    this is like the saying in sri lanka they have that says in sinhala “nethara dakina kukulage karamala sudui” meaning the the beak of the cock we see often is white. like all that glitters is not gold all that doesn’t glitter may also be gold. how often we hear stories about old things sold for cheap in antique stores turn out to be valuable. power of marketing and appearence also matters a lot…..

    Reply
  3. Amy B.

    The Amyloidosis Foundation estimates that approximately 3,000 people are diagnosed with amyloidosis each year in North America and that blood cancers overall have increased more than 40% in the last decade.

    Reply
  4. Emily N.

    Hi, I’m very interested in Linux but Im a Super Newbie and I’m having trouble deciding on the right distribution for me (Havent you heard this a million times?) anyway here is my problem, I need a distribution that can switch between reading and writing in English and Japanese (Japanese Language Support) with out restarting the operating system.

    Reply
    1. Interesting Emails

      You are looking for answers at the wrong website pal. you’ll have better luck if you ask this around in computer or IT blogs/websites. a simple google search for such sites will land you on someone’s site who will be able to help with your problem..

      Anyway, I’m flattered. I didn’t know this site was a tech site. 😉

      Reply

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