By the mere fact that he forms part of an organised crowd, a man descends several rungs in the ladder of civilisation. Isolated, he may be a cultivated individual; in a crowd, he is a barbarian that is a creature acting by instinct. He possesses the spontaneity, the violence, the ferocity, and also the enthusiasm and heroism of primitive beings, whom he further tends to resemble by the facility with which he allows himself to be impressed by words and images--which would be entirely without action on each of the isolated individuals composing the crowd--and to be induced to commit acts contrary to his most obvious interests and his best-known habits. An individual in a crowd is a grain of sand, which the wind stirs up at will.
Gustave LeBon in The Crowd: A Study of the Popular MindGoing once, going twice--sold to the man with the mouse! Forget plain old online stores. Forget portals. Today there's nothing hotter in E-commerce than auctions.
Also found in The Investor’s Anthology
Robert D. Hof, Heather Green, and Paul Judge in "Going, Going, Gone" from BusinessWeek (4/12/99)
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