Meanwhile, folks cooperating to help each other out was amazing. Two small anecdotes:
- traffic lights were out for at least a week. There were not enough police to man them all. But at a major intersection with two multi lane roads, taking turns just doesn't work. Someone has to direct traffic. So what would happen is a passenger would get out of a car and direct traffic for a few minutes till his car got through. After a bit, he'd then get back to his car and then he and the driver would head off. There would be a couple minutes chaos, then another passenger would hop out from somewhere and do the same. It was amazing and some sort of emergent behavior.
- A gas station for whatever reason was unattended for several hours with the pumps left on and a sign to just place cash into a drop box. So basically an honor market. The owner of that station later claimed folks ended up paying more than they had pumped. Don't recall if this was immediately before or shortly after the storm.
Overall, the recovery brought out the best in most people. Of course there were opportunists who took advantage after the storm, but that mostly wasn't locals.
A wild disaster - terrorist attack - the likes of which none of those people would have ever witnessed before. A couple of the world's tallest buildings collapse. Thousands dead. The exact details of the circumstances mostly unknown, along with the continued risk.
The New Yorkers that had to evacuate the greater area, post attack and collapse, proceeded to overwhelmingly behave with great calm. They didn't trample each other to death. They didn't behave crazily. They walked out of there, peacefully, covered in collapsed building dust.
One of the many iconic photos of that relative calm behavior:
> Cause trouble and a mob sets on you.
Do you have anything to support this statement?
The original article contains links to the studies it is citing. If anyone has a serious criticism they can start here.
While it might seem probable that people would seize the opportunity when you are not in a survival situation, once your brain kicks into survival mode almost nobody will think of that opportunity, not even most of those who previously ideated themselves doing the looting.
There is no reason to think looting for riches during disasters is a valuable survival strategy in general, and somehow we know this without being aware of it, as is the case with a fair bit of the machinery of our mind and body that tries to keep us alive.