March 21, 2020:

Herd instinct. Cars grouped on freeways with miles of open road before the pack. Twenty empty tables yet the new customers sit next to me. A roomful of unused machines but the little man dries his polyester shirts in the one next to mine.

People are social. In need of companions.

Solitude is harmful.

But that conclusion is only partial. The rest of the story, and frequently the part which matters in practice, is that people lack confidence in their judgment. They join the group because it feels safer. These people must know what I don't. It's not the same safety as herds of antelopes or bison. It's not about physical safety in numbers, but about the fear of being wrong.

Leaders are people who aren't afraid to be wrong.

Once upon a time my father was shocked to hear me say I don't listen to radio. Baffled and taken aback he asked, "How do you know what's popular?"

That someone might reject something specifically because it is popular was not a thought he'd ever known.