Tuesday, July 11, 2006

shock the man

Well, this one is a little bizzare but strangely compelling.

Jason Mitchell is conducting a social experiment. With a dog obedience shock collar. He used this collar on his dog but after trying it on himself he felt guilty because it hurt so much.

Now he's giving you the opportunity to shock him. Or not. It's all up to you. You can buy shocks in varying levels of intensity from 1-4. Or you can chose to save him from the shocks by buying "saves".

He records all of the shocks on video which you can view either live on his web site or on a podcast at the end of the day.

I bought a level 4 shock and watched him do it. He had to do three level 4's in a row yesterday. He seemed to handle them pretty well but after reading some of the comments on his blog I think it hurts more than he's letting on. I felt bad about the shock so today I bought a level 4 save.

It's an interesting experiment. It gives you a glimpse of human nature at work. So far the shocks outnumber the saves 21 to 7. That's not surprising. I think most people have a slightly morbid or sadistic streak in them. That's why the media reports the bad news. The plane crashes. The murders. People are drawn to that more than they are the happy stories. That's why we slow down at car crashes and gawk. I think it would be great if there was a sudden outpouring of "saves" and Jason never got shocked again. But it won't happen. It's more fun to watch him squirm than to sit there and do nothing.

Then again this whole thing could be a money making scheme. Maybe it hurts less than he lets on. Or maybe he doesn't shock himself at all but fakes it. Who knows. I tend to think the thing is legit and it will be interesting to see how it develops.

I just want to know one thing. Where are the "Save Jason" T-shirts?


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