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Fight, Flee or Flock

The old phrase “fight or flee” is meant to sum up how humans handle a stressful or dangerous situation. But the other ‘F’ word, rarely discussed, is ‘flock’. Perhaps it has something to do with our proclivity toward thinking we’re ape-like, but there are a lot of data out there to support our herd-like sense of gathering, streaming toward safety through strength in numbers.

That’s what struck me most about a light map of global flight-travel paths. Michael Markieta, GIS Consultant at Arup Group, has shared some striking images that show us where we flock to find our vacations, our incomes, our families and friends. Perhaps the most incredible image is the one where Asia, Europe and America peek back at us like a bright blue three-eyed beast, proving once and for all that we strive to gather ourselves together.

The article on BBC’s site breaks down some perspectives on the images from a philosopher, an environmentalist and an art critic, among others.

Read the piece here, and be sure to click on the ‘In Pictures’ link on the right side of the page, toward the middle.

[Image by Michael Markieta]

Ben Zackheim

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