“Sir, can I borrow a light”
A weak voice came from overhead.
Under the dim light, Lin Chen looked at the leather boots on the ground, took out a box of matches from his pocket, and handed it upwards.
“I thought you didn’t smoke.”
Xing Conglian’s voice sounded a little surprised, which made it sound like teasing or flirting.
“Matches from the hotel.
I took it when I went out.”
“Why would you take matches when you go out”
“I thought you did it especially for me,” Xing Conglian muttered casually, then sat down on the steps next to him.
“I don’t know if it can still be lit…”
After speaking, he casually drew a match and swiped it on the phosphorus strip on the side.
With a flicking sound, the flame floated up, releasing a bit of smoke.
“Can I still count this as a transfer” Xing Conglian asked as he stared at the flame.
“Your luck has always been good,” Lin Chen said helplessly.
He could feel a warm atmosphere around him.
“Fortunately, it was raining heavily, so the students hesitated to rush out of the classroom, and we were able to buy some time.” Lin Chen thought for a while, then asked, “What did you find on the stairs”
“You really didn’t sneak onto the scene” Xing Conglian turned his head slightly and asked in a skeptical tone.
“No, I have always listened to the captain,” Lin Chen replied.
“Tsk…” At the last moment, when the match was about to go out, Xing Conglian finally lit a cigarette.
He took a deep puff of tobacco and spoke slowly.
“Plastic beads, glass, nails…”
From Xing Conglian’s voice, Lin Chen couldn’t hear much emotion.
At this time, the rain had eased so much that it was almost inaudible.
“Things like that.”
Lin Chen didn’t feel surprised.
If he wanted to incite students to riot and cause a stampede, then sprinkling objects on the stairs would be the perfect choice.
The constant emergencies of the past few days had stretched the students’ nerves thin.
After they suddenly relaxed, they didn’t even have the strength to be afraid, leaving only tiredness.
The state of affairs wasn’t good, and time was tight.
Even the time to breathe had become a luxury.
Even so, he didn’t talk and waited quietly for Xing Conglian to finish smoking his cigarette.
“Let’s talk about it.
What’s the collective unconscious*” Xing Conglian put out the butt of his cigarette and turned to look at him.
*Refers to the unconscious mind and shared mental concepts.
It’s generally associated with idealism and was coined by Carl Jung.
You can read more about it by clicking the Wikipedia link.
“Why do you have such a good memory” Lin Chen looked at the dark night sky, where there wasn’t even a ray of starlight.
It was dark to the extreme and seemed wider and far-reaching.
If it weren’t for the ground being too wet, he almost wanted to lie down on the steps.
“I remember a lot of what you say very clearly.”
Xing Conglian’s tone was so natural that it made Lin Chen laugh lowly and simply lay down on the steps.
He rested his head on his hands and said, “For example, under normal circumstances, would students resist the school’s arrangements, yell loudly, and try to rush out of the classroom in complete chaos”
“Of course not.”
“Then have you ever thought about what caused them to suddenly become like that just now’
“Isn’t it because it was dark, and someone took advantage of the chaos to deliberately incite them”
“In fact, fans of rock concerts would also riot, and sports fans are also prone to riot after their team loses.
This has nothing to do with time, environment, or location.
It’s only about people.
If you look deeper, the question becomes this—why do humans become easily instigated by trivial things and take extreme actions”
“Consultant Lin~” Xing Conglian spoke as he suddenly lay down.
He raised his pitch a few times higher as he listened lazily.
“Don’t ask questions.
Just say it.
“This involves the issue of mob psychology*.
We often find that in a group of passionate collectives, people dare to do many things they wouldn’t do when they’re alone.
They will burn, kill, and loot.
They have no shame, no sense of morality, and even no sense of law… Because at that time, they have lost themselves…”
*Also known as crowd psychology, is a branch of social psychology.
Social psychologists have developed many theories for explaining the ways in which the psychology of crowds differs from and interacts with that of the individuals within it.
Crowd behavior is heavily influenced by the loss of individual responsibility and the impression of universality of behavior, both of which increase with crowd size.
After Lin Chen finished speaking, he paused deliberately, waiting for Xing Conglian to follow his words.
But this time, it was different from the previous situation.
By his side, Xing Conglian was calmly breathing with his eyes closed tightly as if he had fallen asleep.
The night was quiet, and the rain had stopped.
Lin Chen had the illusion that he was being used as a hypnotic instrument.
He raised his brows, sat up, and put his hands on his lap.
He turned his head back and quietly looked at Xing Conglian as he spoke slowly.
“If you hadn’t fallen asleep, you would probably say, ‘Well, losing themselves.
This seems similar to what Wang Shishi, Xu Haozhen, and Jiang Liu…’”
“In fact, this is the case.
The collective unconscious is a terrifying and real psychological phenomenon.
Under normal circumstances, humans are rational and know how to think, but once rational humans enter a group, their individual personalities will quickly disintegrate.
Reason and self-control will be gone, and the nature of human impulses will be released.
The majority of genocide tragedies stem from this.
If you have to find a term related to hypnosis, think of this as group hypnosis.”
“So, how similar is Wang Shishi’s and the others suicide to what happened tonight”
Suddenly, Lin Chen saw Xing Conglian move his lips slightly as he spoke in a low voice that was like a cello string being plucked, poking the night away.
Lin Chen’s heart inexplicably trembled.
He felt like he was caught red-handed doing something bad.
He rubbed his forehead and continued, “Tragedies like this are largely similar because people are inertial in thinking.
Even criminals will repeatedly choose the same technique to commit crimes.
In fact, we should be grateful.
At any rate, we have resisted this wave and found a lot of clues…”
“Wang Shishi and the others are in a certain group, and that group is controlled by someone, so that all the students in the group have lost themselves” Xing Conglian concluded.
“Sounds like a fantasy novel, right” Lin Chen said.
He stood up from the steps and continued, “If this is a group of students committing violence against another group of students, just like the atrocities of a foreign fraternity or sorority, it’s easy to see that this is a brutality caused by the collective unconscious.
But they chose to commit suicide, which can only mean that…”
“The faith and cohesion of the group they are in are far beyond our imagination, and we know nothing about those things.”
“So like a horror novel.” Xing Conglian seriously corrected him.
Lin Chen sighed, stood up from the steps, and asked, “Are you sure you don’t want to take a nap”
“Didn’t you stay awake too” Xing Conglian asked rhetorically with a smile as he leaned on the steps.
“But you overused your brain today.”
“Consultant Lin, are you feeling sorry for me”
The surrounding area was silent and devoid of sound in the darkness of night.
Xing Conglian was drenched all over and was basking in the lights from the corridor, which cast a thin layer on him.
It was so faint that Lin Chen could hardly see his face clearly, but his voice and breath were all too clear.
“That’s right,” Lin Chen replied seriously.
“Hey, I feel sorry for Consultant Lin, but it seems we have to stay up all night tonight.” As Xing Conglian spoke, he stretched out a hand to Lin Chen.
He pulled him up and then watched as Lin Chen rubbed his face indifferently, then said, “The failure to lure students to riot tonight is more like a whim than a well-planned action.
There are no casualties among the students today, which may lead to two situations tomorrow.
First, they will abandon their original plan and stay dormant.
Second, something big will happen tomorrow… Which situation do you think is more likely to happen”
“We can’t afford to gamble.” Lin Chen shook his head.
“There are less than 40 hours left, and something may happen every second after now.”
“Terrible…” Xing Conglian put his hands in his pockets and walked in front of Lin Chen.
“The only hope for finding the needle in the haystack has been destroyed.
Is there any way to find the members of that group”
“Actually, it’s not a complete failure.” Lin Chen looked up.
There were still some lights in the teaching building in the distance.
It was the computer test group that was specially arranged by Xing Conglian.
“Have you forgotten We still have two classes of data available.”
“I haven’t forgotten.
I brought it up specifically, waiting for you to praise me.”
As Xing Conglian spoke, he took out his phone and shook it.
“Professor Fu just texted and said that the test is over.”
Lin Chen frowned, quickly took out his phone, and wanted to make a call, but Xing Conglian moved faster.
He pressed the call button on his phone and handed it over.
“Lao Xing, did something happen to you I just heard a lot of noises.”
“It’s me,” Lin Chen said on the phone.
“Shixiong! Are you okay I heard that there was a power failure in the teaching building and that there were students making trouble.
Where’s Lao Xing What’s going on with him”
On the other end of the phone, Fu Hao couldn’t stop becoming a chatterbox.
Lin Chen immediately interrupted, “I’m fine.
He is too.
Did the results come out yet”
There was a rustling voice from the receiver, as if someone snatched the phone away.
After a while, a brisk voice came through.
“A’Chen, I have processed the data according to the conditions you gave me before.
The only one who meets your filter criteria is a girl named Jin Xiaoan.
I think the name is quite cute.”
“Jin Xiaoan… Is there any social connection with the deceased”
“There’s no obvious connection.
After all, the departments are too far away.
Jin Xiaoan has never participated in any school clubs as a medical student.”
“School of medicine” Lin Chen thought for a while then said, “When I was in college, the students from the psychology department and medical school students had common classes together.
For example, we took ideological and political courses together.
Check their schedule.”
“Okay, give me thirty seconds!”
After the sound of keyboard tapping, Lin Chen heard Wang Chao suddenly take a deep breath.
“Shit, Jin Xiaoan and Jiang Liu took Politics 2 together.
What the hell is Politics 2, A’Chen”
“The type of course that can easily foster friendship among classmates as well as extracurricular reading skills.” Lin Chen patted Xing Conglian as the two stood under the streetlight.
“Which dorm does Jin Xiaoan live in”
“Building 7, 201.”
“Your captain and I are now in the open space downstairs in the computer room.
You and Fu Hao come down together…”
“Are we going to the girls’ dormitory to play How fun!” Wang Chao said gleefully.
Mob psychology, or more commonly known as mob mentality, is the idea that individuals are influenced by larger groups.
Regardless of their class, ethnicity, race, ect.
anyone can be affected by it.
Sometimes you can get caught in a mob mentality without even realizing it.
What Lin Chen is proposing is a combination of the collective unconscious and mob mentality.
The collective unconscious refers to the idea that a segment of the deepest unconscious mind is genetically inherited and not shaped by personal experience that mankind as a whole shares.
For example, everyone (generally) longs for a mother or feels fear when they think of death.
Mob mentality influences your action because, once you fall into that mentality, your personality is no longer yours but that of the mob.
This is why when a group of people riot, others, who normally wouldn’t break the law or destroy property, are compelled to do so because everyone around them is doing it.
In this case, rather than rioting, these people are committing suicide.
Personally, I just think these students joined a cult and got brainwashed into committing suicide.
It’s not like there aren’t plenty of examples in the past.
The characteristics of the deceased also fit the bill (vulnerable people are usually more susceptible to joining a cult).
They seemed isolated from others except members of the cult, and the cult uses groupthink (which is similar to mob mentality) on its members.