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Contextual Cliff-Jumping

When I was young, my mother would ask me “If everyone was going to jump off a cliff, would you jump too?”

This was her attempt at reminding me that blindly following the crowd is a fool’s errand, which, apparently, really stuck with me.

However, I now realize that it’s a very contextual question. 

If people are jumping off a cliff into a deep pool, I might wait until many people had jumped so I could see the range of safe spots to jump into. 

If they were jumping off a cliff to avoid torture, I’d probably follow them. 
If the cliff was only a few feet high, why not?

Regardless of the efficacy of my mother’s warning, remember that context is everything.

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