Forest of Friendship, Baggage Carousel of Jerks

Have you ever noticed how badly people behave
when they are collecting their luggage at the airport? I mean they all cluster right
up against the carousel so people behind them can’t see their bags. And then when you
do spot your bag, you have to push through all the other passengers to collect it and
usually bump into them as you are grabbing your bag off the carousel. Why is it that
people behave so badly? It doesn’t seem to matter which airport
you go to anywhere in the world. The problem is the same. And this problem, believe it
or not, is related to why trees are tall. Go with me on this. So why are trees this tall? I mean some of
them are over 115 meters. They are the largest organisms on the planet. And you might think
that they are this tall so that they can capture sunlight. And to a degree that is true. But
anyone who has ever walked through a mature forest knows that the lower part of a tree
has basically no branches and leaves. And that makes sense, because not enough light
filters down through the top most branches to make it worth having sun capturing apparatus
down here. Over millennia trees have evolved to put their energy where it yields returns,
that is, in the canopy and not where it doesn’t. But this then begs the question: Why put all
this energy into building a trunk that is 10 or 20 meters if you are never intending
to use this vertical space to capture sunlight? I mean, it costs energy to make this trunk.
Plus it makes it harder to transport water from the roots up to the topmost branches
and it makes the tree more susceptible to water stress. So it is in every individual
tree’s best interest to be shorter, to not have this gigantic trunk and to use the conserved
energy to improve its seeds and its branches, to put its energy where it pays a return. But, of course, if there was a mutation that
allowed a tree to do this, you know what would happen to it. In a forest surrounded by all
these taller trees, it would be shaded from the sun and so it would wither and die.
But what if all of the trees developed the same mutation? What if they all created a
friendship pact, a forest of friendship in which everyone agreed not to grow such a big
trunk, to star the leaves right at the ground? Well, that would mean every individual tree
would be better off. The trouble is this solution is not stable, because any tiny mutation that
results in a tree that is slightly taller would advantage that tree. It would be able
to capture more light and it would shade its neighbors. And so pretty soon it would have
more offspring. It would come to dominate the forest. And then any additional mutation
down then line would result in even taller trees. This is how trees got so tall. I mean,
they would keep getting taller until the cost of going one more foot is exactly equal to
benefits of collecting that additional sunlight. And that is why trees are as tall as they
are today. I mean, it is not an optimal solution. It is not like these trees have the best use
of their energy. But it is the one that is stable.
So the point is: Although it is in every tree’s best interest to be a part of this forest
of friendship, it will never work. It will never last, because any individual who gets
a little bit taller is going to ruin it for everyone. And it is the very same thing when
you go to collect your bags. I mean, if everyone could agree to stand a couple of meters away
from the carousel, everyone would have a good view of their bags and be able to easily step
forward and collect their luggage. But, of course, one person standing forward is going
to block the view of behind them. So everyone is going to rush forward. It is an unstable
solution, just like a forest of friendship. So remember. Next time you are frustrated
collecting your bags at the airport, remember. Trees know just how you feel.>>I have summarized the whole problem for
you here. Are you ready?


  1. If only sociopaths, staunch believers in capitalism and people of low social intelligence would learn from nature using videos like this. Because it is so full of social metaphors.

    If everybody cared only for others, then everybody would be taken care of and everybody would win.

    Or: People who stand in other people's sunlight need to be axed down for the common good, haha.

    P.S.: I have never experienced bad behavior at baggage carousels. People would even help each other sometimes, and there was always enough space right at the conveyor belt that everybody could find their baggage.

  2. This problem doesn't exist in Japan. Big yellow lines keep people in their place.

  3. That's why Capitalism works and Communism doesn't…because we live in a sinful world. If the world was perfect, sure, communism has loads of appeal and would be in everyone's interest. But because of this same factor, we must resort to Capitalism as the ideal system. Cost is measured against value in this world.

  4. ATTENTION IDIOTS: STOP TRYING TO FALSELY RELATE THIS TO POLITICS AS AN "EXPLANATION OF WHY COMMUNISM DOES OR DOESN'T WORK" This is ENTIRELY different from politics because the circumstances that can occur in this CAN'T POSSIBLE occur in communism. In communism all income is the same so no one can be mutated in the market to be richer than everyone else but the government. Science is different, where there isn't an indefinite law, so a tree would be able to be mutated. 

  5. Very nice thank you ,I love your videos specially the nature ones with trees . Can't live without our trees 🙂 def subscribed can't wait to hear more …

  6. But shouldn't we, as sentient and self-reflecting beings, be able to overcome our evolutionary roots?! So that's why we can't have nice things.

    For more information see: Evolutionarily stable strategy

  7. This explains the hoop trick. Get a hula hoop or any hoop around a metre in diameter. Get a bunch of friends or strangers and see if they can all support the hoop with one finger and always be touching the hoop. You can't unless ur a clone. One person will always shift it ever so slightly higher, and then everyone else in an attempt to keep touching the hoop will raise it higher, and higher etc.

  8. every time someone says "largest organism on the planet", I cringe. The jury is still out on that one folks. some say its this others say its that. It's down to a few different candidates (aspen colony, fungal mycelium) definitely not a single redwood or sequoia. The blue whale is the largest known animal, yes even with the fossil record.

  9. I think its unfair to call that rude behavior!,.. some people don't know there being jerks,.. there intensions aren't to keep others from seeing there bags,.you don't even know there intentions, give them the benefit of the doubt unless your projecting the reason u do it onto them. people behave awesome too and help others with bags..

    its more stupidity and rudeness,.. people are rude,.. but this wasn't an example of it,.. this is more a exsaple of there tribe sheepale mentality.

  10. Derek, it doesn't beg the question. It simply raises the question. Please, do use the term correctly. It bothers me every time I watch this video. Otherwise, terrific video! Great job!

  11. look up the Nash equilibrium, it is the very same principal in economics. it's also the reason cartels don't work

  12. i thought to myself "i haven't ever had any trouble with other people when collecting my luggage" and then i realized that's probably because i'm jerkier then most people in that aspect.

  13. This is one area of life I  decide to be different.  I just sit back and wait for everyone to grab their bags (to avoid frustration) .  And then I grab mine after they're mostly gone.

  14. That was a really great metaphor which can be applied to many things; including communism… but what if there was a way to….. Nevermind lol

  15. You say "but this then begs the question…"  I think you really mean "raises the question".  Begging the question means something entirely different 🙂

  16. Never had this problem when returning to my country (Latvia), but when you try to get in a bus… oh my, those russian grandmas are gonna beat you down when you try to get in besides them or in front.

  17. My conclusion: this is why we need government. Not even kidding. In fact, I might even say government is one of the things that positively separates humankind from its animalistic roots.

  18. It's a testament to how much educational YouTube I watch that I actually knew this was Brady behind the camera before looking in the description. Something about the panning and field of view

  19. Huh, weird. I don't think I've ever encountered this problem before. In New Zealand we have lines painted on the ground about 80cm back from the edge of the carousel that you are indicated to wait behind (which virtually everyone does).

  20. Waiting a bit farther from luggages would work and be a stable solution, as we agree and automatically make queues to wait our turn when there's too many people.

  21. Same sitting in the stadium watching at any racing event: if one person stands up, everyone else eventually has to.

  22. No. People moving forwards to the carousel isn't a runaway effect. Long before the bags come, stupid shits are already just about leaning over the damn thing. It becomes compounded when people whose bags are actually there at that time have no choice but to barge through and the cranky old farts get angry after not only being in front of you, but cramming up behind you while you're trying to move away from the conveyor and don't make way for you to leave. These people deserve to be hit, but frankly they won't learn and it doesn't necessarily bother me at all, because I know these same dumbshits ruin their own lives stressing over all sorts of things that gain them nothing and this makes me happy.

  23. I see a conection to creating ever advancing armies all around the world with Russia and the US trying to be on top of the list of most powerful countrys but it cost a lot of money for these countries to sustain this position.

  24. I think that is also the reason why there will never be everlasting peace and mutual trust… because there will always be that ONE jerk that will attac 🙁 that episode makes me kind of sad. But I love trees…

  25. I might be mistaken, but I think that the airport over near where I live actually has a line that people must stand behind unless going out to collect their bag. Not a perfect fix to the problem, but it does help.

  26. I have been through many airports. I have wondered why people cluster behind others when normally the baggage area is large enough for everybody to have a spot up close.

  27. "So the maples formed a union
    And demanded equal rights
    'The oaks are just to greedy
    We will make them give us light'
    Now there's no more oak oppression
    For they passed a noble law
    And the trees are all kept equal
    By hatchet, axe and saw"

    — Neil Peart, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson

  28. This was great! but trees are maybe even a bit better than we are at the airport because on top of what you mentioned they also collaborate/care for one another in a network system underground. This allows the trees to share nutrients and if one tree is about to die it sends all it stored nutrients out to nurture the trees around it…so maybe we still have something to learn from trees with respect to our airport behaviour.

  29. What if the taller a tree, the more likely a small mammal (such as a squirrel) is able to climb up there and avoid larger predators (such as foxes) that cannot climb trees without low hanging branches. Then these small mammals that are more plentiful can spread more seeds, giving a selective advantage to talk trees.
    No low branches also gives room for a whole new niches to appear and live in (readily apparent in rainforests). These new animals can help with nutrients (poop), move seeds, and other beneficial activities.
    Further, the tallest of trees, redwoods, require fires to such a great extent to clear the ground of any small brush that would compete with their saplings that their pinecones only open when there are fires. Because redwoods have high branches, they can survive fires (along with other adaptations) that provide a clear evolutionary advantage.

    Things aren't always do simple, especially with biology.

  30. Can you apply that same principle and give some elegant explanation for the power and corruption in politics?

  31. Congratulations! You have succinctly illustrated why communism and socialism always fail and why capitalism is succeeding.

  32. Thus is brilliant !! It explains so many things in life! I saw this video like 6 years ago, and still remember it and find the examples for that phenomena everywhere)

  33. I never even knew standing near the carousel was considered rude, I just stand there because I see everyone else doing it making it seem like common practice but also mostly because it makes sense in that it is most practical and safer to just grab your luggage as soon as you see it. If you got to the luggage retrieval area later and no longer have room to stand near it in the carousel, then tough, it's basically the same as having to get to the end of a queue. Unless you're the kind of person who gets upset at the people ahead of you in a queue because they were "so selfish" they got there before you did.

  34. We are intelligent, it's not that simple. We can for example see in Japan that people wait the others to get off the subway before go inside. There are other countries in which this is a fight. I think education and respect for each other can make stable many bad behaviors of the people.

  35. I experienced that insanity as it grew into the chaos that it is today! My father was a commercial airline pilot for over 60yrs (7+ decades to be exact). It wasn't so bad way back in the 70's & 80's, but as more people took to the skies, as is the same with cars and rush hour traffic jams, so too did us humans start "people jams" of our own. I always thought, the simplest solution has been staring us in our faces for a long time! Camera's and monitors! Draw a line 10ft back from the carousels with cameras zoomed in to project images that are comparable as if you were standing right against the damned carousel's, as everyone does today. Put a wall of plexiglass in front of the carousels so nobody will challenge a couple simple instructions. Set the monitors above & far enough back which offers no advantage to anyone, unless your 8ft tall! HA!
    Once you see your luggage, you're asked to follow it down to the pick up area, away from the cameras and monitors. You pick up luggage, without that mob mentality, and off you go unmolested, unharmed & unscathed!….and Bob's your Uncle!…no?

    But, as always, that's just my opinion! :)))

  36. I always stan back (or, even better, sit down) as the luggage carousel until most bags are taken and people have gone. One or two extra rounds around the carousel are more than worth avoiding pushing and shoving.

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