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  #1  
Old 21 January 2009, 01:50 PM
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Andrew of Ware Andrew of Ware is offline
 
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United Kingdom Queuing 'killed Titanic passengers'

Or did it?

BBC Radio Four Audio File

Quote:
More British passengers on the Titanic died than Americans because they queued, an Australian researcher believes. David Savage, of Queensland's University of Technology, explains why he believes the British stereotype of being polite - even when faced with disaster - led to more casualties.
The researcher says that British male passengers had an 8% less chance of survival, whereas American male passengers had a much better chance of survival. The American culture of being individualistic led to more of them surviving, he suggests. However, there were more first and second class passengers who were American. He does say, though, that the myth of third class ('steerage') passengers being locked below decks is false.

So did more British die because they were too polite?
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  #2  
Old 21 January 2009, 06:12 PM
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This may be taken directly from the movie, and thus be entirely innaccurate, but I was under the impression that a lot of lifeboats were released early and half-full by panicked passengers. So, assumedly, if there had been lots of people queuing, then more would have survived, since they would have been able to fill the lifeboats in a more organized manner.

Granted, you could have all the polite people in the back waiting for their turn and all the individualistic ones in the front releasing the boats. However, despite the stereotype, I'm not entirely convinced that Americans are any less adept at queueing than the British, or that they would, as a whole, be any more likely to shove other people out of their way in order to survive.
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  #3  
Old 21 January 2009, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beejtronic View Post
This may be taken directly from the movie, and thus be entirely innaccurate, but I was under the impression that a lot of lifeboats were released early and half-full by panicked passengers. So, assumedly, if there had been lots of people queuing, then more would have survived, since they would have been able to fill the lifeboats in a more organized manner.
I remember that from the films too.

Also, for example in the event of a fire drill, you aren't told to queue but you can't just push people out of the way and run out.
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  #4  
Old 21 January 2009, 06:40 PM
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Whether being polite killed slightly more of a different nationality of passengers seems kind of pointless to me. If they hadn't, all that would have changed (and that only slightly) would be the national makeup of fatalities, not the number of fatalities. In fact, like Beej said, if there had been more politeness there may have been less casualties. Probably not a large amount less, since the ship didn't have nearly enough lifeboats for the passengers, but some less at least.

It would be much fairer to say that a lack of being polite killed Titanic passengers.
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  #5  
Old 21 January 2009, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
It would be much fairer to say that a lack of being polite killed Titanic passengers.
If they'd been polite instead of shoving past that iceberg they would have all survived.
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  #6  
Old 21 January 2009, 06:42 PM
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I thought it was extremely cold water that killed the Titanic passengers.
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  #7  
Old 21 January 2009, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart View Post
If they'd been polite instead of shoving past that iceberg they would have all survived.
This is true. Or was it the iceberg that was rudely standing in the way? Which would have the right of way in that situation?
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  #8  
Old 21 January 2009, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
This is true. Or was it the iceberg that was rudely standing in the way? Which would have the right of way in that situation?
If the iceberg is standing in the way you tut and mutter to yourself to shame it into moving.
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  #9  
Old 21 January 2009, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Towknie View Post
I thought it was extremely cold water that killed the Titanic passengers.
Technically, some did die of drowning before they had the chance to succumb to hypothermia.
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  #10  
Old 21 January 2009, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Duck View Post
Technically, some did die of drowning before they had the chance to succumb to hypothermia.
But I had that covered. I said extremely cold water killed the passengers. Extremely cold water could either drown or hypothermia one to death. It also goes quite well with some squeezed lemons and a bit of sugar.
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  #11  
Old 21 January 2009, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Towknie View Post
But I had that covered. I said extremely cold water killed the passengers. Extremely cold water could either drown or hypothermia one to death. It also goes quite well with some squeezed lemons and a bit of sugar.
You make lemonade with seawater?
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  #12  
Old 21 January 2009, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
You make lemonade with seawater?
Pishaw, all you technical people. I said extremely cold water. I did not say extremely cold sea water. I've got the bases covered my friends!
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  #13  
Old 21 January 2009, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
You make lemonade with seawater?
Maybe it's lemonade flavored saltwater taffy?
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  #14  
Old 21 January 2009, 07:53 PM
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Silas Sparkhammer Silas Sparkhammer is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Towknie View Post
Pishaw, all you technical people. I said extremely cold water. I did not say extremely cold sea water. I've got the bases covered my friends!
Possibly, some of the entineering crew were killed by steam -- i.e., very hot water!

(No evidence for this, only that it is known that the boilers did explode.)

Silas
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  #15  
Old 21 January 2009, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beejtronic View Post
However, despite the stereotype, I'm not entirely convinced that Americans are any less adept at queueing than the British, or that they would, as a whole, be any more likely to shove other people out of their way in order to survive.
Ha, when I was in New York the bouncer didn't even know what the word queue meant!
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  #16  
Old 21 January 2009, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silas Sparkhammer View Post
Possibly, some of the entineering crew were killed by steam -- i.e., very hot water!

(No evidence for this, only that it is known that the boilers did explode.)

Silas
I'm still covered in that my original statement included passengers, not the engineering crew.
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  #17  
Old 22 January 2009, 01:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart View Post
If they'd been polite instead of shoving past that iceberg they would have all survived.
I once read an engineering study that suggested that if they had rudely plowed straight into the iceberg instead of trying to politely make their way past it then there would likely have been more injuries due to people being flung around, but far fewer deaths as the ship would not have sunk. It was the fact that a long glancing scrape down the side opened up a lot of compartments that sunk the ship. A head on collision would have destroyed the bow but opened fewer compartments to the sea. Rudeness wins.

me
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  #18  
Old 22 January 2009, 01:54 AM
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Silas Sparkhammer Silas Sparkhammer is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Towknie View Post
I'm still covered in that my original statement included passengers, not the engineering crew.
Dang! You're good! If I were wearing a logician's hat, I would doff it to you!

Silas (So, like, these two passengers got into a gunfight, see...)
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  #19  
Old 22 January 2009, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by me, no really View Post
It was the fact that a long glancing scrape down the side opened up a lot of compartments that sunk the ship. A head on collision would have destroyed the bow but opened fewer compartments to the sea. Rudeness wins.
I've heard this as a "theory" but I do wonder if anyone has actually done a hard study to determine if this would hold true, especially given the possibility that the steel used for the Titanic was unusually brittle. A whole lot more energy would have been involved in a head on (and likely inelastic) collision meaning the potential for a whole lot of catastrophic structural damage to the bow and even other compartments. Who knows, the shafts could have even gotten knocked out of whack and caused flooding at the stern as well.
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  #20  
Old 22 January 2009, 11:27 AM
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Won't someone think of the icebergs?
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