Another social phenomenon, which I first observed (or moreso interpreted) whilst out with a drunken group of freinds and trying to leave the pub to move to the next one.
The polite thing to do is to let everyone know that you’re going after this drink and then get ready to leave. Two hours later, your still there, sans pint and becoming increasingly frustrated. I don’t like this limbo, I feel very passionately about either being somewhere or going somewhere, this existance of perpertual leaving, where starting a new conversation or beer is pointless creates anxiety as I worry about hassling people or whether it’s rude just to fuck off and leave them.
Social inertia can be applied to any large group, I’m more a big picture man than the details so i’ll let someone else work out the formulas. But essentially the principles are similar to normal inertia – the larger the social mass (number of people), the harder a group is to get moving (or more importantly to give direction), and conversely the harder it is to stop.
Other factors that affect social inertia are – Booze (the opposite of lubrication in a normal inertia model)
Social gravity – Larger groups generate their own pull especially in bars as increased chances of bumping into friends and increasing mass (if other group is also large then there is an increased counter pull).
Pretty girls – see above – these have a larger gravity, and should be your key tool should you wish to shepherd your group quickly.
Due to this Pub crawls should only ever be completely anarchic, or restricted to a small number of friendless friends. Either that of have a hotty in your pocket that everyone wants to follow…