the trap of tipping over into a pointless lemmings over the cliff scenario


  1. losing the control of things so that they take you everywhere they want?


  1. doing exactly what others do (repeating others without any bit of creativity)?

full context:

Amounting to the unleashing of an unpredictable force – which, it should be said, really must have highly organised strategic and creative foundations in order to avoid the trap of tipping over into a pointless ‘lemmings over the cliff ’ scenario in its realisation – such collective mobilisation also provides a comforting degree of protection to those implicated inasmuch as it is difficult for security officials to know where to begin arresting or even just ‘moving on’ participants should it come to it.

  • 1
    Lemmings have the reputation of acting in suicidal concert: once one lemming has thrown itself to its death, all the others follow it unthinkingly. It's a bad rap.
    – deadrat
    May 7, 2016 at 5:55
  • 2
    ... but the reputation is apparently unwarranted, the story being a modern-day myth invented by Disney (as related at Factually). May 7, 2016 at 9:06

1 Answer 1


"A pointless lemmings over the cliff scenario" is a situation where people blindly follow each other to their (metaphoric) doom.

"Tripping over into" that situation is a way of saying that a sort of "trigger point" is reached where the behavior is destined to occur.

"The trap of" doing that tripping means that one has crossed the "trigger point" while pursuing some other, presumably more productive goal.

A literal case of the above occurring would be the Hillsborough disaster.

All in all, the language is unnecessarily convoluted and obscure.

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