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“In the epic battle between man and metro, man loses. Always.”
The Gemeentevervoerbedrijf (GVB) is a major psychological experiment being run by the city of Amsterdam under a cover of the so called "City Public Transport Company". The GVB experiment began with the company establishment in 1900 and later got an official municipal status when the company was bought by the city of Amsterdam.
The original manifest of the GVB was accredited to one Dr. Gert De Gek, first executive officer of the GVB and a certified dentist:
In Dr. De Gek's memoirs he wrote : "It occurred to me that we scientists are always lacking proper human subjects. Never, in the history of scientific experiments, did we manage to collect enough subjects in a single location and place them in a carefully monitored environment under various levels of psychological and physical pressure and see how quick we can make them go MAD! WE WILL MAKE THEM SCREAM WITH AGONY! THEY WILL PRAY FOR DEATH BUT WE SHALL NOT GIVE IT TO THEM!" and on that note, the manifest ends abruptly.
edit Experiment Categories
As stated in the original manifest, the goal of the GVB is to place the residents of Amsterdam under a series of tests, designated to simulate various levels of pressure in order to verify the effects on the frail human mind. The various experiments can be divided to the following categories:
- Cognitive stress tests - the subjects (also to be referred to as the "commuters") are put under psychological stress tests, to verify their ability to manage intriguing and thought challenging instances to monitor their abilities to handle those intriguing experiences.
- Physical stress tests - the physical tests will check the abilities of the subject's physique to adapt to extreme physical conditions in a controlled environment.
- Combination tests ("Gecombineerde Gang Bang") - a combined test that maintains ever increasing alternating levels of physical and mental stress on the subjects.
In this article we shall discuss the main experiments conducted by the GVB over the years and their contribution to the well being of mankind. Womankind benefits are rumored to be researched by Connexxion.
edit The Strippenkaart
A typical European public transport system, such as the London tube or the Berliner UBahn, relies on a simple understandable system to charge its patrons. You need to go somewhere in the center or in the more civilized areas of the city? You use a single ticket. Either flash it across a detector and go through squeaky security doors (in London) or stroll alone with no obstructions and occasionally wave your single price fit for all card at the tall heavily armed Germanic looking conductors (in Berlin). And if you live in the suburbs, well - that's your problem isn't it?
The GVB had different plans for its every day customers. An extract from its classified manual clearly states:
“We have made it our mission to stretch the human cognitive ability to its limit. We will try to challenge the intellect of the Amsterdamers before it will be rotted by overdose of legally sanctioned weed.”
- ~ GVB manual, cognitive testing
The GVB manual for the fresh traveler states the following in chapter one: Verwelkomen nieuwe nietsvermoedende proefpersonen (welcoming new unsuspecting test subjects) -
|Welcome to the Amsterdam public transport system! Before you can board the train heading to your destination, please pay the necessary fee in order to facilitate our services to the greater Amsterdam. It's all very simple really! Our system is divided to a minimal number of zones. You only need to calculate the number of zones you will cross in your journey.|
To achieve this goal, the GVB created a simple mathematical formula:
The GVB manual continues as follows:
| You now have the number of zones, therefore the strips you need to stamp in your strippenkaart. Fold the strippenkaart on the strip you wish to fold. Gently now. GENTLY! IF YOU TEAR IT YOU INVALIDATE IT AND YOU'LL NEED TO DO THE CALCULATION ALL OVER AGAIN!
There, now shove it into the stamping machine. You should hear a harmonious bell ding. Don't worry if you don't. Most of the machines are borked anyway.
Congratulations, you are now ready to board yet another GVB train that will take you quickly and comfortably to your destination.
In an internal memo that was circulated by the GVB new customers department, circa 1987, one interesting clause can be found:
|...and so it is the intention of the new "customers" department to be using the overly complex and absurd system of strippenkaart in order to review the effects of continuous stress over the lower right lobe, deriving out of the effort needed to calculate number of zones. The new "customers" department estimates a potential fatality rate of 2.3%. Some other side effects may include: headaches, lost of balance, blindness, enjoying Dutch cuisine and taking the wrong train and ending up in Belgium.|
edit "De Klemmen van Angst" ("clamps of fear")
As the GVB has been phasing out the above Strippenkaart experiment for a while now (due to increasing amounts of reported strokes and Amsterdamers ending up in Maastricht) the brand new OVChipkaart (the Dutch equivalent to the Oyster card) has been introduced. A protocol from the strategic meeting of the management board states clearly that:
|...and as the Chip Card will be taking over the Strippenkaart, thereby making the test subject's life easier, we would like to suggest a new form of pressure to be inflicted, in a slightly different manner. We want to use the element of surprise.|
And so the GVB established large impenetrable doors, made from frikandel proof glass. To cross over these doors, the test subjects must wave their chip card in downward sweeping motions in exactly 37 degrees angle to the sensor . Following that, one of three scenarios might occur:
- The doors will open, the test subject might cross.
- The doors will remain closed, regardless of the actual amount of credit on the test subject's card.
- The doors will open but will close unexpectedly on the test subject as he tries to cross over to the promised land.
The GVB scientists hoped to introduce, but this test, a pseudo-Pavlovian effect that will cause the test subjects to fearfully slink across the threshold, jerk in unexpected directions or simply take their business elsewhere. As this experience just began in the last few months, sufficient empirical data is yet to be collected.
edit "Deze Metro is Uitgevallen"
The big question mark on the commuter's face when they hear the above announcement was exactly the effect the GVB audio-visual department was aiming for - an auditory "shock and awe" strategy to take the test subject's hearing abilities to their humane limit.
After the customer manages to cross the threshold of the "clamps of fear" they enter the wonderful world of audio-visual representations, in which the audio-visual department of the GVB is allowed to conduct various sinister examinations of their unwilling test subjects.
The common belief in the Dutch scientific community was that "finally we can test subliminal conditioning on wide populations thereby allowing us to take over Belgium once more". However, the GVB audio-visual research center has decided, instead, to analyze the effect of multi directional sound waves on one's balance. Or in layman's terms - PA messages.
And so innocent test subjects are attacked with various dosages of sound-waves, side effects ranging from mild nausea to brain damage. Some of the test include the following:
- Deze Metro is Uitgevallen ("This metro is inoperable"), Deze Metro is Defekt ("This metro is faulty") and Deze metro komt gewoon niet, dus je kan net zo goed opgeven nu ("This metro is not coming so you might as well give up now") are being played randomly across the PA speaker. Sound quality and volume may vary.
- "Faulty" speakers may induce incomprehensible messages or erratic "beeps" and "bleeps" and random feeds from SETI. Occasionally messages such as, Wij komen in vrede, breng ons naar uw kaas maker ("We come in peace, bring us to your cheese maker") can be heard among bursts of static and low octave howling.
edit Extreme Klimaat Controle
Being a part of a green-friendly and responsible society, ever searching to mitigate the damage caused to the planet, the GVB climate control division has been allowed access to the test subjects once they enter the metro itself. As it is in the best interest of the research department to verify that human beings will able to withstand the anticipated harsh climate of the future as well as lowering naughty gas emissions, the GVB has decided to first of all cut down completely the usage of air conditioning. And when we say "cut down completely" we really mean - completely remove, tear off the wall, use acid to wash all remains that might be allow to ease the boiling temperature of hundred degrees Kelvin that the metro riders will be subjected to.
The GVB scientists noticed a curious byproduct of the experiment. By introducing the state known in Dutch as "Mensen Stapelproef" ("people stacking") also known to the non-scientific community as "Te veel mensen voor een vierkante meter" ("too many people per square meter") and sometimes referred to as "ga van m'n voet af, rukker!" ("get off my fucking foot you wanker") they have allowed yet another experiment to be run in parallel. Not only a critical mass of bodies will allow the GVB to check how many cubicle meters of passengers they can utilize safely (albeit not necessarily comfortably) with no air conditioning/ventilation (thereby lowering their CO2 footprint) but they will also be able to create a micro-cosmos that simulates a future over populated earth, thereby preparing for a possible grim destiny of mankind.
As an intriguing side effect of the climate experiments, the GVB sometimes utilize a highly classified and experimental test sometimes being referred to as the "Zomer Verkoop" ("summer sale") during which the various metro trains cool down their boiling engines by throwing the excessive heat into the enclosed trains thereby allowing to test not only the effects of global warming but even as far as testing global cooking (or in some extreme summers even global deep frying) on the unsuspecting test subjects. Some even go as far as to assume that these subjects also contribute to the theoretical studies that support the preparation of proper Dutch fried potatoes.
edit "Tijd Ruimte Continuüm"
The Time Space Continuum experiment might, to the naked eye, be seen as a simple matter of trains being delayed, stuck or not showing up at all. As a matter of fact, this simple matter of "delay" is much more sinister.
The GVB liaison group with the European space agency are involved in some clandestine black ops experiments, dealing primarily with the concepts of time travel. Essentially: the amount of trains not arriving on time accumulate to a critical and then catastrophic mass of "delayed trains" thereby creating a time rift in the local time-space continuum. What the GVB actually wants to achieve by those time rifts is unclear. Some claim it might be for pure scientific curiosity. Some assume it is, potentially, for the Netherlands to gain access to the past, thereby tipping the current power-balance in the European continent and reversing certain independence that should have never occurred. You all know who we mean.
edit ""Summer" "Maintenance""
The brackets around "maintenance", "summer" as well as the whole concept of "summer maintenance" are not there by mistake. The GVB pseudo-mathematical research department has introduced to the wider scientific community with the revolutionary of a double-double-pseudo-concept: a concept that is so absurd and is such a stupidity within a stupidity that it seems, at a first glanced, to be completely logical. Let's break down this ""summer" "maintenance"" pseudo mathematical formula:
- "Summer" - in this expression is completely false. While the supposed work is to begin and end during the summer, the GVB will always start the "maintenance" (see next item) before the "summer" and will make sure to extend after the official end date of the so called "summer". "Summer" might also relate to this alleged season nicknamed "summer" in The Netherlands, that has nothing remotely related to what civilized nations know as "summer".
- "Maintenance" normally refers to the act of "up-keeping and improving a property". Ergo - many people wearing yellow helmets and vests scurrying around hammering obstructions, welding poles, smoothing out inconveniences. In the GVB's case, however, it would seem that "Maintenance" generally refers to the act of digging random holes in the ground obstructing the normal flow of traffic as much as possible while drinking gallons of foul tasting coffee and looking extremely busy.
Joining up these two negatives - "Summer" and "Maintenance" into the mathematical expression of ""Summer""Maintenance"" creates a mathematical anomaly: it is the first recorded incident in physics, that two negatives even a greater negative. No positive outcome can be seen.
The pseudo-mathematicians of the GVB are still trying to work out the possible positive implementation of this phenomenon.
The current unofficial opinion is: "absolutely nothing".
edit Future Prospects
As the world of science never ceases to evolve and expand itself further into new and exciting domains, bordering on the science fiction, the GVB relentlessly pursues new horizons and new fields of interest. Some of them include exciting new opportunities in quantum physics (sometimes referred to as the "New metro north - south line"), human linguistics integration (""English" automatic announcements for foriegners". Observe the double brackets phenomenon once more) and possibly even exploring further the theory of relativity - trying to progress the service beyond the speed of light.
Some members of the scientific community even go as far as daring to assume the GVB will experiment in efficient public transport at some point in the future. The GVB typically respond to that with the argument that "The science fiction research department has been outsourced to the Dutch Rail Company (NS) a long time ago".
“GVB, preparing for a grim future, so you won't have to”