The SUICIDE BOX is one of our earliest information devices and demonstrates some of the strategies the Bureau of Inverse Technology has been developing around information.
The Suicide Box is a motion-detection video system, positioned in range of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco in 1996. It watched the bridge constantly and when it recognised vertical motion, captured it to a video record. The resulting footage displays as a continuous stream the trickle of people who jump off the bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge is the premiere suicide destination in the United States: a 100 day initial deployment period of the BIT Suicide Box recorded 17 vertical events (during the same time period the Port Authority counted only 13).
There are however a number of ways to interpret the Suicide Box data. In 2003, the Bureau launched the DI10, based on a 10 year analysis of the DESPONDENCY INDEX, a novel BIT economic indicator which takes the moving average of the suicide rate off the Golden Gate Bridge and indexes it to the Dow Jones Industrial Average.