Despondency Index

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About This Project

suicide box

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).

despondency index / DI10

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.