Angry Jesus writes:
"The Chicago Police Department is mis-applying epidemiological science (the study of entire populations) to target individuals in a real-life version of Minority Report. They have decided that it is a good idea to put people on a secret list based on a Big Data analysis of their social networks. But don't worry, it isn't racist or abusive because, Science!"
How the hell does a headline like this make it onto SN?
The headline though baits race-flames. It further implies that Angry Jesus fails at basic math. If the math is true, the statement is true; whether it offends your fucking political beliefs or not.
I'll agree the summary could have just presented the facts, without the obvious bias. But this article clearly shows the direction of things to come. It even touched on what I think is a very chilling aspect of this, "are we just closing ourselves off to this small subset of people?"
Sure, they aren't really just using pre-crime units, it is just another arm of this jurisdiction. However it undeniably focuses on a smaller group of people. In a perfect world, this wouldn't be a problem, but...
This algorithm is secret. Who is doing the audits of this? How can we be sure that someone in the chain isn't taking money or otherwise to make sure certain people stay off the list, or even put on the list? How do we even know their is an algorithm, and it isn't just someone who thinks they are your master creating this secret lists? So far all attempts to find out anything about how the list is created has been kept from FOIA requests.
All that said, it is obvious and unavoidable that this information would eventually be used in this fashion. It was going to happen. Hopefully some countries will have the respect for their people and will not allow this kind of data mining to be used without a high degree of openness in the process.
What worries me more than the data mining itself is that after they identified someone with a statistically increased risk of getting involved in crime, their response is to send an officer to intimidate him. I think it would be much more effective to check whether he has a job (the article says he's a high-school dropout), and if not, try to get him a job or training preparing for a job.
If an officer appears out of the blue to harass you, it certainly doesn't make you respect the law more. Rather, it will probably make your attitude biased against the laws that allow, or even require, an officer to harass you without you doing anything wrong, and thus makes you more likely to break the law later. Which then will be taken as evidence that the harassment was justified, and the program is a success. Self-fulfilling prophecy at its finest.
The title of the linked article is "The minority report: Chicago's new police computer predicts crimes, but is it racist?", and it basically is a "minority report" kind of thing. It's a chilling use of computer tech by our political overlords. FTA:
When the Chicago Police Department sent one of its commanders to Robert McDanielâ€™s home last summer, the 22-year-old high school dropout was surprised. Though he lived in a neighborhood well-known for bloodshed on its streets, he hadnâ€™t committed a crime or interacted with a police officer recently. And he didnâ€™t have a violent criminal record, nor any gun violations. In August, he incredulously told the Chicago Tribune, "I haven't done nothing that the next kid growing up hadn't done.â€ Yet, there stood the female police commander at his front door with a stern message: if you commit any crimes, there will be major consequences. Weâ€™re watching you.What McDaniel didnâ€™t know was that he had been placed on the cityâ€™s â€œheat listâ€ â€” an index of the roughly 400 people in the city of Chicago supposedly most likely to be involved in violent crime. Inspired by a Yale sociologistâ€™s studies and compiled using an algorithm created by an engineer at the Illinois Institute of Technology, the heat list is just one example of the experiments the CPD is conducting as it attempts to push policing into the 21st century.
When the Chicago Police Department sent one of its commanders to Robert McDanielâ€™s home last summer, the 22-year-old high school dropout was surprised. Though he lived in a neighborhood well-known for bloodshed on its streets, he hadnâ€™t committed a crime or interacted with a police officer recently. And he didnâ€™t have a violent criminal record, nor any gun violations. In August, he incredulously told the Chicago Tribune, "I haven't done nothing that the next kid growing up hadn't done.â€ Yet, there stood the female police commander at his front door with a stern message: if you commit any crimes, there will be major consequences. Weâ€™re watching you.
What McDaniel didnâ€™t know was that he had been placed on the cityâ€™s â€œheat listâ€ â€” an index of the roughly 400 people in the city of Chicago supposedly most likely to be involved in violent crime. Inspired by a Yale sociologistâ€™s studies and compiled using an algorithm created by an engineer at the Illinois Institute of Technology, the heat list is just one example of the experiments the CPD is conducting as it attempts to push policing into the 21st century.
You've perfectly illustrated just how these things work. The "math" may be true, but who says the "math" describes the entire situation? I'll give you an example -- ~99% of serial killers are men, therefore all men are suspected serial killers.
Are we doing reductio ad absurdum then? Yes, you can lie or say astoundingly stupid things with statistics; you can also say extremely relevant and insightful things with them. Neither of which changes the fact that that summary and headline were racial flamebait of the worst order.
Are we doing reductio ad absurdum then?
I chose a deliberately and obviously untrue over-simplification as a means to illustrate the point. Don't miss the forest for the trees.
Neither of which changes the fact that that summary and headline were racial flamebait of the worst order.
False. You keep saying that, but its just argument from ignorance. Racism in modern america is way more complicated then it was 50 years ago when there were segregated water fountains. But just because it is less overt doesn't mean it doesn't exist. You seem to be offended by this fact, but denialism doesn't make it any less true.
Racism in modern america is way more complicated then it was 50 years ago when there were segregated water fountains.
It's really not. There is nothing complicated about discriminating or disliking someone based on race. What is complicated are the explanations Jackson, Sharpton, and those like them have to come up with to keep the money rolling in to them. It's like an entire race has just thrown Occam's Razor right the fuck out the window. And, yes, it is pretty much only the one race that gets their panties in such a bunch over imagined racism; that is not racist, facts cannot be racist.
Let's be very clear here, racism is discriminating against or disliking someone based on their race. It is not doing the same because they come off as a thug. It is not being against affirmative action, which is by definition racist. It is not having a race being represented in prison 3x what they are in the population at large. It is not lacking a minority in senior management of a company. And it absolutely is not having a deep and abiding hatred for those who keep telling people that it is.
Let's be very clear here, racism ... is not doing the same because they come off as a thug. It is not being against affirmative action, which is by definition racist. It is not having a race being represented in prison 3x what they are in the population at large. It is not lacking a minority in senior management of a company.
So, if those things aren't racism, what are they?
Racism is a bad thing. I think all reasonable people can agree with that statement. Disagreements start as soon as people start trying to define racism differently. I hate to be drawn into the discussion because it is so easy to be misunderstood if you don't agree with someone with an axe to grind.
Still, I'm going to comment because I think there is a point worth making here. I'm going to respond to the question "So, if those things aren't racism, what are they?"
racism is discriminating against or disliking someone based on their race. It is not doing the same because they come off as a thug.
Discriminating against someone or disliking someone because they come off as a thug is judging someone based on their choices that determine how they present themselves. Choosing to act or just feeling a dislike based on the choices someone makes cannot be racism because race isn't what drives the action or feeling. Race doesn't matter, so it isn't racism, it's prejudice but not racial prejudice. It becomes racial prejustice and therefore racism if you think race is a factor in determining whether someone is a thug.
It is not being against affirmative action
Affirmative action is the idea that some races deserve less opportunity than others. Basing decisions on race is the definition of racism. Being against that is being against racism. There is an argument to be made for that type of racism as a method of equalizing opportunity in a racist society, but it doesn't change what it is.
It is not having a race being represented in prison 3x what they are in the population at large.
Since racism is a decision made by someone about someone else based on race, it is racism if people are put in prison because the people responsible for law enforcement are making decisions to put them there or single them out based on their race. However, if there is a predominant culture of law breaking found commonly among people of a race, then that culture is the problem and it doesn't necessarily mean law enforcement is acting racist. A predominant culture of law breaking found among people of a race also doesn't mean that law enforcement isn't making racist decisions. One problem doesn't excuse the other or eliminate it as a potential reason for the results.
It is not lacking a minority in senior management of a company
If you are hiring the most qualified individuals who apply that is ignoring race which is the opposite of racism. If something is done to give preferential treatment or select applicants based on something based in race, then it would be racism. The result doesn't give any direct indication of the reasons for the outcome. If it is consistently shown to be a result that doesn't match the quality of applicants, then racism may not be proven directly but indicated indirectly. Identifying a result doesn't always indicate the motivations, but it can if enough information is known to show the result is consistent with racist behavior.
it absolutely is not having a deep and abiding hatred for those who keep telling people that it is
Having a deep and abiding hatred for people based on a single opinion they voice may be a symptom of an unbalanced perspective, but it doesn't specifically have anything to do with race in itself. If the hatred is based on a dislike of a tendency for people to make something terrible seem less terrible, then it may be in actuality a strong dislike of the terrible thing itself. If you accept the definition of rape to include someone complimenting someone else's appearance, it means that you accept the idea that rape isn't necessarily the truly terrible thing that it is. If you accept the idea that racism is hiring people based on their qualifications regardless of their race, then you make racism seem less terrible than it really is.
The problem with practically all of your "explanations" is a seemingly willful ignorance of the cultural context of those points.
For example, you say that disproportionate racial imprisonment rates isn't due racism if the crime rates are similarly disproportionate. But that's not the case. For example, whites and blacks use illegal drugs at roughly the same rate, but blacks go to prison for drug offenses at 10x the rate of whites. [naacp.org]
Wrong. You've been lied to. Have a look here [fbi.gov], do a little math, and you'll see it's a little less than 3x as often as whites. Strangely, this is exactly the same across nearly every category of crime. Some do stand out though. Blacks are about 4x more likely to wind up in jail than whites for murder. Not 4x more likely than a white person accused of murder but 4x more likely than any white person period.
Are some of those statistics inflated by cops being more suspicious of black people? Of course. Gambling, weapons possession, and likely a certain percentage of most of the list. Murder rate though? You really believe that 3/4 of the murder convictions against blacks are trumped up? Or 2/3 of the rape convictions? The fact of the matter is, black culture simply produces several times its share of criminals.
Chicken or egg? Does it matter? You can't do anything about cops seeing blacks committing 2-3x their fair share of crime unless you change the culture to something that produces people less likely to commit crimes.
You may look at the above and think I hate the black man. You'd be amazingly wrong. I hate racists and their philosophy holds no place in my mind. I also hate the race-baiters because they incite race-based hatred (yes, hating whitey is racism) in their own communities. And their community pays them to do it.
I don't hate the black man. The black man is also an American man, which makes him my brother. What I hate are the sheep mentality that most people, regardless of skin color, share, the race-baiters who prey on it for personal gain at their expense, and everyone responsible for perpetuating a diseased culture.
Wrong. You've been lied to. Have a look here, do a little math, and you'll see it's a little less than 3x as often as whites.
That's arrest rates, not incarceration rates.
You may look at the above and think I hate the black man.
No, I don't. What I do think is you have no interest in understanding people who have a significantly different life experience than you have. So much so that you'd rather apply all your energy to rationalizing that willful ignorance instead of to thinking more deeply about the situation. Citing arrest rates rather than incarceration rates is a perfect demonstration of that.
That's arrest rates, not incarceration rates.
Fair enough. It's passed my bedtime and I missed that.
As for the rest, I understand them quite well, thank you. They're people that have been fucked by those that should be helping them. I don't mean the cops or the government because they never help any-damn-body; I mean their community leaders and cultural icons.
Do you realize that as a people they were less defeated before the Civil Rights Act was passed than they are now? Racism didn't do that. Racism was going full blown and doing its best before the CRA and all it did was produce a man like Dr King and sweeping change. It took their own selling them on victimhood and violence to destroy them.
Do you realize that as a people they were less defeated before the Civil Rights Act was passed than they are now?
See? Another example of choosing to not understand. What you wrote is technically true, but utterly misleading.
The black community was doing great, making consistent improvements in nearly all measures like income and education levels until the mid 1980s, nearly 20 years of improvement after the Civil Rights Act was passed.
The war on drugs, which as has already been demonstrated, affects blacks in vastly disproportionate numbers turning black communities into a permanent underclass where discrimination in employment, housing, even voting is now legal because of their status as convicted criminals.
But that ain't racism. That's just black culture! Those drug laws are totally color-blind. That those laws have resulted in 80% of the black male workforce in cities like Chicago having a felony record, [prisonpolicy.org] isn't structural racism. It's just a statistical anomaly that professional race-baiters like Jesse Jackson used to cash in on instead of doing the right thing for their communities.
You blame the Civil Rights Act because it so much easier than going against your internalized preconceptions. Too bad it is just utterly wrong.
You should have read your source. It said 29%, not 80%. 16% served prison time which means 1/3 of those with a felony conviction served no prison time.
As for why Chicago's corrupt asses feel the need to crack down on black men? You'd have to ask the Democrats. They've been running the place since 1927, currently under Barak Obama's ex-Chief of Staff.
Let's do a little bit of history here. From the Civil War on up to throwing Dr King in Birmingham jail, Democrats were on the wrong side of every single civil rights issue. Then JFK gets Dr King sprung from jail and suddenly the party of racist fuckwads is their new best friend? Not buying it. You don't go from hating a people for hundreds of years to helping them literally overnight and nobody to speak of changed parties over the issue. Now, you could start selling them victimhood to erode their ambition and ability to better themselves... That would get you their votes while still letting you destroy them like you've been unable to do since they went and got all uppity.
So, yes, it's just possible there is a conscious, systematic effort to destroy blacks. It's not coming from where you seem to think though.
> You should have read your source. It said 29%, not 80%.
Is the cognitive dissonance so strong that it is preventing you from reading correctly?
"The total population of black males with a felony record (including both current and ex-felons) is equivalent to 55 percent of the black adult male population and an astonishing 80 percent of the adult black male workforce in the Chicago area." (page 4)
> Let's do a little bit of history here. From the Civil War on up to throwing Dr King in Birmingham jail, Democrats were on the wrong side of every single civil rights issue.
All you do is spout racist 'facts' -- the kind of thing you can find on websites like Stormfront. You keep quacking like a racist, I'm finding it harder and harder to believe you aren't racist.
Both parties were racist up until the civil rights act. The passage of the act was the catalyst for the loud and proud racists to leave the democrats and consolidate in the republican party. But what's really telling here is that you brought up political parties in the first place. Something that is basically a red herring but apparently very important to you.
AJ, if you want to think me a racist, go ahead. It's the dead opposite of the truth but that hasn't stood in the way of calling anyone a racist in half a century. Usually by the type of person who uses the term "institutional racism" when they can't be bothered to find any actual racism but want to play the race card anyway.
I brought up political parties because I see one systematically destroying every minority they can get to drink their "you're being oppressed" kool-aid. I don't belong to either; they're both just different flavors of corrupt asshats.
As for the CRA... Did you miss how it was the Republican minority who pushed through the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act with JFK? Did you miss that it was a Republican President who signed them both? Did you miss how Robert Bryd and friends absolutely did not switch parties, just platforms?
I could go on and on tearing into every bill the Dems have passed to "help" since then, showing how they harmed the black community. I could do the same showing how, GWB aside, the Reps have done the opposite. But there's a problem; you would not believe it even if Barak Obama came down from heaven on a cloud with a choir of angels and swore to you it was true. You do not care about facts. You care about maintaining a victim status to feed your hate. Hate is just easier than thinking, especially when you're told who to hate by someone else.
This is pointless. We're done here.
As for the CRA... Did you miss how it was the Republican minority who pushed through the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act with JFK? Did you miss that it was a Republican President who signed them both?
Quack, quack, quack. [theguardian.com]
The fact of the matter is, GHETTO culture simply produces several times its share of criminals.
FTFY. Crime and poverty are linked, and a larger percentage of blacks are poor than whites. And rest assured the 1% consider you a "nigger" even if your eyes are blue. Racism is a tool of the rich to keep the poor at each others' throats.
I drink in the ghetto, I know these people, both black and white. Other than their skin, they are indistinguishable.
I know you might be sick of discussing this by now but I really do want to know if you disagree with me or just misunderstood me.
You quoted me as saying: "that disproportionate racial imprisonment rates isn't due racism if the crime rates are similarly disproportionate."
I didn't say that. I was very careful to include that racism is likely to be a factor in some situations. Did you ignore that part? Obviously you agree with it. Perhaps you weren't responding to me?
I'm often ignorant, but never willfully, and I try to correct it when I discover it. I'm pretty sure I understand the cultural context of the points, but if you think I am not, I'd be happy to learn something.
I didn't say that. I was very careful to include that racism is likely to be a factor in some situations.
True, you did add that small disclaimer and I did see it, but what's the point of putting all that effort into the main point when it is so easily proven false in the first place?
It comes across as that rhetorical technique that is so common in opinion pieces, ", but I don't know for sure, I'm just saying." Maybe your intent was not to be disingenuous, but given that basically all of your points followed a similar pattern it was hard to take it any other way.
You have a point. I hate it when somebody says "Maybe he's a murder" when they mean "I want to say he's a murderer but don't want to get called out on it."
I probably should have started off with a summary myself. I tend to avoid those because it makes my posts even longer.
You seem determined to defend the idea that TMB's examples are racist are against TMBs assertion that they are not. I think TMB erred by not acknowledging that they are often symptoms, but your adamant rebuttals make it sound like you see racism where it isn't necessarily present. It makes it easy to write off your opinions as zealotry. I hate to see valid points written off, and both of you had some. It is obvious that you're passionate that ignoring real racism is offensive, and I agree with you on that point.
I find that acknowledging the truth in an argument I disagree with is an effective starting point in changing minds. Simply telling you that TMB was right would have been pointless, you have no reason to consider my arguments if that's all I have to contribute. However, if I can point out that what TMB raised as examples of circumstances mislabeled as racism are accurately defined not as racism but rather as potential (some of them probable) symptoms, then I can hope that both of you will see that the other has a point worthy of discussion. Maybe nobody changes their mind, but then at least there is a chance for rational discourse.
The point I was trying to make is that each of those things:
Is not racism in itself (accurate analysis by TMB)
That's only true by TMB's narrow definition of racism. His definition is one convenient to racists because it requires an effectively impossible amount of specificity to prove. My definition of racism, structural racism, institutional racism, whatever you want to call it, is that the "symptoms" prove its existence. What he calls a statistical anomaly, I call racism because in the end, all that matters, is the end result.
I was particularly frustrated by the guy because his denial of racism is off-topic. Clearly he's not the only one who thinks that structural racism is an impossibility, but to lose his shit (he's the one who picked the title for this sub-thread and he started in by directly insulting me in his first post) over a discussion that Big Data can and likely does enable structural racism because he thinks structural racism can not exist is not a useful contribution to the discussion.
Let's be very clear here, racism is discriminating against or disliking someone based on their race.
Ok, walk me through this.
Racism only happens when someone specifically makes a decision based on race.But race-baiting happens even without referring to any specific race.
How does that work?
Just what racial group did the summary incite hatred in? How do you know?
Huh? Can you just answer the question?
You seem to be one of those people who employ pedantry when it comes to ideas you disagree with but resort to obfuscation when it comes to defending your own position.
Their algorithm might actually be more accurate if it DID look at race, and gender.
There are some undeniable truths in criminality when it comes to serious crimes such as: armed robbery, rape, and murder.
1) Men are more dangerous than women. Its not that women don't kill, but when they do its usually by poisoning or what is termed a multiple offender killing *(they hire a hit man). Even adjusting for this, for those three crimes you would be hard pressed to put the odds are less than 90 times greater for a man to be involved in those crimes than a woman.
2) Black men are more dangerous than White men. Hispanic men are more dangerous than White men. With the exception of gang violence, Whites men are more dangerous than Asian men.
3) Violent crime is primarily committed by those between the ages of 15-34. At a certain point, people mostly age out of it.
4) Being involved in a gang increases your likelihood of being involved in a homicide both as a perpetrator and as a victim.
5) Being politically correct is a waste of law enforcement resources. I'll be called racist for this simple truth: The single best predictor of the violent crime of an area is the percentage of blacks and hispanics that live in the area. If you want to find your hot spots, demographics will do that for you better than any other single tool. Combining tools should prove even better.
6) Add in gang affiliation, people arrested at known drug corners, affiliations with other known gang members, race, sex, age, and prior law enforcement contact -- and I would be willing to bet you could make a pretty darn good profile of people thousands of times to even hundreds of thousands of times more likely to be involved in certain offenses than the average person in a community.
7) If its okay to profile and pay preemptive visits and do tracking for those people that are sex offenders, why not for the gang unit? Or the robbery unit? This isn't targeting people who have no contact with the criminal justice system. Its targeting people who have already become known to the justice system, and have a whole host of other unsavory connections to predictors of violent crime.
So long as its merely used as an investigation tool, and for helping to decide the best deployment of resources I don't have a problem with it. Analytic data on such items as auto theft has helped the St Louis County police department greatly reduce auto theft simply because they deployed their resources and bait cars to those areas, and within the normal traffic routes of those suspected of being involved in chop shop operations. It also allowed them to deploy the "most wanted" cars as well.
Now if this technique were to add restrictions on these citizens that prevented them from traveling or something along those lines -- I would take exception to it. That does not appear to be the case.
I doubt that. Can you cite any data that takes into account other relevant factors?
There's a correlation between being black and being poor. And there's a correlation between being poor and being violent. Thus there's certainly a correlation between being black and being violent. But that doesn't make black men more dangerous than white men. Indeed poor white men will, on average, be more dangerous than wealthy black men.
You'll also find that tax evasion is more common for white men than for black men. Does that mean white men are more greedy than black men?
Pretty much agree (and there are additional topics mixed in as well like propaganda and manipulation) but I'll only talk a little bit about maths :)
*gets up on chair*
Mathematics can never be "true" or "false" in the way we habitually like to pretend things are: they can only be self-congruent within their own axiomatic structure. If the mathematics are correct it can still be completely irrelevant to whatever use they are employed for. Or relevant, but the maths doesn't (shouldn't) get to decide that either way.
Everything connecting mathematics to our reality is application. Always. No matter how basic or advanced.
We humans excel at doing "application of anything" wrong.
This also applies to numbers insofar as they're given with the "alibi" of mathematics.
Same thing about science, all of it.
That's how difficult it is and yet it won't stop anyone from pretending it's so easy as to be obvious aka "a fact".
If the correct maths employed in a logically sound and rational way with full context and comprehension proved something bothersome (like anything "racist" or whatever) to be 'in fact' as close to "true" as reasonable it wouldn't matter squat to most people unless they already wanted to agree or found it useful for whatever purpose they choose.
*climbs down off chair*
Others have to decide what the point of this was.
It is here, in the open.
Any person can understand what this is, but as usual many will presume that everything will go according to plan and no errors or abuses will occur. I hope I'm wrong and people start seeing the horrifying reality of what these programs are doing to us as a society. This is so blatant that perhaps it might work out for the better? Maybe in 5-10 when a huge number of kids grow up and get in trouble and have their social media statistics thrown in their face then the proverbial fan will go to work.
Is there a filter for "uplifting" stories that will inspire us to make the world better and not fall into dark cynicism?
What is here, in the open? You literally used 6 sentences without naming "it".
Gay sticks. "It" refers to cops going to specific peoples houses and touching them with this stick, which turns them gay.
People seem to be under a mistaken idea that the police are there to protect and serve the population. The real purpose of the police is social control and protection of property, rich peoples property.
There was an article in my local paper recently in which the police chief was interviewed. The chief claimed crime was at an all time low, but some people still felt unsafe. That being the case, paradoxically, we need more police and more cameras, an officer on every corner despite drops in crime.
The police are a self serving, self perpetuating, virulent menace, who will use every possible tool and immoral scheme.
Yes, however you *ARE* a rapist.
We are all filthy criminals, we are all guilty of crimes, we are all this close ->- to be being put in jail at any moment.
The fallacy of Big Data is that it provides you security. On the contrary, the police DO exist solely for the 1%. Nothing about them is a deterrent to committing violent or immoral acts. If they were about that, then you would see a lot more trash being picked up and lot less fines levied to allow city officials huge pensions, city vehicles and equipment, city paid for gas, and lavish lunches.
The police exist to instill fear, not to erase it through the raising of any level of security.
It's fear of losing what you have that allows you to give so much power to the police to oppress you so completely.
Even without crime, if you are not a pharma drugged up tax paying alcohol swilling voting tv watching 9-5-worker making the economy turn, you will be arrested for *something*. It really doesn't matter what.
That's the real purpose of Big Data. Identifying the unpopular element in society and 'handling' them.
Who writes the rules for Big Data again?
We are all filthy criminals, we are all guilty of crimes
There are crimes and there are "crimes". There are "crimes" like walking down the street with an open container that will cost you five hundred bucks, there are misdemeanors, and there are felonies. Are you a felon? I'm not, nor have I committed any misdemeanors.
That "three crimes a day" is bullshit.
On the contrary, the police DO exist solely for the 1%.
I'm median income. My house was broken into a couple of years ago. Guess what? The cops caught the burglar and he went to jail and insurance paid for the monetary damage. Guess what happens when a 1%er's house is burglarized? Same thing.
The difference between him and me is that if he does, in fact, commit a crime, he can buy his way out of it. DUI? Pocket change for him, it would bankrupt me.
Again, BULLSHIT. And what's this about having to be drugged up on prescriptions to stay out of jail? You and that guy who modded you up might see about some antipsychotics.
Do you know anyone who isn't gainfully employed? Apparently not, or all the ones you know are dope dealers. I drink in a ghetto bar and half the patrons have no jobs. Hell, I won't have one after tomorrow, I'm retiring. But the only things those poor folks at that bar ever get busted for is DUI (or driving on a suspended license) and drug paraphenalia. As to the DUIs and driving on a suspended license, damned right those people need to be arrested.
Tell me, how many people do you know personally who have been to prison? I know one or two. One guy spent ten years for murdering a man because he was black and another for armed robbery.
The cops do act like thugs sometimes and I'm no police apologist, but to say everyone but the 1% is a criminal is really ignorant.
>On the contrary, the police DO exist solely for the 1%.
While I don't believe the premise that they exist solely for the %1, I think your counter-example is terrible. Who owns the insurance company? Mostly 1%'ers.
I realize that "solely" smacks of hyperbole, and perhaps, histrionics.
However, the last few decades have shown the emergence of very troubling laws and regulations that are, in fact, solely designed to criminalize behavior for no other reason than that they impact revenue for very specific people and industries.
That's why I say police are for the 1% now. Their actions have been directed by monied interests to the extent now that both laws & regulations and the determination if you are a criminal, rests with large monied interests.
I don't know how else to say it. It is the 1%. It is the primary shareholders of various industries and business sectors influencing whether or not we can be picked up by the police at all.
I know what Big Data *IS*. There is somebody directing it, and I'm willing to bet the rest of the donuts I will get in this life, that they don't have the interests of the 99% at heart. Nope. Not at all.
While I don't believe the premise that they exist solely for the %1, I think your counter-example is terrible. Who owns the insurance company? Mostly 1%'ers.
Good point, here's another example. When I was a long haired college student living on campus, one night in town as I was getting into my car I was strongarmed by a dozen men, who stole the big speakers I'd built. No insurance; only liability on the car and no homeowner's in my apartment. Yet they showed me some pictures, I identified one of the robbers, all were caught and I got my speakers back.
How did that help the 1%? Other than by getting thieves off the street, which helps us all?
If the police were to do an evaluation of each and every situation to decide if acting helped out anybody who wasn't rich then refused to act they would have no public support and many of the rank and file would quit. The issue edIII is talking about is policy. He's saying that policies are set so as to primarily benefit the rich, its management making these decisions not the people on the ground. Lots of cops on the beat want to do the right thing, and will do the right thing given the chance, the question is how to set up the situation such that most of the time the right thing is good for the rich.
Everyone is a criminal when you change what the definition of a criminal *is*. Your distinction between misdemeanors and felonies is quite irrelevant as well.
The point, and millions of other people have made it, is that there are so many laws and regulations on the books that literally everyone is guilty of something. Whether or not you might actually end in prison is not relevant. Only that you have been arrested, detained, harassed, lost income due to lost opportunity or missed wages, been levied with pointless fines, and possibly had your reputation ruined.
The police, or other enforcement vehicles, have been abused to target people specifically in the past. It could be as high profile as Hoover's vendetta against MLK, or as banal as a local cop just not liking the way you look in your car.
There is a very long and storied history of police abusing and oppressing people simply because they didn't fit in with society. Just ask any hippie or flower child. If a cop looks into you enough, they will find/create cause to detain you. That takes something from you, in many ways.
So in the end, it has nothing to do with laws or enforcement at all. The police are just a tool, and they do work for the sole interests of the 1%, it's just that those interests are marketed as being in our best interests and for our benefit.
I don't believe that for one minute. Every conversation I've ever had eventually comes down to the true citizen first class el supremo: The Shareholder.
Big Data is never in our bests interests and allows those with power and influence over it (who creates/maintains the rules engine again-who writes the queries) to identify the unwanted elements in a society that is largely driven by the 1%. They advertise to you. They tell you what to wear. They inform you of what society is, which is a vehicle in service to them.
No-fly lists are just the tip of the iceberg. I sincerely doubt that the majority of anyone identified is doing anything other than being an activist, or a disillusioned cynic that has no interest in participating in a fake, and deeply broken process, by which the 1% flourish. Why not? They *CREATED* the process.
Who creates all the tools for police? Who directs them? Who creates the laws? It may be disturbing to you, but I'm not the one saying you are a criminal. The finest legal minds in the country are saying it. Not me.
As for my other point you had issue with, the pharma drugs, to clarify that I mean:
If you are not doing your best to be a productive little member of society, which directly means to *consume*, and thereby provide money to flow back up to the 1%, you are treated like a faulty asset, or worse, an asset that is upsetting the rest. What do you do with a malfunctioning asset? Yeah....
There is a very long and storied history of police abusing and oppressing people simply because they didn't fit in with society. Just ask any hippie or flower child.
Again, your description doesn't fit my experience at all. In the late 1970s I was a college student with a beard and hair down to my waist. Being a college student I was poor as a churchmouse and rolled my own cigarettes. I'd put tobacco in a baggie with papers and my then-wife and I would go to McDonald's for coffee (back then you could smoke anywhere, you could smoke in a college class or an airplane).
One morning we're smoking our roll your owns and drinking coffee and there's this guy spying on us, trying to look like he's not. A cop car pulled into the lot as we were leaving, and followed us. Halfway home he pulled us over. I asked what the problem was and he asked what I was smoking. "Carter-Hall", I said, which was the brand of tobacco and probably confused the poor cop because Carter was President. He asked me to step out of the car and I did.
"Tobacco," I said, and pulled out the baggie. He opened it, smelled it, made an annoyed fact towards McDonalds, apologized for pulling me over and turned around and went back to McDonalds, where I assume someone got an ass chewing.
I was a long haired hippy. Not once did a cop hassle me. All you have to do is be polite and they won't bother you. If you act surly, of course you're going to be hassled.
Big Data is never in our bests interests
I'll certainly agree with that.
They advertise to you. They tell you what to wear. They inform you of what society is, which is a vehicle in service to them.
Only if you kowtow. Their ads are ineffective on me, if you want to sell me something you're going to have to tell me why. When I buy a car I don't want excitement (notice that the way they drive in commercials would void the warrantee?), I want comfortable transportation. You're not going to sell me a steak by advertising the sizzle. You're only a victim of advertising if your mind is weak.
I'm not the one saying you are a criminal. The finest legal minds in the country are saying it.
And who would that be? I've seen ONE unknown lawyer write ONE book and a few articles. I read the articles and wasn't impressed. Who are these "finest legal minds"? Lawrence Lessig? The guys on the Supreme Court? New York County Lawyer? Name names.
If you are not doing your best to be a productive little member of society, which directly means to *consume*, and thereby provide money to flow back up to the 1%, you are treated like a faulty asset, or worse, an asset that is upsetting the rest.
I've never been a "good little consumer". My TV is 10 years old, my car is 12. My computers are built from used parts. If I go to McDonalds, I choose from the dollar menu. I'm using the cheapest phone service I can find ($40/month unlimited everything), no cable or satellite, and DSL for internet. I wear my clothes until they're rags. And as of tomorrow I will be producing nothing, I retire today.
Yet they leave me alone, despite my writing critically about them.
I was a long haired hippy. Not once did a cop hassle me.
You JUST told a story about being hassled by a cop and in the very next sentence you claim to have never been hassled by a cop.
You didn't do anything wrong but you were pulled over and forced to prove your innocence. By your own description, rolling a smoke in a smoking area, wasn't even suspicious and if you'd been clean-cut and wearing a suit it would have never happened to you. Intimidation isn't just about getting beat on and falsely imprisoned, it's about being reminded that "we're watching you." Just like what happened to you and just like the kid in the story,
It's weird that you've internalized what happened to you as being OK. Obviously it made an impact on you since you remember it 40 years later. Maybe your rationalization is a reaction to being reminded of your helplessness in the face of power, easier to live with if you believe it was normal and justified than to accept it for what it was.
methinks your argument would be more persuasive if you went with s/rapist/criminal/.
On the contrary, the police DO exist solely for the 1%. Nothing about them is a deterrent to committing violent or immoral acts.
You've gone to extremes. There is a significant element of insight into the comment were it not taken to the black/white extreme, but when you go that far, you've jumped the shark. I'm pretty sure there are plenty of rapists and potential rapists that rightfully fear ending up in jail, and it in fact deters plenty (but not nearly enough) rape.
That's the real purpose of Big Data. Identifying the unpopular element in society and 'handling' them.Who writes the rules for Big Data again?
Again, these are legitimate concerns, but when you go to extremes, it becomes counterproductive to the sentiments you are superficially siding with.
This is a discussion about racism, he meant rappist, you know, the white word for rapper.You'd think someone named DMC would recognize that!
I see how you can see it as an extreme, but I don't see it as an extreme. Not anymore. I'm sure that is because I'm impossibly jaded and cynical at this point. I'm not sure how you couldn't be with the last 15 years.
It was not said to be histrionics at all. I honestly and sincerely believe that the purpose of police at this point is simply to keep society functioning and remove disruptive elements, not about any sense of protection, justice, the triumph of good over evil, rescuing cats from trees, etc.
The original idea of police was to create an organized and consistent approach to maintaining order in society, and to assist with the search for justice. The police *enforced* the directives of the justice system (the judges), who in turn, were guided and directed by the law creators, who were in turn ostensibly guided by the bests interests and welfare of the populace as a whole.
Where is the idea of rehabilitation anymore? Prison has become an industry and I don't think the idea of true justice and rehabilitation has been a goal of the police, the justice system, or the prison system for many many decades. To say that there is a significant monetary interest in keeping prisoners in prison and not rehabilitated is an understatement. People are getting extremely rich from enjoying the near minimum wage cash flow per prisoner (sometimes more) while expending a mere fraction of that for incarceration. How did we ever think it was a good idea to introduce profit into the prison system?
I could go on, but there is so much evidence that shows every element in the aforementioned chain is irreparably broken and corrupted by monied interests.
While the term 1% may smack of tin foil and histrionics, it is neither to notice how deep their influence now runs.
When you have Big Data influencing who the cops will focus on, and a cop is always under the assumption you did something if they are focusing on you, my experience and intelligence leads me to strongly conclude that a miscarriage of justice will occur that is inconsistent with our American ideals.
I do know who is responsible for Big Data, it is monied interests, and has nothing to do with justice, security, or laws.
Big Data is about identifying targets and coming up with the best course of action to achieve a goal. We could hope that would only be how to target advertisements to you and what you are capable of consuming, but we all really know it will be used to identify "subversives", "undesirables", and "thought-criminals".
I absolutely know that my big cynical jaded butt will be labeled as a Class-1 Thought Criminal by those that would be financially affected by my ideas. Like justice for home owners, consumer protections, government transparency, ... you know... the pinko Communist Socialist garbage that is an anathema to quasi-Capitalists and mythical free-market supporters everywhere.
This is what we should expect out of soylentnews?
No mod points to give, OP isn't trolling y'all.
Arguing with xkcd? So it has come to this.
Not a troll. This was a legitimately horrible summary. TFA was fairly businesslike but the summary was race-baiting garbage.
I wrote it and I stand by it. These policies may not be deliberately racist, but their practical result is almost certain to be so. It is the very definition of stereotyping to take principles that broadly apply to a group and try to use them to define specific individuals. If you think spelling that out is race-baiting, then you've never been on the other side of such stereotyping.
--"I wrote it and I stand by it. These policies may not be deliberately racist, but their practical result is almost certain to be so."
I agree with you that the practical result of these policies is racism. However, the purposefully inflammatory tone of the summary and the article don't really serve the cause of fighting that injustice, at least not here. Write to your readers; the readers here don't want to be spoonfed your indignation, they want to read the facts and come to their own conclusions. Since you didn't allow that half the comments are about your headline and summary. Discussion about the actual content has been sidelined which probably wasn't the outcome you were hoping for.
--"It is the very definition of stereotyping to take principles that broadly apply to a group and try to use them to define specific individuals."If you had to editorialize in your summary this bit would have been much more effective than what your wrote. It defines the problem without pissing everyone off.
--" If you think spelling that out is race-baiting, then you've never been on the other side of such stereotyping."This entire statement is bullshit. You don't get anywhere by trying to marginalize everyone who disagrees with you. And I'm saying this as someone who largely agrees with what you're saying.
Back off the rhetoric and flame-baiting and you'll have much better luck here.
P.S. LaminatorX, I think, from reading the comments on this article, that its clear this kind of click-baiting is not what the community here wants. Please take that under advisement.
if you had to editorialize in your summary this bit would have been much more effective than what your wrote. It defines the problem without pissing everyone off.
In writing the summary, I assumed that the definition of stereotyping was self-evident
Based on the posts of people like "The Mighty Buzzard" it seems that the concept of institutional racism is simply not as well known as I had assumed. However, it seems that when confronted with the concept people like him are simply going to take offense no matter how simplified the description, as he wrote, If no human or mechanical mind has discriminated based on race, there is no racism. Period." [soylentnews.org]
This entire statement is bullshit. You don't get anywhere by trying to marginalize everyone who disagrees with you. And I'm saying this as someone who largely agrees with what you're saying.
Really? Do you honestly believe that someone who disagrees with the basic definition of stereotyping has not marginalized themselves out of being a productive contributor to the discussion? Should every discussion of institutional racism begin with debating its existence?
This is the equivalent to your summary:
"Race-baiting submitter proves Slashdot alternatives are run by angry teens"
Quickly after being established, summaries and headlines appearing at the curiously named, Slashdot copy-cat "Soylent News" demonstrate the juvenile nature of most of the 'protestors' of the Slashdot site. Using poorly applied internet jokes and blatantly concocted strawmen, summaries like the recent "Chicago Pre-Crime - Racism Cloaked in Science" are appearing to cater to the crowd huddling at the site. Most of the readers will likely return their homepages to 4Chan in short order.
You are complaining about the headline?
You realize your headline won't fit in the character count restriction, right? Not even close. The headline I wrote was the fourth revision to get something coherent under the limit.
"These policies may not be deliberately racist, but their practical result is almost certain to be so."
Editorials need to be labeled as editorials.
The actual article at theverge is along the lines of "here's this use of technology, and some of those who are criticizing it are calling it racist".
Your headline not only flat out declares it to be racist, but implies a deliberate attempt to disguise deliberate racism behind das blinkenlights, and the summary gets tied back to that by the snark at the end*.
If you're going to make up our minds for us, why bother posting a link to the original article? You run the risk of us getting confused by the facts.
Obviously here in the comments a lot of what people write is going to be opinion, but that's expected--it's the comments section.
*Nothing against snark, per se, it's part of why it's such a delight to experience what Charles P. Pierce can do with the language when writing online about politics for Esquire Magazine.
But there's no such thing as impartial, objective snark.
All that said, I do appreciate having the article brought to my attention, and I emailed Jeralyn Merritt of TalkLeft to bring it to hers.
Give me a fucking break. There is absolutely no requirement that submissions be neutral. I submitted the story because of my opinion about the issue. That's the way it works in a community driven site like this. You want neutral reporting? Go to Ars Technica where they pay writers and editors to do that.
People told you what they think of your submission. That's the way it works on a community-driven site like this. You don't like that? Well, start your own blog, then you can control whether criticism of what you wrote appears on that site.
Certainly. Paradoxically, I hope to see more of it (in moderation). My hope is that the incessant cries of "this isn't news for nerds" from the old site won't deter the moderators on the new site to too great a degree. If we listed to those people there'd be no news at all.
If the price for a comprehensive source of news is the occasional uninteresting or poorly written story then that's just fine.
The whole "profiling" things is the road to a Gattaca world where you will be marked based on circumstance and not based on merit.
The article has a very weak comparison to biological systems, but the fallacy they fall into is to compare internal and external behaviour (what I do to myself and what I do to others). Last time I checked, I am allowed decide how I treat myself...
This is a very slippery slope. Now only because of obvious reasons like who/what creates/makes/sees/controls lists, but the actions that follow based on a list. A list like this is nothing more than conjecture. To take it to an extreme: Lets get rid of all the fat people because they obviously eat too much. A situation that is beyond any imagination disgusting and corrupt.
Oh please, each and every one of us uses profiling every day of our lives.
Of course. The question is whether or not we want that profiling institutionalized into the law.
Just imagine that you're on one of these lists of people with a "high-risk profile", and you're a kid trying like hell to do his best in school and get a good job and be a productive citizen. You really want to trust that this list won't end up getting out and ruining your life? Maybe if you're a good school you don't want to waste a spot on a kid that's just going to end up being a criminal anyway. Why should anyone want to rent an apartment to a family that has a kid who's been identified statistically as being high risk?
I'm inclined to agree with the poster above who suggested that this is just another way to protect the economic elite and give them further advantage.
It may not be as efficient, but sometimes it's better if justice, and the law, is blind. I really don't think you want to live in a place where the government is 100% efficient, because there's no way that's not going to be tyrannical.
It doesn't appear that race is used as one of the inputs. That's not 100% proof that something is *not* racist, other metrics could be used as sufficiently accurate proxies, but nothing else in the article makes me think it's racist either.
It is however troubling to me whenever the government starts drawing up lists of people for special attention, scrutiny, or restriction. People WILL end up on that list who should not be there, and there will be little or no oversight to get them off it. They'll never know about their presence on these lists, and would have no recourse to getting themselves taken off even if they did.
Using data to predict crimes is actually a good idea. Getting down to the resolution level of individual citizens might even be an effective feature of such a sufficiently sophisticated system--if you're willing to give up what it costs to implement it: a free society.
If we want to preserve civil society, what's left of it, we must restrain ourselves from using all the possible tools that are available. The march of surveillance and profiling technology progresses in step with the escalation of the physical tools carried by police. As they now arm themselves with automatic weapons and armored vehicles, so too are they being equipped with cell-phone intercepting vans, secret computer generated lists, and automated surveillance and facial ID. It's the left boot, right boot, stride of the advancing police state.
Police have generally not proven themselves competent and restrained enough to deserve their current arsenal. I don't want them given anything new to abuse.
It doesn't appear that race is used as one of the inputs. That's not 100% proof that something is *not* racist,
Yes, it is. That is the definition of racism. Dictionary FTW.
You are technically correct, but only in a meaningless, facile way. It's possible to use other criteria as a proxy for creating a racist policy. For example, if I want to disenfranchise black people, I can look up census data on which neighborhoods in a city are poorest and vote Democrat, and then direct the most onerous and stifling voter suppression tactics there. That'll work just fine for such purposes. Yes, you'll catch a lot of people who aren't black too, and a lot of blacks won't be targeted, but when you only need statistical significance it's a perfectly useful tactic--and a racist one, despite never feeding race directly into the equation.
Which tallies exactly with what I said in my original comment. I don't believe this system is racist, but the mere absence of race as data being fed into it is not positive proof that it is not.
It's possible to use other criteria as a proxy for creating a racist policy. For example, if I want to disenfranchise black people, I can look up census data on which neighborhoods in a city are poorest and vote Democrat, and then direct the most onerous and stifling voter suppression tactics there.
It doesn't even have to be deliberate. In fact, I don't think it is useful to assume deliberate racism in the creation of these lists. The way modern racism frequently works (at least in the US where there is major social stigma associated with being racist) is that subconscious biases come into play. Practically no one says, "black people are criminals" but they do say things like "people who live in bad neighborhoods are criminals" and "if you live in a bad neighborhood that's your choice" because they've never lived in a bad neighborhood themselves.
I think that racism in modern america is more a case of ignorance about the lives of others than it is about deliberately punitive actions. Not to trivialize it, but it is sort of an "accidental racism."
Yes, it absolutely does have to be deliberate. If no human or mechanical mind has discriminated based on race, there is no racism. Period.
"In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and steal loaves of bread." -- Anatole France
Statistics show that young adult black males are the most likely to commit crimes. How much variation within that population will a computer program be able to find? I wonder how the people determine the social networks. Do they scrape Facebook? Do the cops report who is together during an arrest? Will teachers write down who sits together at lunch? Will phone calls between people be used?
22-year-old high school dropout
hadn't committed a crime or interacted with a police officer recently
hadn't committed a crime or interacted with a police officer recently
he didn't have a violent criminal record, nor any gun violations.
Emphasis added. That looks like a pretty straightforward criminal profile: guy who has committed property crimes in the past, high likelihood he'll be a repeat offender. In fact, I heard about just this sort of program being used in High Point, NC, on NPR [npr.org] last month. And they were very positive about it. They even talked about how Chicago was going to try to implement it.
I parsed that sentence differently:
"hadn't (committed a crime) or (interacted with a police officer recently)"
Information wants to be free, as they say, and it cuts both ways. Individuals leak details constantly. Predictive algorithms are constantly being refined. If the data is there, and the technology to analyze it is there, isn't it foolishness to think that it won't be used? By way of analogy: legislate the NSA into nothingness, and the Guoanbu, FSB, and many more - not to mention Google, Los Zetas, and all other large organizations corporate and criminal - won't miss a beat.
The question is not how to legislate away data analysis. That is like trying to legislate away entropy. The question is, how do you influence it in your favor? Or protect yourself, at least in some limited way, from its abuses?
If the data is there, and the technology to analyze it is there, isn't it foolishness to think that it won't be used?
That is the perfect justification for authoritarianism. There are all kinds of things that we as a society choose to prevent our government from doing because they are not compatible with a free society. A democratic government is not some indepdent creature, it exists solely at the whim of the citizenry.
History repeats itself. Chicago school [wikipedia.org].
How would you deal with known bad people?
In my experience, the fear of living in a neighborhood that has crime (burglers, gangers, murderers...) raises the stress level for almost any activity. Even mowing the yard, walking to the car, getting the mail can be a possible life ending action. Then, add the fear of the police - everyone seems to believe that in a stressful incidnet that the police may shoot and ask questions later - and those stories tend to stay in your memory when you live with daily fear. Save one experience, I saw the police in the neighborhood when something, usually bad, already happened.
The police did show up to my door one day. The officer stated that they had received a call from my address from a young child who got cut off the phone call. I did not have phone service. I lived in house for three years. My cell phone had another states area code and different billing address. The officer called on his radio for the "phone number" and the dispatcher relayed a number that only had 6 digits- the officer looked kinda confused and asked for the dispatcher to repeat - same six digits-(that is not a real phone number!).
The lesson, for me, of dealing with stress from neighborhood and police fear is that there is not a good system for protecting from the 1% of bad people.
Stay out of the city.
There will be bad people. Get to a small town where that 1% is actually one or two people, and hopefully not on the police staff.
Unless their algorithm can show with 100% certainty that someone will commit a crime (which we all know is impossible) there is nothing to justify this invasion of privacy.How can they even predict with any certainty how their harrassment of people who haven't even done something wrong will influuence their future behaviour?If I was slightly more cynical I'd even think that it was part of their plan, provoking people into criminal activity since the police will be hunting them anyway.Isn't it a well known fact that practically all americans commit on average 3 crimes per day, so if they start watching someone sooner or later they will be caught doing something wrong.
Besides what if... somehow you'd happen to have the same name as someone on the "list" could it ever come to pass that you'd be subject to undue scrutiny? No, of course not! It's not as if your name being on some list could have any effect in some random unpredictable situation... for example ordering electronics.In the end practically everyone will have access to this data.How will this effect your opportunities when applying for a job or a school?Where will it end?
If this becomes widespread we are heading into a very dark chapter of human history.
Isn't it a well known fact that practically all americans commit on average 3 crimes per day, so if they start watching someone sooner or later they will be caught doing something wrong.
I remember reading an article where a law professor stated that if he followed any person over the age of 18 for 24 hours he could put them in prison for at least 10 years. I also have a vague recollection of watching something on tv a few years back with another prof saying the same thing.
I'm pretty sure if he followed any person over the age of 18 for 24 hours, that person could get him in prison for stalking. ;-)
Well, when this site started - what, two weeks ago? - I had high hopes. But ridiculously biased stories like this on the front page completely discredit the entire site. Wow. Just...wow. Even Slashdot wouldn't go this far...probably. I was exactly the kind of person who wanted away from the stupidity of timothy and Dice.com. But this? No. Anyway, it was fun trying the site. It's being deleted from my bookmarks.
Yeah but you posted as AC so no one can mock you when you show up again.