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.