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posted by Fnord666 on Sunday October 13 2019, @03:11PM   Printer-friendly
from the last-throes-of-public-culture dept.

Mr. Schneier and friends have created a new website to promote a change to the socio-economic technical milieu we are currently facing.

He suggests we need to have "public interest technologists" to help the situation.

He writes:

"We need technologists who work in the public interest. We need public-interest technologists.

Defining this term is difficult. One Ford Foundation blog post described public-interest technologists as "technology practitioners who focus on social justice, the common good, and/or the public interest.""

Is he right? How can this be implemented without becoming as riddled with government agents, spies and mafias as the key positions of our corporations and institutions are right now?

Full disclosure: this writer has been a public interest technologist for a while now and I have actually alluded to the need for something like what is being suggested on multiple occasions, 'a different kind of organization' is the way I put it, way back a few months ago.


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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by c0lo on Monday October 14 2019, @02:22PM

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday October 14 2019, @02:22PM (#906929) Journal

    one wonders if the reduction in those numbers isn't "achieved" by "accommodating" of those poor people in prisons, to work for peanuts.

    Well, well, well, ain't that [] interesting?

    Homelessness in the state and federal prison population. []

    Nine percent of ASFPIs reported an episode of homelessness in the year prior to arrest, 4-6 times the estimated rate in the general US adult population

    Court-imposed fines as a feature of the homelessness-incarceration nexus... []
    Our respondents experienced homelessness an average of 41 months during the current episode. Nearly two-thirds reported being convicted of a crime, and 78% had been incarcerated. More than 25% reported owing current legal fines. Individuals with legal fine debt experienced 22.9 months of additional homelessness after considering the effects of race, age, and gender.
    We confirmed a strong association between homelessness and legal trouble. Among high-income countries, the USA has the highest rates of legal system involvement and the highest rates of homelessness; the relationship between the two may be connected.

    Homelessness and Incarceration Are Intimately Linked []

    Homelessness is intimately linked with the criminal and juvenile justice systems. Almost 50,000 people a year enter homeless shelters immediately after exiting incarceration. ...
    People experiencing homelessness can also get pulled into the criminal or juvenile justice systems for misdemeanor offenses related to attempts to survive on the streets. They may be prosecuted for things like shoplifting or for publicly engaging in basic life activities like standing or sleeping — activities that would never be an offense when done in one’s home. The compounding effects of institutional racism result in the over-representation of people of color in the criminal justice system, which in turn pushes more people of color into homelessness.

    (RIP, MDC, I reckon you knew a lot about both homelessness and mental illness by direct experience).

    Mentally ill people in United States jails and prisons []

    Mentally ill people are overrepresented in United States jail and prison populations relative to the general population. There are three times more seriously mentally ill persons in jails and prisons than in hospitals in the United States.
    A broad range of scholarly research maintains that mentally ill offenders are disproportionately represented in solitary confinement and are more vulnerable to the adverse psychological effects of solitary confinement.[46][47][48][49] Due to differing schemes of classification, empirical data on the makeup of inmates in segregated housing units can be difficult to obtain, and estimates of the percentage of inmates in solitary confinement who are mentally ill range from nearly a third, to 11% (with a "major mental disorder"), to 30% (from a study conducted in Washington), to "over half" (from a study conducted in Indiana)

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