Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 884576 times)

Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #1870 on: February 08, 2018, 10:36:19 am »
I plan to read the Frankenstein article, but I started with Adam Gopnik's book review piece about the huge decline in crime over the past couple of decades and how nobody seems to know about it. I've often wondered myself why that isn't more discussed. When Donald Trump kept using inner city crime during his campaign as evidence that America is getting worse, I kept thinking, why doesn't anyone point out how wrong he is?

Last year there were 650 murders in Chicago. I just googled it to get the exact number, and all of the google hits, at least at the top, said things like "Chicago murder rate down sharply, but still 650 killed." Always the "but still." These were items from places that Trump would call fake news, like CNN. Not to minimize 650 people's deaths. But Chicago's population is 9.5 million.

When I lived in New Orleans in the early '90s, it was the murder capital of the country. There was at least a murder a day. It peaked at 450 in 1994. New Orleans' population then was just under 500,000.

So Chicago had less than twice as many murders with 19 times as many people. That's pretty mind-blowing.

According to the google page, Chicago's rate is still higher than most major cities. That's worth pointing out. But how often does anyone comment on this gigantic decline?

One possible factor furthering this misconception is that, according to that New Yorker story a while back about Grand Junction, CO, a big Trump-supporter area, the murder rate in places like Grand Junction actually has gone up. Apparently because of economic problems in depressed areas. So maybe Trump voters were under the impression that crime was booming out of control everywhere -- if it's that bad in Grand Junction, what must it be like in places like Chicago?!

And in this case, the MSM isn't doing a very good job of educating anyone. I just happen to know about it because I lived in NOLA, wrote about crime there and have done the math. And Adam Gopnik knows about it. But I'm not sure how many others do.



Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #1871 on: February 08, 2018, 10:40:44 am »
Meanwhile there's a funny article in McSweeney's (I think it's like the NY) about alternatives to resting bitch face:

McSweeney's is like the New Yorker if the New Yorker were all "Shouts and Murmurs." That is, it's humor. It doesn't do big serious duty articles or even big interesting articles like the Frankenstein one or the crime one. It's all hip goofy humor.

But it can be a rabbit hole -- so much good stuff, and a lot of it very funny!



Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #1872 on: February 08, 2018, 12:40:41 pm »
I plan to read the Frankenstein article, but I started with Adam Gopnik's book review piece about the huge decline in crime over the past couple of decades and how nobody seems to know about it. I've often wondered myself why that isn't more discussed. When Donald Trump kept using inner city crime during his campaign as evidence that America is getting worse, I kept thinking, why doesn't anyone point out how wrong he is?

Last year there were 650 murders in Chicago. I just googled it to get the exact number, and all of the google hits, at least at the top, said things like "Chicago murder rate down sharply, but still 650 killed." Always the "but still." These were items from places that Trump would call fake news, like CNN. Not to minimize 650 people's deaths. But Chicago's population is 9.5 million.

When I lived in New Orleans in the early '90s, it was the murder capital of the country. There was at least a murder a day. It peaked at 450 in 1994. New Orleans' population then was just under 500,000.

So Chicago had less than twice as many murders with 19 times as many people. That's pretty mind-blowing.

According to the google page, Chicago's rate is still higher than most major cities. That's worth pointing out. But how often does anyone comment on this gigantic decline?

One possible factor furthering this misconception is that, according to that New Yorker story a while back about Grand Junction, CO, a big Trump-supporter area, the murder rate in places like Grand Junction actually has gone up. Apparently because of economic problems in depressed areas. So maybe Trump voters were under the impression that crime was booming out of control everywhere -- if it's that bad in Grand Junction, what must it be like in places like Chicago?!

And in this case, the MSM isn't doing a very good job of educating anyone. I just happen to know about it because I lived in NOLA, wrote about crime there and have done the math. And Adam Gopnik knows about it. But I'm not sure how many others do.




https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/27/nyregion/new-york-city-crime-2017.html

Crime in New York City Plunges to a Level Not Seen Since the 1950s
By Ashley Southall Dec. 27, 2017


It would have seemed unbelievable in 1990, when there were 2,245 killings in New York City, but as of Wednesday there have been just 286 in the city this year — the lowest since reliable records have been kept.

In fact, crime has fallen in New York City in each of the major felony categories — murder and manslaughter, rape, assault, robbery, burglary, grand larceny, and car thefts — to a total of 94,806 as of Sunday, well below the previous record low of 101,716 set last year.

If the trend holds just a few more days, this year’s homicide total will be under the city’s previous low of 333 in 2014, and crime will have declined for 27 straight years, to levels that police officials have said are the lowest since the 1950s. The numbers, when taken together, portray a city of 8.5 million people growing safer even as the police, under Mayor Bill de Blasio, use less deadly force, make fewer arrests and scale back controversial practices like stopping and frisking thousands of people on the streets.

“There is no denying that the arc is truly exceptional in the unbroken streak of declining crime,” said William J. Bratton, who retired from his second stint as police commissioner last year.




ON THE OTHER HAND--



http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/trump-silence-racist-murder-nyc-speaks-volumes-article-1.3006993

President Trump’s Twitter silence on Timothy Caughman’s murder by white supremacist speaks volumes
By LEONARD GREENE Thursday, March 23, 2017, 3:06 PM





AND A PERSONAL NOTE--

In the summer of 1994, August, a Sunday afternoon, I was on 9th Street and Avenue 'A' (the edge of edgy 'Alphabet City'--some of my friends called it Alphabetland, the actual name of a pre-school for kids) and I suddenly exclaimed to a semi-acquaintance who just happened to be walking by as I was having a personal epiphany: "This is it! Summer of 1994! Something is happening!" My semi-acquaintance smiled, although I never did know if he really understood my revelation. Summer 1994 was lovely, sunny and mild, and "interesting" (but very dicey) Alphabet City suddenly seemed Alphabetland safe.

So. I just now googled this article from January 1, 1995, which I had never previously read--





http://www.nytimes.com/1995/01/01/nyregion/new-york-city-crime-falls-but-just-why-is-a-mystery.html

New York City Crime Falls But Just Why Is a Mystery
By CLIFFORD KRAUSS Published: January 1, 1995


Behind the bloodcurdling headlines about a firebombing on the No. 4 train, a drive-by shooting on the Brooklyn Bridge and the killing of a police officer in a botched bicycle store holdup, behind the back-to-back campaigns that elected a new Mayor vowing to improve the quality of life in New York City and a new Governor committed to bring back the death penalty, lies an often-overlooked fact.

Crime in New York City is dropping. And dropping fast.

Murders, which had been falling gradually over the previous three years, dropped sharply, by nearly a fifth, in 1994. Over all, 350 fewer people were slain in 1994 than in the year before, and 650 fewer than in 1990, when murders, many of them fueled by the crack epidemic, reached a peak.

Shootings dropped by more than 15 percent, the latest police statistics show. And virtually every type of reported felony declined in frequency last year, with auto theft, grand larceny, burglary and robbery all dropping by better than 10 percent.

True, violent crime remains a constant menace of city life. The nearly 1,600 homicides that were committed in 1994 are still about four times the 390 killings that the city recorded in 1960. And a growing number of crimes are committed by teen-agers, whose vicious and often random acts of violence have raised fear to a level that statistics cannot overcome.

But coming after the staggering increases in crimes through the late 1980's -- a lethal period that culminated in mid-1990 with a string of senseless killings and a tabloid headline plea to Mayor David N. Dinkins to "Do Something, Dave" -- the latest figures show a surprising reversal.

The changes, which are mirrored in many cities across the country, have mystified criminologists. They offer a number of theories, from intensified police efforts to demographic shifts to a growing number of criminals behind bars, but no single explanation for the phenemenon.


(and etc.)

« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 09:33:40 pm by Aloysius J. Gleek »
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Offline CellarDweller

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #1873 on: February 08, 2018, 06:47:24 pm »
that list of faces was too funny!


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #1874 on: February 09, 2018, 11:30:04 am »

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/27/nyregion/new-york-city-crime-2017.html

Crime in New York City Plunges to a Level Not Seen Since the 1950s
By Ashley Southall Dec. 27, 2017


Thanks, John! Good to know the MSM isn't entirely remiss. I didn't go to the links yet, but I hope those articles delve into demographics, which I previously thought were the main reason for the change. I know the broken-window theory has been more or less discredited, but that Gen. X is much smaller than Boomers, so as those people moved into crime-committing age, the crime rate would drop accordingly in those years.

But nowadays Gen Xers are now mostly out of the crime-committing age, Millennials outnumber Gen Xers and even Boomers, and millennials are in prime crime time. So clearly demographics don't entirely explain it.

I lived in New York the year before you had the epiphany in Alphabetland and according to my hazy memory and limited Upper West Side perspective, I had the sense the area had been dicey but was becoming somewhat safer. In years since then, of course, I have read that it totally is, but I attributed that to gentrification. My own epiphany in New York was that, while there were of course many more murders than there had been in NOLA (I lived in NYC in 1993-94, NOLA before and after), the per-capita  rate was lower, which was fairly obvious, but also that the murder numbers were psychologically deceiving because if you looked at a newspaper there would be many more reported than you'd have found in the New Orleans paper, so it would seem like a more dangerous place. Fear about crime is so irrationally based on what happens to grab people's attention, like a particularly horrible crime, however rare those might be.

The other thing I realized is that your chances of getting murdered in most parts of Manhattan were pretty low, but relatively high in some parts of the city. In NOLA murders were scattered around every neighborhood, including the wealthiest, including the French Quarter and other touristy spots, including on the steps of the sandwich shop kitty-corner from our apartment. They were slightly higher in really poor neighborhoods, as always, but the poor neighborhoods are scattered all over the city rather than relegated to certain areas, as in New York or Chicago or Minneapolis.

That's not good news for the people who live in high-crime neighborhoods, of course. It was only good news for me personally.







Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #1875 on: February 20, 2018, 02:11:46 pm »
I'm enjoying the article about the guy's obsession with Antarctica, but at the same time I find his obsession scary.
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #1876 on: February 27, 2018, 02:19:50 pm »
I gave up on the article about the British architect Thomas Heatherwick (Feb. 26). Too long and unengaging.

But I love that name, Thomas Heatherwick!  :D  I suppose when they pronounce it, the British elide (is that the word for it?) the "w," so it comes out sounding like "Heather'ick."
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #1877 on: February 27, 2018, 03:09:00 pm »
On the decline in crime, it is to the ruling class's advantage for there to be a hulking mass of barbarians outside the door to terrorize the populace and keep them shuddering in fear. Rulers don't mind a high crime rate despite anything Trump might say. High crime affects the poor and minorities disproportionately and creates economic opportunities in manufacture of guns, their paraphernalia and new weaponry escalating in deadliness. Also, security services and a myriad of other things. I know people who are actually having secret rooms built into their homes to hide their weaponry.

There was a rogue economist named Steven Levitt who dated the start of the crime decline to the date when young men would be turning 16 except they did not exist due to Roe vs. Wade. (that sentence was tricky to compose!) The ruling class also wants there to be a large permanent population of poor people, it keeps wages low.  >:(
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #1878 on: February 28, 2018, 10:19:06 am »
On the decline in crime, it is to the ruling class's advantage for there to be a hulking mass of barbarians outside the door to terrorize the populace and keep them shuddering in fear. Rulers don't mind a high crime rate despite anything Trump might say. High crime affects the poor and minorities disproportionately and creates economic opportunities in manufacture of guns, their paraphernalia and new weaponry escalating in deadliness. Also, security services and a myriad of other things. I know people who are actually having secret rooms built into their homes to hide their weaponry.

There was a rogue economist named Steven Levitt who dated the start of the crime decline to the date when young men would be turning 16 except they did not exist due to Roe vs. Wade. (that sentence was tricky to compose!) The ruling class also wants there to be a large permanent population of poor people, it keeps wages low.  >:(

Hmm. I don't think I would agree that the confusion over crime is deliberately manufactured by the entire "ruling class." For sure it was deliberately manufactured (or spread) by Trump, to rile up his lower-income supporters. I saw it happen in debates when he would describe places like Chicago (i.e., big cities with lots of black people) as roiling cauldrons of violent crime, implying it was getting worse and worse. I'd be yelling at the screen, "What the hell are you talking about? Crime is way down!" But, as I said earlier, people who live in medium-size cities -- i.e., the working-class part of Trump's base -- that were hard hit by the oil bust or whatever might actually be seeing some rise in local crime and therefore assume it's that much worse in "inner cities." Was it your friend on FB I started debating about this? Somebody in CO. She said crime was getting worse, jobs were getting scarcer, etc. and I said the opposite was true. Turned out we were just looking at it from different perspectives. We became friends on FB.

Creating the illusion of high crime might benefit the gun industry but the entire ruling class doesn't back the gun industry, and I can't think of many other industries besides the obvious (home alarm systems, etc.) that would benefit from an unrealistically high perception of crime.

I also don't think I would agree that the ruling class favors widespread poverty to suppress wages. After all, it also suppresses customers. They may not have to pay their employees as much, but they don't need as many employees because they can't produce as much because there's nobody to buy their goods and services. Rich people (many, at least) do want to keep taxes low, however, so they don't want government money used to pay for services to poor people, including ones that might help lift them out of poverty. Unfortunately, they aren't usually moved to say, "Well damn it, let's make sure there are fewer poor people!" Instead they just say poor people don't deserve it, they're lazy, they're greedy, whereas we need to be able to keep every single million we can get, etc.

As for Steven Levitt, I have heard his theory. But it's larger than that -- the entire Gen X is much smaller than Boomers, so logically you would expect crime to have dropped when Gen Xers were at prime crime-committing age -- mid-teens to maybe 30ish. And back then economists did attribute at least some of the crime decline to that. But Gen Xers are now mostly in their 40s and 50s. Millennials, who range from mid-teens to mid-30s, are at prime crime age, and there are actually more of them than Boomers (just by like half a million; probably partly because some Boomers have died off). So logically, if crime is merely a factor of the number of people who haven't been aborted, it should be back to where it was in the '70s and '80s.

I cover generations stuff and I have never heard the smaller size of Gen X attributed to abortion. In any case, abortion is still legal and now we have a giant younger population.

Anyway, I think most women who have abortions are middle class and up. Kids most likely to commit crimes live in poor communities, where women are less likely to get abortions.



Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #1879 on: February 28, 2018, 06:47:24 pm »
I cover generations stuff and I have never heard the smaller size of Gen X attributed to abortion.

I just realized this directly contradicts my statement above it that I had heard Levitt's theory. I mean, I haven't heard anybody in recent years (since I've been covering aging and generational stuff) discuss abortion as a factor in the smaller size of Gen X.

One reason it's smaller is that the arbitrary lines they draw to distinguish "generations" encompass fewer years for Gen X, for some reason. But they would still be smaller anyway.

The only "real" generational distinction is baby boomers, who were created by an actual boom. Otherwise, the idea that people from one year have drastically different outlooks and behavior than people born the year after that is silly. It's really just a media invention. Fake news! Sad! :laugh: