Policing (Re: spooky shit, a paradox & numbers)

alec ramsdell a_ramsdell at hotmail.com
Sun Jul 19 15:25:54 PDT 1998

>Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 12:45:14 -0700
>From: Brad DeLong
>>>From Jerome Miller's _Search & Destroy_:
>>"In 1851, for example, when San Francisco had only 30,000 citizens
>>of them black), there were 100 murders. By comparison, there were 75
>>murders in San Francisco in 1984 when the city's population was
>Hmmm. 100 murders for 30000 citizens... 1 murder for every 300
>per year... if you live in San Francisco for 30 years, you have a 10%
>chance of being murdered.
>Seems rather high.
>San Francisco in 1851 doesn't sound like a place where I would like to
>I'm sorry, your point was?...
>Brad DeLong

Yeah, it is a statistic of dubious use. It does suggest, though, how modern tech spectacles of crime, on movies, televised, in papers day-in-day-out, can raise the heat on crime hysteria where it isn't that justified. They can contribute to popular perceptions of crime that are ideologically disorted.

Shows like "COPS" are heavily race and class codified. I prefer "When Animals Attack", for its warm fuzzy endings--the people never blame their attackers ("it's not the alligator's fault, it's just in it's nature"). I havn't seen the show about car chases.


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