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Marko Bosscher
Attended Utrecht University
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Stranger than Truth
John Oliver's 101 favourite history lies
The samples are amazing, can't wait for this to come out next spring.
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yeh i have been watching it where possible.

needs to come to the uk. brits need to see just how messed up the usa is.

brilliant show.
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Broken windows, broken theory
The "broken windows" theory of crime prevention [...] has been popular for over 30 years. It comes chock-full of advantages, like requiring police departments to do things that are straightforward to achieve and measure, but it has the basic problem that it doesn't seem to work.
 
The "broken windows" theory of crime prevention – that by cracking down on the visible symptoms of poverty and neglect, like broken windows or loitering, community norms would shift and other crime would decrease – has been popular for over 30 years. It comes chock-full of advantages, like requiring police departments to do things that are straightforward to achieve and measure, [1] but it has the basic problem that it doesn't seem to work.

New research is shedding deeper light on the underlying social processes which do work, however, and that's why this is a "Today I Learned" article instead of a "Politics, Society, and the Law" article. This team did a large-scale data analysis of Boston between 2011 and 2012, and found that the events (from arrest, 911, and 311 records) fell into a few natural categories: private neglect, like rats in buildings or parking on lawns; public denigration, like graffiti and broken windows; private conflict, like domestic and landlord-tenant disputes; public disorder, like reports of panhandlers and drunks; and public violence. They broke public violence down further into "basic" violence, violence involving guns, and homicides.

They compared how these different kinds of issue cropped up over space and time. While it wasn't possible to test if one thing caused another, it was possible to do what's called "cross-time correlation:" does having a lot of public denigration in a place, for example, correlate with having more public disorder or violence there later?

The answers were quite interesting. Unsurprisingly, the strongest correlations are between private conflict and public disorder and violence. Those, in turn, tend to feed back on themselves, sometimes escalating to guns, which are (by far) the main predictor of homicides. Perhaps more surprisingly, public denigration – the classic "broken windows" – showed no predictive power at all.

If we think about how conflicts tend to escalate, this makes a certain sense; if nobody had ever told you about "broken windows" theories, you would say that most fights (and murders) are between people who know each other, most fights start small and grow larger, fights between people can last a long time and spread to include other people, happen in private and in public, and so on, and probably more fights have their first origins in private than in public, but not by much.

The statements above probably seem pretty obvious, which is what made the broken windows idea seem so radical: it was upending all of this, suggesting that maybe the reason people thought it was OK to get into ever-escalating fights was the sense of decay around them, and if we just made everything look nicer, people would stop doing that.

It was a radical, but not crazy, idea; people do react to their surroundings and take cues from it. But the data increasingly seems to suggest that it's interesting, but wrong.

If this particular study has captured the real mechanisms – and as it's a study of just one city over one time window, it's far too small to give us real certainty of that – then it suggests that a more effective role for police would be to act as moderators of disputes, helping resolve and stop fights before they escalate. That's obviously a much harder job than ticketing panhandlers.

Of course, that answer may itself suffer from the blinders of asking "what can the police do?," when it's not obvious that the police are even the right mechanism. If there's one reliable pattern in sociological studies, it's that people don't become drug dealers, armed robbers, or junkies because they're stupid, inherently evil, or have some kind of cross-generational proclivity to do it; they do these things as fairly rational choices given an extremely limited set of options. [2]

That means that even murder is a symptom, rather than a cause, and actually fixing these problems will require answering deeper questions, like "why are people resolving their disputes by murder, rather than (say) talking it out, suing each other, or just moving away from each other?" In general, what we discover is that those alternatives aren't useful options to the people involved for various reasons which aren't always obvious to outsiders – and it's understanding that sort of thing which is the key to actually fixing things.


[1] And perhaps more importantly, it provides neat political narratives, as well as a good rationalization for policies that the public may want but not wish to admit to, such as forcibly removing the homeless or policing racial groups. The sad fact is that the politics of criminal law almost invariably boil down to something sordid.

[2] Even, perhaps especially, taking drugs. The key result is the famous "Rat Park" experiment (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat_Park), which found the flaw in all those experiments that showed that rats will instantly become addicted to cocaine or heroin and take it until they die: the cages were confusing the experiment. When rats had an option of doing normal rat things or taking drugs, they had very little interest in drugs; they became addicted when it was a choice of that or being locked in a featureless white cage without drugs for months on end. This result has since been generalized beyond rats, but the key idea is there.
Why community policing should focus on helping to resolve personal and domestic disputes, not signs of physical decay.
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Watch Worldcon's 2015 Hugo Awards Ceremony on Livestream.com. The Hugo Award® is the leading award for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy. The Hugos are awarded each year by the World Science Fiction Society, at the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon).
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All the buildings in The Netherlands
Colour-coded by year of construction. Check out the interactive map here: code.waag.org/buildings/ 

I can see my house from here

#mapporn  
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Gorgeous work, +Rudy de Groot Thank you for the ping! Zooming in really brings out all the beautiful detail.
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Hugo Awards announced
The puppies got trounced
Although the Rabid/Sad Puppies' slates dominated the nominations voters consistently opted for No Award over the puppy picks¹.
2015 saw no award being given in an unprecedented 5 categories² and ending above the puppy nominees in all categories except dramatic presentation (obvsly). Biggest losers of the night were Vox Day (last in editor long form and short form) and John C. Wright (last in Best Short Story, bottom three places in Novella, fourth in Related Work. All categories where No Award was ranked first).

¹ Guardians of the Galaxy being the exception that proves the rule
² Best Novella, Short Story, Related Work, Editor Short Form, and Editor Long Form

#HugoAwards   #SadPuppies  
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Fifteenth I think, but yeah.
I might give them another shot in the future even though I wasn't particularly impressed with the writing and plot, but I've been told this wasn't the strongest book in the series ( really wish I'd read them when I was sixteen though!).
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Type like a hacker
Relive the 80s hacker hype with hackertyper.net 

I suggest putting on some EBM for atmosphere

Via +Ralf Haring 
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All Things D  - 
 
The dinosaur under the stairs
Police have found a dinosaur skeleton and 213 dinosaur eggs hidden under stairs in a home in southern China.
The astonishing discovery was made in a village home after fossils went missing from a construction site in the Guangdong province.
Police have found a dinosaur skeleton and 213 dinosaur eggs hidden under stairs in a home in southern China.
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Fandom, Nazis who can't write
New Sad Puppy leader Kate Paulk is not holding back:
this year’s hosts showed all the restraint of a Nazi rally along with the morals of a Soviet show trial and the taste and discernment of a cat in heat.
And that's just Paulk warming up, it gets worse

I was going to mine the Intertubes for Nazi quotes that the Puppy-Kickers could have said if they’d been about Puppies or white men rather than Jews, but alas, even in translation Hitler and Goebbels are so much more articulate the comparison would be utterly unfair to the Puppy-Kickers (and remember, these are writers and editors – but the Nazis beat them on all fronts when it comes to articulating points of view.
I think it's fair to say this will not be the year of rapprochement after all. And while this is by far the worst example, most puppy leaders have been lashing out at fandom and the voters. This seems to imply a fundamental disconnect between the puppy world and the rest of the world (aka the puppy kickers).
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Then launched into an explication of what he called “new” genetic research that he says he doesn’t expect very many people to understand (but which he claims supports his use of the term “half-savage”)

I don’t consider all black people to be half-savages. I mean, some people are. Here in Europe, for example, we have actual proper Africans, not African-Americans. This leads to problems, like people shitting on top of the closed toilets.

How can this man have followers....?
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Gotta catch 'em all (before they hurt someone)
Two men who drove from Iowa to Boston for the Pokémon World Championships were arrested Friday after seemingly threatening violence over social media against attendees of the event, according to the Boston Police Department.

It's not clear whether the persons involved wanted to win at any cost, planned a massacre, or intended it to be a prank. Whatever the case it was dumb, illegal and dangerous.

Also: don't bring guns to gamenight, ever.

Via: file770.com

#pokemon  
Two men who drove from Iowa to Boston for the Pokémon World Championships were arrested Friday after seemingly threatening violence over social media against attendees of the event, according to the Boston Police Department.
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The real damage of the Puppy campaigns
The puppy slates may have suffered humiliating defeat at the hands of the voters, they had already done their damage. By pushing worthy works of the ballot the puppies created the weakest field in decades, but you can see what might have been in Buckell's reconstruction.

And I have to say that looks like one amazing reading list.

#HugoAwards   #SadPuppies  
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Nonsense, the voters rejected the slates pure and simple.
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Dors cervezas, por favor!

Punny Mexican beer
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Uno mas! 
 ·  Translate
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