Open Thread Wednesday

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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  • Bornhere

    I seem to have posted under the wrong image; what I meant was the Middagh, left/Henry right image — it shows the (now-beloved) 71 Cafe. (And that’s “Madam,” not “Sir.” :) )

  • http://www.yotamzohar.com StudioBrooklyn

    You may choose to view violence in a vacuum if you want to; I get that that’s easier for a lot of people, and once sufficiently riled up beyond that low threshold you’re more likely to support satisfying your sense of justice with barbaric reactions than playing the long game of evidence-based solutions. But again, that’s your prerogative and I won’t try to change your mind.

    In the meantime, would it be too much to ask whether you recognize the difference between seeing something in a larger context and excusing it?

  • HeightsGuy77

    Whoa!!!! Excuse me as I let you off your soap box. Where did you get that I support “barbaric reactions”!?!?! You have the nerve to call my reactions barbaric, while calling a gun toting robber of innocent people a “victim”… That is really something, especially because you do not know me in any way. Respectfully, my eyes are wide open. I am all for understanding the socio-economic reasons that crime occurs, and I am completely sympathetic to those who are caught in a system that is unfair from the start. My point is that there are many who are poor and downtrodden who don’t commit violent crimes on innocent victims. Speaking of “long game evidence solutions”, do you have any specific evidence or studies that explain how a robber that is violent against innocent people, is a victim? Do you have any studies that explain why most poor people aren’t committing violent crimes, but the ones that take those extra steps towards violence are NOT sociopaths or degenerates??? I would like to see them. I want to understand your point, made by experts, not some guy posting on a blog.

  • http://www.yotamzohar.com StudioBrooklyn

    Hey I wasn’t trying to ruffle your feathers. I can see that we share a goal of understanding the big picture. I’m out and about right now but I’ll try to find some scholarly reading for you later, if that would help. My overarching point is that if we draw a line in the sand and say that all criminal violence is sociopathy, and not inextricably linked to the same conditions of inequality that others struggle with quietly or passively (in ways that don’t bother the “haves”), not only do we miss the bigger picture but we also open the floodgates for enabling harmful and archaic (“barbaric” was my shorthand) systems such as the prison industrial complex, adversarial policing, segregated communities, etc. and it sounds like we’re both against that stuff.

  • http://www.yotamzohar.com StudioBrooklyn

    OK HeightsGuy, as promised, quoting abstracts:

    “This study uses panel data of intentional homicide and robbery rates for a sample of developed and developing countries for the period 1970–1994, based on information from the United Nations World Crime Surveys, to analyze the determinants of national crime rates both across countries and over time…The results show that increases in income inequality raise crime rates, crime tends to be counter-cyclical, and criminal inertia is significant.”
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014292101000964

    “These results suggest that income inequality may overpower the role of hot weather and seasonal variation of temperature to explain the level of violent crime in human society. A prediction of this theory here is that societies with low socioeconomic inequality, independently of thermal climate, are not likely to produce high levels of intentional homicides and violent crime.”
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1359178916302105

    Lastly, here’s an article about American dependence upon incarceration as a first line of defense against crime (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15564880903260637). Including because I brought up what I feel is the implicit conclusion of the “only Bad Guys use violence” argument, which is the “and therefore lock ’em all up” argument.

    There are also studies out there that suggest income inequality doesn’t cause crime, and that incarceration is a sufficient response to crime, but I happen to think we’re better than that as a society, or we ought to be.

  • Ppont

    I didn’t mean either. I’m no fan of rich pseudo-hipsters or self-absorbed locals who don’t clean up after themselves, but I’m quite sure they’re not planning any armed robberies.

  • Heightsguy77

    Oh, I agree with ALL of those studies and I believe it is on point with what I said. There is no doubt that socioeconomic inequality is tied directly to crime. And violent crime, as well. I’d be a fool to argue differently. I also agree with your overarching point. And I am against the archaic systems you mentioned. My point is that violence against innocents is never acceptable or excusable. And there is a difference between those that are poor and downtrodden by no fault of their own, and those that are poor and downtrodden by no fault of their own and choose violence. What is that difference? I’m not sure. But there is some choice element in there, I would expect. Violence is an unacceptable route and must be treated, as such. Innocents shouldn’t be subjected to violence, and violence is such a horrible problem for these innocent downtrodden people being victimized in their own neighborhoods. As you know, most of the victims of the violent downtrodden ARE other downtrodden people. It’s insulting to so many of those people when we lump all of them together and blame the powers that be. The vast majority of the downtrodden are trying to find a better way.

  • http://www.yotamzohar.com StudioBrooklyn

    Good points. There’s definitely a lot more we agree on than disagree on and I’m glad we had this exchange. Lots to think about.

  • cool

    This seems heavily sensationalized. In any case, in some cultures, you can’t turn your back:

    https://www.thecut.com/2019/07/grace-church-school-brooklyn.html

  • South Brooklyn Boys

    Robbing deep into BH with a gun is a bit extreme. What are you going to get a phone, $40 and some credit cards. You will also have half of Brooklyn’s police checking cameras/video footage within 2 miles of BH for you. Not smart is what I think. If I were to become a thief I would be a pickpocket. Go to Europe and you have some amazing ones. They spend years practicing and you never know it has happened.

  • Artful Dodger

    It takes skill to pick a pocket…