A reader sends a link to The Confessions Of Bernhard Goetz, subway vigilante:
There’s a lot here: Genuine threat (thugs), fear, real victimization (previous muggings and a likely soon-to-be mugging), but also serious ignorance and over-reaction.
I imagine Goetz was a bit like a feral animal fleeing out of that subway car, up the station stairs and into the night.
From min 33:40:
The question to be litigated was whether the community would make a judgment about his (Goetz) own good faith belief….are we in a position to condemn him for over-reacting?
On that note: So bad, but awfully good at satisfying an urge. The cinematic glorification of vigilantism can make victims of plot and good character development:
The crime back then was so bad that some citizens stood up to protect their own and others, defying police and transit authorities.
Who can you really trust?
So much high and low in a big city, so much to learn about turf, risk and danger:
There’s a way through here, where the good people and the good in people can flourish, without insitutional incentives getting in the way.
Heather MacDonald: ‘The War On Cops’. C-Span interview with MacDonald on the book here. She also points out that Compstat isn’t really going anywhere: ‘Prosecution Gets Smart:
–Computational Criminology And Predictive Policing.
‘Computational criminology seeks to address criminological problems through the use of applied mathematics, computer science and criminology. Methods include algorithms, data mining, data structures and software development.’
Limited Resources + Potentially Imminent Risk/Harm + Repeat Offenders/Learned Skills + Violence + Lots Of Room For Error = Too Much Practical Upside To Not Adopt Additional Means Of Fighting Crime.
Via Marginal Revolution: ‘Neural Network Learns To Identify Criminals By Their Faces‘
A move towards rationalism (hands-off technocratic leadership) and activism will mean more impersonal surveillance, cameras, and more data-gathering by identity category. Often, this will mean less physical security and targeted law enforcement in many areas (it will fall on deaf ears that the evil in human hearts will always be with us, that it needs to be met with courage and isn’t always caused by Nazis). Leftists tend to gather around injustice (their own real and perceived injustices) and identify victims (against the oppressor) in endless lurching towards liberation and praxis.
Mildly To Marginally Related: American city-politics can be…pretty rough..and for generations partly to mostly corrupt:
Via David Thompson-Chicago Murder Stats in one place.
Where not to go in San Francisco?
Is NYC really like the rest of the country?:
Beauty, ugliness, youth, strength, and decay: Via Mick Hartley Bruce Davidson at Magnum’s ‘Subway‘.
Many of the images in Subway are sensual, dangerous and raw, but then again, so was the NYC subway in about 1979 or 1980. Davidson plays with different exposures, techniques and settings, eventually deciding on using color to depict what he saw. He also reportedly toned-up physically, geared-up, and mentally prepared himself to get off and on those subway cars during the project. He had some undercover city cops with him a few times.
Imagine how conspicuous a new Nikon/Canon DSLR and a flash would make you in one of those cars at night (he, in fact, had one camera stolen).
Come for the raw, dangerous subject matter and the vicarious risk (oh yeah, it can happen again…just stay tuned). Stay for Davidson’s compositions, subtle use of light and color, and the genuine humanity he found within his larger vision.
Is a certain dangerous, glamorous adventure beneath you?
What about in your prime?