August 4, 2009

Declines in violence

Steven Pinker has an article on how the rate of killing has tended to fall since prehistoric times. I would suggest that war just doesn't pay no more, except, possibly in the case of mineral rich targets.

Warfare in medieval Europe used to go on in a desultory fashion with no end in sight because the stakes were low: one set of aristocrats felt they had the right to supplant another in collecting taxes from the peasants. (Dynastic marriages, so often seen as bringing peace in the short term, tended to create long-term situations in which every throne had multiple claimants with plausible genealogies.)

War couldn't do much damage to the productive capabilities of rain-watered cropland, so why not fight? But once most of the value was in fragile buildings and the like, war became a lose-lose proposition.

At the level of crime, the Lily Burk case out in LA (see below) suggests just how many ways cops can build a case against a killer if they are really motivated to go all CSI on a bad guy. They've got security camera footage of the kidnapper and his victim pulling into parking lots, they've tracked her cell phone, they've got ATM records, etc.

I've never actually sat all the way through a CSI episode, but I very much like the fact that lots of would-be criminals who watch those shows now believe that the police all have high tech hoodoo powers of detection so that they are more likely to believe crime doesn't pay.

Combine the televised wizardry of modern crime-solving with the stupidity of most criminals, and it's really not a fair fight anymore. (Lily Burk's murderer was arrested about an hour after killing her for merely drinking in public. The the home invader who slashed the throat of my wife's friend 18 months ago was arrested because he called all his friends from the cellphone he stole from her; the police called them and they immediately rolled over on him and squealed that they could arrest him any morning at his local Jack-in-the-Box.)

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

75 comments:

Subcomandante Dave said...

We're near a point where pervasive surveillance could virtually eliminate crime and a lot of other nuicances. Implant a chip in everyone, and audio/video recording capabilities too, and you could solve any crimes that occurred and prevent the vast majority of them from occurring in the first place.

It would make citizens more accountable, recording not just crimes but good deeds, another bonus. The cost would be lack of privacy, the benefit would be the virtual elimination of crime and a lot of other headaches. No more putting the wrong guy in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Benefit > cost.

Who would monitor and analyze the data? Why, bots of course.

Society has nearly declined to the point where I want Big Sister's protection (Big Brother took early retirement, you see, like many baby boomer men are doing and will do in an effort to "gender cleanse" the workplace of old white guys) from my neighbor.

Anonymous said...

I thought the moral of CSI was "all criminals are white".

dearieme said...

"War couldn't do much damage to the productive capabilities of rain-watered cropland": oh yes it could, it could bugger your grain harvest. That's one advantage for tatties.

testing99 said...

Steve, utter BS. First, note how having all that CSI stuff did not save Lilly Burk. Nor did it stave off New Orleans, Detroit, DC, Oakland, or other crime-hotspot murder epidemics.

Pervasive surveillance in Britain has corresponded with an INCREASE in murder, rape, robbery, and physical assault. So too has DNA evidence and dragnets corresponded in vast increases in physical violence. Dalrymple notes that in the 1950's, it was common for doors to be unlocked and children playing outside in East London (echoed by residents in Chicago interviewed by Obama in "Dreams from My Father") a situation unthinkable now.

Dearieme is quite right, potatoes languished in Europe until the Thirty Years War causing widespread starvation meant a switch by German peasants to potatoes -- you can burn a wheat field with little effort, digging up a potatoe field takes real work.

There's been a decline in hunter-gatherer style violence as agricultural and pastoral and industrial societies all absorbed them, but the style of warfare, i.e. total destruction of the enemy, seems to be of greater amplitude of waves, with ourselves in roughly the same position of European men in the 1890's who thought war was a thing of the past, because the Concert of Europe had held so long.

Technical and political innovations allow competitors to use war to seize riches and satisfy internal conflicts: Alexander used the phalanx for which the Persians had no answer for more than a century to loot the empire and satisfy his men who were threats to his own rule. Rome used the maniples for which the Hellenistic Greeks had no answer to seize the entire Med, and still faced constant wars internally over the loot. The Arabs used light cavalry to overwhelm much of the Byzantine and Gothic kingdoms in North Africa and Spain, the medieval heavy knights used heavy cavalry to overwhelm the Arabs, the Mongols used speed and compound bows to overwhelm both in flat open country (but were stymied in the rainy, boggy lands of Central Europe). More recently, national armies (Napoleon) of the levy en masse, barbed wire and machine guns and artillery, combined arms (blitzkrieg), and nuclear weapons have given groups advantages over others until everyone rapidly adopts them.

There are plenty of theorists who argue that non-state warfare (think Tilly's landsknechten) by ambitious folks (bin Laden, Zawahari being analagous to Tilly) using a combination of hit-run mass casualty attacks, with WMDs, and deniability (they don't run or want to run host states, which may be in a state of civil war themselves) will break both the monopoly of violence by states held since the end of the Thirty Years War and the current state of peace since 1945.

China, for example, has Muslims throughout it's country, both Hui and Uighur, territorial claims, and a huge sex imbalance along with concubine/harem building by hereditary officials (China's historic achilles heel). The way to relieve tension is to create a war (with opportunity for looting) and satisfy the "bare branches" many of whom are rural and semi-literate at best, very poor.

Sid said...

Modernity's virtues, as well as its crises, stem from the fact that modern people simply don't have any intellectual or spiritual ground to stand on. Before the Battle of Kurukshetra, Arjuna had a spiritual crisis which reduced him to moral paralysis, declaring that he would rather be slain than murder his evil family members in battle. Krishna persuaded Arjuna to take up his arms and guide his chariot again after a long discourse into the nature of being and the soul. Hamlet could not muster the will to execute his treasonous usurper of an uncle for most of the 4000 verses the tragedy comprises.

Modern people in Western Europe, Coastal America and parts of Asia are all victims of this existential crisis. When a man brimming with vivacity and purpose is attacked, he has the moral self-confidence to punish the offender, the same way the Christian God could righteously declare all humanity to be condemned to darkness and death for disobeying Him. The only way men were released from the hook of death was when the Triune God took the fall for him.

Material analyses are perspicuous, but they don't get to the heart of the matter. Historians of the 30 Years War are often astonished by how long and bitterly the European powers fought over theological qualms, long after any material advantages had disintegrated. A look into the human matters is pertinent.

Anonymous said...

Miles here,

Ive pointed out endlessly that the ubiquity of street cameras and store-surveillance cameras should cut crime. When you go buy gas (where I live anyway), you are survielled and if you buy with a credit/debit card, there is a record of the transaction. The cameras are at about a third of the redlights in my part of the world, so your car is seen, tag and all. If you commit a crime and become a suspect, really all the police have to do is have someone go through the tapes looking for your make-and-model of car, and see if the tags match. If they do, were they in the vicinity of the crime near the appropriate time?

Forensics can be used to nail down a suspect with hair, prints, bodily fluids, carpet fibers, et cetera to further implicate someone.

Unfortunately however (as Testing sorta inferred) , the kinds of men who commit the vast majority of the crimes have such poor thinking skills, they dont ponder these things very much and commit them anyway. The "hoodies" in England (or chavs) have taken to riding bicycles and wearing hoods and sunglasses to commit crimes. I wonder if facial recognition technologies can overcome that, but even if it does, ear-taping and pancake make-up might allow for hoodlums to defeat that security feature also.



It would be better to have a less crime-prone populace, like the one we had back in oh say............1965 perhaps.

Anonymous said...

@Testing99:
The CSI stuff did not save Lily Burk because the PTB put non-discrimination as a higher value than the lives and safety of young women.

Quote: "There's been a decline in hunter-gatherer style violence".
This is precisely what the gangs are. 18th Street gang, et al, are modern day re-creations of neolithic hunter bands. There are no animals to hunt in a city, so what do you hunt ? You hunt men.


@Anonymous
"I thought the moral of CSI was 'all criminals are white' ".

Soon after the Lily Burk affair, the L.A. Times was up to its old tricks -- it posted a photo of a 17 year old "neoNazi" as the new Threat du Jour. Along with the 89 year old von Brunn, this is reminiscent of "old men and boys" as the opposition in mid-1945.

Milquetoast said...

Pervasive surveillance in Britain has corresponded with an INCREASE in murder, rape, robbery, and physical assault.

Not really. Crime levels have been pretty much tapering off since the highs of the mid 1990s, echoing the pattern in the US and elsewhere.

Of course there's no going back to the low crime rates of the 1950s though.

newt0311 said...

Crime (violent at least) is reducing over the last thousand years but if we take a closer view at the twentieth century, we find that violent crime and crime in general is much worse now that it used to be.

This is easily explained by punishment, or lack thereof. Police may be able to catch a criminal quickly but what is the point if all their evidence will be disqualified and it will take years to put that criminal in jail?

josh said...

Re Anonymous,"all criminlas white." Steve has written about Dick Wolf's SVU series,and how it documents the massive affluent white peoples murder problem! I saw it the other night,and thought it was a parody of itself. Maybe it is,because it had the weird cop, the fat guy from "Platoon". Anyway,a religous wacko--I think it was a hasidic rabbi,who had been importing "organs"(not the kind you play) from Israel,---No,wait! It was a muslem who had been doing an honor killing,or,no--NOW I remember,it was a Christian,who for sundry reasons wanted to kill his daughter and himself. In one scene,he is preaching a looney sermon,as the bomb he sent to his ex-employer goes off,and next to him is one heck of a big cross. Just in case you didint realize he was a Christian,i guess! Note to 'testy": "potatoes languished in Europe til the 30 Years War..." You had that info stored away in your head,just waiting for a chance to use it...? Frightening.

albertosaurus said...

War couldn't do much damage to the productive capabilities of rain-watered cropland

William McNeil had an interesting article on the impact of the potato on warfare.

Certain crops sre easy to destroy, others are hard. It's easy to burn most field crops especially at harvest time. Therefore a September raid could leave the peasants unable to survive the winter.

That changed after Columbus and the arrival of the potato. You can burn the potato greens but the tubers are safe in the ground. Most conquerors will not want to stop to dig up your spuds.

McNeil shows how potato cultivation spread fastest where raiding was most prevalent in Europe.

Part of Cromwell's genocidal efforts in Ireland involved forcing the Irish west onto the unproductive lands where they would starve. The potato saved the Irish then, later of course it would fail them.

Anonymous said...

Lets not forget the influence of drugs (not to mention the hardy perennial - booze).

Drugs make dim, criminally inclined people stupid. They make less dim, criminally inclined people more dim. And so on.

People who otherwise would not have committed crime do so under the influence, and what is more do so in a chaotic stupid way rendering them liable to easy capture.

Anonymous said...

Steve unnecessarily muddies up the waters by talking about crime violence and war violence at the same time. Let me address the war issue. It's true that modern economy is easier to conclusively devastate and there is plainly more to lose now. But, don't forget that there is more to GAIN too. E.g. recall how much money was being spent during the Cold War on armaments per year. In Russia as a percentage of economy it was pretty big. So it can become a tradeoff - incur instant devastation of (hopefully victorious) major war and then slash expenditure or live in peace and pay for the military through the nose continually. Eventually what happened in that particular case was that one of the factions (the "reformers" like Yeltsin) decided to essentially unilaterally disarm and it all sort of worked out (evil American imperialist aggressors proved not that aggressive, I guess). But that wouldn't make sense in all such cases. E.g. I don't think anybody in his right mind would want America to unilaterally disarm when faced with China, no matter what how financially advantageous it might look.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the modern rich and productive economy is not just easy to DESTROY, but also relatively easy to REBUILD. Just ask the Germans after WW2.

Anonymous said...

Part of Cromwell's genocidal efforts in Ireland.

I thought the latest revisionist history had it that Cromwell's genocidal policies were something of a myth.

Its so hard to keep up...

Anonymous said...

War couldn't do much damage to the productive capabilities of rain-watered cropland, so why not fight?

You clearly haven't read much about the Hundred Years War (I recommend Sumption's Trial By Fire and Trial By Battle). Armies had trouble finding each other and forcing the enemy to fight. Therefore, the English deliberately sought to devastate the enemy's cropland, both to reduce his source of wealth and to force the French to come out and fight rather than hide in their fortifications in order to stop the devastation. As a result, France was indeed damaged.

Mencius Moldbug said...

Pinker is full of... well, he wrote The Blank Slate, so let's be nice. He's playing statistical shell games.

First he compares prehistoric tribal barbarism to civilization. Well, duh. Set the focus too wide, and everything is a blur. Then he talks about "Europe since 1945." Well, duh. Set the focus too narrow, and you don't see what's under the shell.

Note that even if Genghis Khan conquers the world, you're going to see a decline in violence. Afterward. At least until Genghis Khan's empire starts to fall apart. Which it hasn't - in Europe. Check out Africa, India, China... since 1945. Oops! There's another 100 million or so right there.

His figure of 100 million violent 20th-century deaths is just way too low. That number is attributed to Communism alone, not even counting warfare. I suspect he's simply failed to include genocide. D'oh!

I am also deeply suspicious of his numbers for "the Middle Ages." Yeah, right, Dr. Pinker - you just download the crime and warfare numbers from the Middle Ages Department of Statistics. Nothin' to it! The computer is always right! Somewhere in one of these studies, someone seems to have been watching a little too much Monty Python. Medieval Florence was a rough place by Cambridge standards, no doubt, but it wasn't Papua freakin' New Guinea.

What's under the shell is the comparison between violent deaths in Europe in the 20th century, ie, the century of Anglo-American democracy, and violent deaths in the 18th and 19th, ie, the golden age of of classical European civilization.

In other words, Pinker is selling a product. You've seen this product before. It's called Whig history. If you don't buy it from Pinker, someone else will surely be around to sell it soon.

Anonymous said...

"China, for example, has Muslims throughout it's country, both Hui and Uighur, territorial claims, and a huge sex imbalance along with concubine/harem building by hereditary officials (China's historic achilles heel). The way to relieve tension is to create a war (with opportunity for looting) and satisfy the "bare branches" many of whom are rural and semi-literate at best, very poor."

Finally you said something that wasn't completely ridiculous. It's my belief that the biggest threat to this generation isn't terrorism, but rather China venting its internal problems on the rest of the world. A brittle empire like China can't absorb social problems internally, so with its authoritarianism, extreme nationalism and glut of young males, the regime may choose to lash out instead. At the moment China fits the true definition of Fascism (not the dewey-eyed Hollywood definition) so any destabilizing input like the global financial crisis could cause it to act unpredictably.

agnostic said...

The decline in homicide starts around 1500 in northern Europe, long before CSI-style police forces.

Crime levels have been pretty much tapering off since the highs of the mid 1990s, echoing the pattern in the US and elsewhere.

In fact, they've been plummeting, not tapering off.

Looks like it's time to finally post the charts from Eisner's article over at GNXP.

Muswell Hillbilly said...

Assuming Steve is right about the CSI-esque entertainment dissuading criminals from committing crimes, it has also had a very negative effect on law enforcement: it has poisoned jury pools.

The stuff on CSI is absolute hokum, but now juries tend to believe that such wizardry is de riguer for any reasonably competent police force. Thus you could have a rape case where the issue is purely whether the woman consented or not (not whether the defendant and the woman had sex), and the jury might acquit him because there was no DNA evidence. I have witnessed this very example occur.

Richard Hoste said...

I remember reading that John Gotti took an IQ test in jail and got a 105. That made him a genius amongst criminals!

Really, I think if people with 115+ IQs were inclined to commit crimes, they could get away with a lot.

Khan Tangri said...

China, for example, has Muslims throughout its country, both Hui and Uighur...

Han Chinese, on balance, seem to find modern Hui much more intelligible than their Turkic co-religionists. I mean this not only linguistically but also -- and perhaps just as importantly -- in terms of physiognomy and psychology. And even along the dimension of Islam, Hui and Uighur are quite distinct in degrees of devoutness and priority of Muslim as opposed to "Chinese" identity.

Prolonged sympatry with Han Chinese is apparent in the Huis' mercantile inclinations and political integration -- who knows of an Uighur analogue to Vice Premier Hui Liangyu? As befits them, Hui have been explicitly targeted alongside Han by native uprisings in both Tibet and Xinjiang.

J said...

The Chinese will never be violent. No need for the government to foment foreign wars. You people mistake Chinese, a very docile people, with violent Africans. They are not.

Train said...

"The Chinese will never be violent. No need for the government to foment foreign wars. You people mistake Chinese, a very docile people, with violent Africans. They are not."

J, umm...is this a joke? You are being sarcastic, right? Don't you remember how those docile, staid Japanese and Germans wreaked havoc on the earth and almost wiped off your kinsmen?

Sure, nagging African violence is annoying, but it's nothing compared to the violence that can be unleashed by highly intelligent, organized, and disciplined populations.

Khan Tangri said...

Docile? Please. Let me put it this way -- to survive as a neighbor of the Han is to learn that "flesh-eating carpenter ants" sounds just about right.

Anonymous said...

--The Chinese will never be violent. No need for the government to foment foreign wars. You people mistake Chinese, a very docile people, with violent Africans. They are not.--

My uncle, who fought in the Korean War, would be cracking up if he read that. Nope, no violence there at all! Just some shouting.

Anonymous said...

"No need for the government to foment foreign wars."

You know they invaded Vietnam in 1979, right. They got their asses kicked, BTW. They screwed with a gang that was at the top of their game!

Anonymous said...

"Really, I think if people with 115+ IQs were inclined to commit crimes, they could get away with a lot."

Yeah but they'd come in through the front door and call it Government and Business and get a bailout when it turns pear-shaped. Goldman?

Anonymous said...

"The Chinese will never be violent. No need for the government to foment foreign wars. You people mistake Chinese, a very docile people, with violent Africans. They are not."

How many were killed during the Chinese civil war? A lot more than were ever killed by the Japanese, that's for sure.... Nobody hates the Chinese worse than other Chinese.

Nanonymous said...

We're near a point where pervasive surveillance could virtually eliminate crime and a lot of other nuicances.

Policing is always easier in police state. It's that simple. Are you willing to trade?

Nanonymous said...

Really, I think if people with 115+ IQs were inclined to commit crimes, they could get away with a lot.

This reminded me reading a long article about 15 years ago on Armenian mafia in CA in the wake of immigration from the x-USSR. The top cop in charge of fighting organized crime lamented along these lines: The new guys took over every other mafia everywhere they wanted; we've never seen anything like this before; what makes them unique is that these guys are very smart and they are willing to use extreme violence if the need be.

Wonder if this observation holds today.

Simon said...

It seems to me that in the long term, humans may be getting more peaceful, but in the medium term, peaceable populations get replaced by violent ones, as happened at the end of the Roman empire and as is happening in Europe right now.

Anonymous said...

Although many American readers who still cling to the quaint idea that England is a gentle and civilised place, the counry that gave the USA its laws and manners, the nation of whom George Orwell said its defining character was its 'gentleness' is in fact a very criminal and dysfunctional society.
Apart from murder it out-ranks Italy, the USA, South Africa (not including rape), Russia and virtually every wedtern society in crimes of theft, robbery and casual violence.
A recent illustration was the absolutely horrific murders of the two French students Bonomo and Ferez in New Cross London last July.
Contrary to what you might think, the indigenous low-class English are just as criminal as black and brown immigrants.
Faced with the horrific crime situation, desperate measures were taken by successive British governments.Hence the ubiquity of CCTV cameras (Britain has more than the rest of the world combined)and Britain's DNA database - the biggest in the world, which the Government, is by stealth, hoping to include every Briton.

Anonymous said...

“War couldn't do much damage to the productive capabilities of rain-watered cropland, so why not fight? But once most of the value was in fragile buildings and the like, war became a lose-lose proposition.”

Probably something to that, but for the ruling class, isn’t ruling a ruin better than being subjected to another’s rule.

You have to consider democracy. An increasing flow of information has increased the average guy’s awareness of how much more beneficial to his interests non-war is to war, and democracy has helped these informed average guys control their governments so that the ruling few cannot use the masses to forward their own greedy self-interest. At least not without a big PR push and some serendipitous incident like 9-11.

On the other hand, if your theory is correct, then those who have less to lose would be more likely to engage in violence, whether it’s war, rioting, or street ghetto muggings. And those who have less to lose would be those who are less endowed with the mental faculties that allow them to gain.... Could be.

Simon said...

anon:
"Contrary to what you might think, the indigenous low-class English are just as criminal as black and brown immigrants..."

I've looked at the Home Office (now Justice Ministry) imprisonment-by-race data a couple years ago. Whites of all classes actually commit more of most crimes per capita than 'browns' (south Asians), except the brown murder rate is around 1.5 times the white rate. Most white crime is by the underclass of course, including notably the very criminal Irish Travellers ("pikeys").

Neither whites nor browns are comparable to blacks; as in the USA and elsewhere the black violent crime rate is 6-8 times the white rate. Some black immigrant groups are less violent than others - Nigerians are fraudsters but not particularly violent, while Somalis are horrifically violent, and with a 90% welfare dependency rate they have plenty of time for crime. Most Afro-Caribbean groups are violent, though they don't usually show Afro-American levels of racial hatred towards whites, and intermarriage is extremely common. In London there is a very large 'Londatto' population with lower class white mothers and black fathers; the fathers are usually absent and the children's culture is that of the indigenous white lower class, with only weak Caribbean influence. This gives rise to the phenomenon of multi-racial gangs, which you don't see in the US.

Anonymous said...

Faced with the horrific crime situation, desperate measures were taken by successive British governments.

However, not so desperate as to allow the law-abiding citizens of the UK to defend themselves.

Concerned Netizen said...

Has there been a decline in violence in Africa or Latin America? I haven't noticed it.

Regarding the "yob" class in Britain, here's a story:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1203596/A-N-WILSON-Shes-benefits-pregnant-14th-time--mother-sterilised.html

Anonymous said...

I wonder if facial recognition technologies can overcome that

Last I heard, facial recognition couldn't "overcome" an unadorned face in good lighting from a favorable angle. Has that changed? I don't doubt it since it's a real growth industry for BB.

~Svigor

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is,because it had the weird cop, the fat guy from "Platoon".

Full Metal Jacket, not Platoon, "implied," not "inferred," and "toe" the line, not "tow."

Anonymous said...

Those who think that the Chinese are always non-violent need to ponder the Taiping Rebellion:
http://taipingrebellion.com/
(...)
The conflict, which took place mostly in south China , the Yangtze valley and in the Shanghai and Nanjing.area, killed an estimated from 20,000,000 to 100,000,000 people killed (largely due to famine and wholesale slaughter of captured armies and cities which resisted ) .
(...)

Anonymous said...

Apart from murder it out-ranks Italy, the USA, South Africa (not including rape), Russia and virtually every wedtern society in crimes of theft, robbery and casual violence.

Two words: population density.

Men were not designed to live shoulder-to-shoulder like rats in a cage.

Right, so let's import a few million more Asians then!

(Or I could be wrong - anyone got the controlled figures?)

~Svigor

Anonymous said...

A recent illustration was the absolutely horrific murders of the two French students Bonomo and Ferez in New Cross London last July. Contrary to what you might think, the indigenous low-class English are just as criminal as black and brown immigrants.

And who did those two murders?

Why that would be our vibrant new brown friends.

No doubt that a combination of progressive polices have helped to make the white population more criminal but the non-white population are more criminal still. The other iron law of sociology still holds.

I sometimes wonder if the destruction of the white population and its culture (the lauding of black culture) is done out of a misguided attempt to level things out racially. Not by lifting up blacks but by trying to get whites to act black (chavs in other words, Ali G) the differences will be erased. However that good old iron law still holds. The gap may have closed a bit, but its still there.

Anonymous said...

Odd discussion this. I care about health of planet and biosphere. Me thinks the planetary population of homo (the sap) sapiens has increased --- often significantly --- during each and all of the last eleven decades. Anyone who knowledgeable on the dynamics of sporadic to cylic (species) plagues understands the planet is enjoying it's first ever homo sapiens plague. Crime, war, genocides are mere miniscule aberations.

Dan said...

Mass-murdering gangster Whitey Bulger seemed to have a pretty high IQ. His brother was president of the UMass system (mostly as a way to get him out of the way politically). His right hand man Kevin Weeks had 2 brothers who went to Harvard (the father was more proud of Kevin...).

Of course, there have been serial killers with high IQs such as Ted Bundy and Joel Rifkin. Of course, the ultimate example is Ted Kazynski with his 175 IQ (giving up a career as a math professor at Berkeley to become a one man revolutionary).

Donald Rumsfeld said...

Richard Hoste: Really, I think if people with 115+ IQs were inclined to commit crimes, they could get away with a lot.

Ahh, but if they were committing crimes, then would you even realize* that they were committing crimes in the first place?

We will leave it as an exercise to argue amongst yourselves as to whether this phenomenon [the super intelligent - or at least the merely intelligent - getting away Scot-free with their crimes] constitutes a known-unknown or an unknown-unknown.


*PS: And then there's the whole question of whether you would even care if you did in fact realize what was going on...

Mr. Anon said...

"I've never actually sat all the way through a CSI episode, but I very much like the fact that lots of would-be criminals who watch those shows now believe that the police all have high tech hoodoo powers of detection so that they are more likely to believe crime doesn't pay."

That only works if the criminal class actually watches it. Based on my (admittedly) casual observations, CSI is most popular with middle-class white women. Whereas the guy who may rob, rape, or kill you is more likely to watch "Ow, my balls!"

Anonymous said...

http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110007348

Charles Murray showed that criminality has increased very much.

This is one of those issues where Michael Crichton's wisdom about how complex the world is applies.
It isn't good enough to just analyze crime stats and ask, "Up or down?"

Anonymous said...

The UK's supposed high crime rate is no doubt a function how these statistics are gathered. Anyone who thinks that the UK has more serious crime than the US, apart from murder, is insane. The "bad" neighborhoods in London are like Disneyland compared to the bad neighborhoods of any American city.

The most recent horrific murder you can think of happened a year ago? Is that the best you can do?

Anonymous said...

Since we've got on to the subject of China, as predicted in "The Coming Chinese Superstate", looks like they're on their way to becoming a eugenic society

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2009/08/04/chang.china.genetic.gifts.cnn

Truth said...

"The Chinese will never be violent."

I guess you've never heard of Tiananmen Square, the Uighur or Tibet Crackdowns or Chairman Mao have you?

Anonymous said...

you could have a rape case where the issue is purely whether the woman consented or not (not whether the defendant and the woman had sex), and the jury might acquit him because there was no DNA evidence.




The jury is supposed to acquit him in those circumstances. People are innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. These stupid "he said/she said" cases should never reach a court room.

headache said...

I agree that in western countries it’s possible to clear up almost any crime which is not politically covered or committed by foreign intelligence agencies. In Africa the situation is different. The police infrastructure is either non-existent or derelict. Most police forces, if they exist, are just working for the governing party. There is no separation of state and ruling party. In addition, most governments there don't have a strong crime concept so many crimes go unpunished. The black culture is historically more violent and things like (child) rape, child-offerings, muti-murders, theft only became an issue after colonialism and the missions when the western powers transplanted Roman law to Africa. In South Africa for instance, muti-murders (murdering people in order to remove genitals which are used in witchcraft rituals), which now also include white victims and child-rape/offerings have resurfaced after the end of Apartheid. Polygamy is also now legal and no longer seen as a crime. In most post-colonial countries there is a move back to tribal law which is much more lenient and has very vague concepts of what actually constitutes crime. Crime is usually seen as that which threatens a local or regional chief’s power. This is the deeper reason why Obama and leading blacks want the criminal code in the US changed and eased.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Years ago, somebody here at iSteve pointed out the following story:

Medical advances mask epidemic of violence by cutting murder rate
Roger Dobson
BMJ 2002;325:615 (21 September)
bmj.com

...Without this technology, we estimate there would be no less than 50,000 and as many as 115,000 homicides annually instead of an actual 15,000 to 20,000...

The aggravated assault rate was, by 1997, almost 750% higher than the baseline figure. The team also described the dramatic overall decrease in trauma mortality in the second half of the 20th century...

The period of greatest change came between 1972 and 1977, on the heels of the US involvement in the Vietnam war, which triggered big advances in trauma care.


As the Baby Boomer Caucasian trauma surgeons start to retire [right now they are roughly 50s-ish to early 60s-ish, and at the very height of their careers], and as they are replaced by the Obama-care Affirmative Actionocracy socialized medicine witch doctors [will Komment Kontrol allow us to use the term "witch doctor" in this context?], I can just about guarantee you that the number of murders - i.e. successful attempted murders which result in actual murders, not unsuccessful attempted murders which are thwarted by the skill of the American trauma surgeon - that the number of murders will head straight from 15,000 per year up towards 115,000 per year.

You people just have no idea how bad things are about to become.

Anonymous said...

Train sez:
Sure, nagging African violence is annoying, but it's nothing compared to the violence that can be unleashed by highly intelligent, organized, and disciplined populations.


Thanks for admitting for once that Krauts and Japs are not drunken imbeciles but rather a threat because they are "highly intelligent, organized". Most of the media likes to portray Germans and Nazi as idiots, but I doubt you manage to bind the whole world in 2 massive wars for 5 years each if you are an imbecile.

Sid said...

Two points:

1. During the harrowing, ruinous Peloponnesian War, which cost the Achaeans countless losses, the Sparta laid siege to Athens on a seasonal basis. That's right, seasonal. When they weren't growing crops and engaging civil life, they would spend the time off by laying siege to Athens, attacking their olive trees, yelling insults. It was basically what a road trip today is for fratboys: an enjoyable way to wreak havoc, let off some steam from mundane life and have a good time with the buddies. But if they overstayed their time in Athens, it would hurt their ability to grow crops. The Peloponnesian War was violent and traumatic, but the allure of war was always apart of the Ancient Greek mentality.

Compare that to Iraq in 2006, when US soldiers were stuck in violent war zones on an indefinite basis, having to worry about being blown up by an IED during a drive. It turns a fun, exciting adventure (which the war was in March and April 2003) into violent drudgery.

2. China has not been an egregiously violent nation. The Confucians always had a lowly view of combat, akin to the one the Humanists had. Just as Thomas More left war to mercenaries, the Confucians left war to Turkish barbarians. The problem is that when social order collapsed, few places were more violent than anarchic China. The An Lushan Rebellion (or An Shi) devoured around 36 million people out of around 50 to 86 million. This would be unspeakably horrifying by today's standards, but it was absolutely unprecedented in the era of 755-763. As stated earlier, Chinese civil wars are never pretty.

It should be interesting to see how modern China deals with its internal problems. One of which is that some provinces have 1.4 men for every woman. We've seen how violent it is when a few men war after many women, but we have seen many men in conflict over a few women. Maybe China will invade other countries for the women, maybe they'll fight each other, or maybe more than a few men will become eunuchs. All have historical precedents. The cliched Chinese curse holds true: May you live in interesting times!

Melykin said...

It is only in the last 100 years or so that guns have been widely available. Surely violence in places such as Africa must be much worse now then when they had only spears and rocks.

Anonymous said...

"As the Baby Boomer Caucasian trauma surgeons start to retire [right now they are roughly 50s-ish to early 60s-ish, and at the very height of their careers], and as they are replaced by the Obama-care Affirmative Actionocracy socialized medicine witch doctors [will Komment Kontrol allow us to use the term "witch doctor" in this context?], I can just about guarantee you that the number of murders ...towards 115,000 per year."

Wishful thinking. Baby-boomer surgeons will be replaced with Asians not affirmative action mandates.

Anonymous said...

"It is only in the last 100 years or so that guns have been widely available. Surely violence in places such as Africa must be much worse now then when they had only spears and rocks."

That is absolutely correct. I was recently reading someone, can't remember who, who talked about how those who developed tools, especially guns, and other peoples like them, would also best be able to deal with them. In other words, the intelligence to develop them were concomitant with with the intelligence and self-control to use them.

Relatedly, this highlights that people *do* tend to know what is best for themselves. White communities can only benefit from a gun culture, but the inner-city Blacks are probably right that guns are bad for them and are being rational when they fight against them. Another reason why such different populations co-existing is a bad.

Charlotte said...

"--The Chinese will never be violent. "

Read "Scarlet Memorials: tales of cannibalism in modern China" by Yi Zheng. about the "cultural revolution" as carried out in the southern province of Guangxi.

Anonymous said...

Surely violence in places such as Africa must be much worse now then when they had only spears and rocks.

Perhaps Headache, our old Africa hand, could enlighten us.

My gut feeling would be that, while guns must have ramped things up a bit, the general everyday sort of violence carries on regardless employing knives, machetes, baseball bats. One can imagine.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that in the long term, humans may be getting more peaceful, but in the medium term, peaceable populations get replaced by violent ones, as happened at the end of the Roman empire and as is happening in Europe right now.

Peacable, or nihilistic?

In order to survive one must have an ideology with survival as an express objective. The Third World's populations have that. We don't.

Anonymous said...

There are jut too many drunks in England. I've met a number of nice young English gents who get all brawly after they've had a few beers. When not drunk, they still have their gentle nature.

Simon said...

anon - Those French students were murdered by whites:

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/video/Two-Men-Guilty-Of-Murdering-French-Students/Video/200906115295977?lpos=video_Article_Related_Content_Region_3&lid=VIDEO_15295977_Two_Men_Guilty_Of_Murdering_French_Students

East London is horrible, I'm glad I no longer work there.

Simon said...

anon:
"The UK's supposed high crime rate is no doubt a function how these statistics are gathered. Anyone who thinks that the UK has more serious crime than the US, apart from murder, is insane. The "bad" neighborhoods in London are like Disneyland compared to the bad neighborhoods of any American city."

Hmm, kind-of. The thing is, I live in a typical (very close to London average in populations and wealth), not-so-bad London neighbourhood, with houses around half a million dollars. And unlike the US, you have white professionals mixed in with lower class whites and various violent ethnic groups in state-provided housing. We have murders in the immediate neighbourhood (of ca 12,000 people) every year or so. Some are gangs; Pakistani-on-Pakistani, Tamil-on-Tamil, both using machetes, iron bars and such. Occasionally professional white criminals shoot each other. There have been some black gang shootings in neighbouring areas, and a disabled white guy was recently murdered by a black thug at a local supermarket. There has recently been gang violence between rival Pakistani and Somali gangs (Somalis win - khat makes them crazy).

None of this makes the area uninhabitable. Whites are around 60% of the population; the influx of tough eastern-european whites (Russian, Polish) helps prevent any 'BAM' group (Black & South Asian Minority) getting critical mass to initiate ethnic-cleansing effects, as has happened in other parts of London and other UK cities. It's far from ideal though. The police were apparently for years covering up a black serial rapist who preyed on professional white women coming home on the local bus. Most of the white professionals I meet don't seem aware just how much crime there is here, or they're young and single and prepared to tolerate it.

Simon said...

anon:
"Wishful thinking. Baby-boomer surgeons will be replaced with Asians not affirmative action mandates."

Socialised medicine is a wonderful thing - here in London I see relatively competent baby-boomer whites and high-caste Raj-era Hindu Indians being replaced by incompetent AA Muslim doctors, especially, and by incompetent black Africans & Tamils in nursing, midwifery and dentistry.

Anonymous said...

Re: the future of medicine in the US.

My one and only surgery was performed last December by a Pakistani-Brit surgeon. He was assisted by a Korean woman, and the anaesthesiologist was a lovely woman from Iceland. This at Mass General Hospital in Boston, one of the top hospitals in the world.

According to my PCP, the US is the only option for the best doctors in the world who wish to make a good living. This will continue to be the case until Obamacare becomes law.

David said...

"Another thing to keep in mind is that the modern rich and productive economy is not just easy to DESTROY, but also relatively easy to REBUILD. Just ask the Germans after WW2."

The supply of Germans is naturally limited.

David said...

"Really, I think if people with 115+ IQs were inclined to commit crimes, they could get away with a lot."

They might even arrange it so that no one knew of their crimes.

David said...

"here in London I see relatively competent baby-boomer whites and high-caste Raj-era Hindu Indians being replaced by incompetent AA Muslim doctors, especially, and by incompetent black Africans & Tamils in nursing, midwifery and dentistry."

In Florida USA, substitute "Filipinas" for "Muslims," "Africans" and "Tamils."

David said...

"We're near a point where pervasive surveillance could virtually eliminate crime and a lot of other nuicances. Implant a chip in everyone,"

Who will protect us from our protectors?

(I like your sarcasm, esp. the good behavior comment.)

Anonymous said...

His figure of 100 million violent 20th-century deaths is just way too low. That number is attributed to Communism alone, not even counting warfare. I suspect he's simply failed to include genocide.

Communism itself is a form of genocide.

How many were killed during the Chinese civil war?

Which one? I can name two, the Taiping Rebellion and the Cultural Revolution.

Simon said...

David:
"In Florida USA, substitute "Filipinas" for "Muslims," "Africans" and "Tamils.""

We have lots of Filipina nurses here too; by local standards they seem to be towards the higher end of the competency continuum.

Eric said...

The UK's supposed high crime rate is no doubt a function how these statistics are gathered.

I would like to see some support for this beyond mere assertion. A coworker who recently returned from London said violence is just below the surface there in a way you don't find outside of inner city neighborhoods in the US.

Anonymous said...

Simon,
You must live in my nick-of-the-woods, Tooting in south London.
Apparently that rapist you mention operated on a street bordering my own.

Anonymous said...

My gut feeling would be that, while guns must have ramped things up a bit, the general everyday sort of violence carries on regardless employing knives, machetes, baseball bats. One can imagine.

My gut says it's more than "a bit." The relationship between impulsiveness and black violence should not be underestimated. Nothing says "impulsive violence" like a firearm.

~Svigor

Simon said...

anon - Indeed, I'm just glad no one I know was attacked.