G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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1. Steve Sailer asks for theories on why Chicago’s murder rate is so high even while most city’s rates are on the decline. I can’t say that I know the answer, but some interesting statistics on police force size and murder rate trends among Chicago and several big cities is worth a look. Chicago has the biggest relatively police force and the highest murder rate. Perhaps the city has not beefed up its gang prevention units, or perhaps they’ve built a large number of public housing units, or maybe there are a lot of cops but they are less productive than cops in other cities. Also, gentrification seems to have been much stronger in the other comparable city, NYC. Because of the financial sector and the art and culture of NYC, lots of young white people have moved there, dispersing the ne’er do wells.
2. Rod Dreher: The Curse of Upselling. I work for a company that forces the upsell. My company wages psychological warfare on customers to get them to buy add-ons. When the customer sits in the seat or enters the store, the company accrues a certain marginal amount of revenue and profit (hopefully). The up-sells are where the real money lies as they are usually high margin products. It is very difficult for customers to just avoid the upsell because everyone does it. The upsell is preached by every type of business from restaurants to Pandora to banks to car dealerships.
3. The Oxygen channel, Oprah’s project, will begin airing a TV show called “All My Babies’ Mamas” about a black guy that has 10 kids with a bunch of different women.
5. A fascinating report from a tweet by Heartiste: sexual and romantic relationship trees of students at “Jefferson High School”.
6. Habits of instantly likable people. I have to say that I perform most of these, and that I’m better at befriending strangers than I am at maintaining friendships with non-strangers. The interesting one to me is that likable people get others to open up while also withholding information about themselves.
7. An old piece by Mark Kleiman via Reihan Salam. Kleiman hits on something that I think is important in any contentious tribalistic political debate:
With any luck, taking the “gun confiscation” card out of the political pack might actually reduce the fervor of the opposition the NRA can whip up to sensible measures such as requiring background checks for gun sales by private individuals (the current rule that requires them only for purchases from gun dealers), computerizing data on which dealers are selling the guns that get used in crimes, and developing and deploying technology that would allow police to identify, from a bullet or a shell casing found at a crime scene, when, to whom, and by whom the gun that produced that metal was lawfully transferred.
Right. You set lawful owners of guns at ease first rather than come right out of the gates and saying, like a friend of mine did the other night at dinner, that gun-owners are “hillbillies”. Or as Michael Moore is saying – that gun ownership is relatively high here because of our inherent racism. This turns all gun advocates and semi-advocates on to “fuck you” mode.