[ExI] battle tanks to a five yr old

spike spike66 at att.net
Mon May 7 14:05:51 UTC 2012

>... On Behalf Of BillK

>>...Dare we hope that armed conflict will gradually fade away?  Or will
restrict itself to that part of the world which revels in that sort of

>...I think it is more that kids today just aren't allowed out to run free
like in the old days.

>...The parents today are the 'fear' generation. Pedophiles, terrorists,
murderers, gangs,..... the list is endless...BillK

Hmmm, perhaps, but when I look around, I realize my son's world is actually
so much freer of all those kinds of things, it is most remarkable.  It is a
cause for optimism when I realize that we now have actual crime numbers and
can do direct comparisons.  I took out Steven Pinker's recent book The
Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence has Declined.  It caused me to
compare my son's school to the ones I attended in the 1960s and his
neighborhood to the one in which I misspent my own childhood.  Differences:
there are waaay fewer kids now, adults are far more involved in their kids'
lives, kids generally do not roam randomly unattended below age about 10,
there is no evidence anywhere of gangs (wasn't really back then either, but
we knew where the bad guys could be found), property crime is now rare,
violent crime now is almost unheard of, vandalism is seldom seen and quickly
repaired.  There is an online crime log, so everyone knows when anything
goes down anywhere.  Everyone is carrying a camera in their phone.  Anyone
can make a crime report in complete anonymity by logging on at the library.
Anyone can videorecord any crime in progress and post it to YouTube,
anonymously, for the whole world to see.

The neighborhoods that were safe before are still safe, and the dangerous
neighborhoods feel safer than they did even twenty years ago.

Examples: in 1990, shortly after I moved to the Silicon Valley, I bumbled
into a south San Jose neighborhood.  It was extremely scary down there.
When we had Extro5 down that way in 2000, I wrote up a big gum flap about
how you need to stay up around the convention center, and that if you drop
below the freeway, your chances of escape are grim, etc, but I wandered down
in there, looking for stray extropians, and it wasn't so rough looking.  I
was down there just last week, and it looked better than the neighborhood I
grew up in.  Saw very little that would make me worry.  There were senoritas
pushing baby carriages, gentle civilized people everywhere, nothing
particularly trashy anywhere.

I suppose we are seeing the cumulative effects of the three strikes law,
which passed in California in 1994.  Alternate views?


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