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1.2.08

Covert Economies

Since I am now mainlining The Wire while hearing John McCain - the presumptive Republican nominee for president - talking about how strict sentencing should be and how kids should be tried as adults, and, you know, spreading other good, rational ideas of modern criminology, I thought I should share a couple of links with you. Both are by Stephen "Freakonomics" Levitt and both are on the economic aspects of criminal activities. Which is obviously something we should know as much as possible about.

The first is a lecture he gave based on a chapter in the book Freakonomics. It's called "Why crack dealers live with their mothers". It details some of the findings from a study of an inner-city US crack dealing organisation, based among other things on their accounting books and organisational charts.

The second is "An Empirical Analysis of Street-Level Prostitution" (pdf) which he wrote with Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh. Since it's a complete (though not finished) article, it's much more substantial and far more interesting.http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif

Levitt & Freakonomics co-author Stephen Dubner blog over at the NY Times.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoy reading your blog, it always has great insight. But I am very frustrated with the media’s lack of questions to the presidential candidates about global warming. Now that it is down to just a few candidates I would think that this would be a bigger issue.

Live Earth just picked up this topic and put out an article ( http://www.liveearth.org/news.php ) asking why the presidential candidates are not being solicited for their stance on the issue of the climate change. I just saw an article describing each candidate’s stance on global warming and climate change on earthlab.com http://www.earthlab.com/articles/PresidentialCandidates.aspx . So obviously they care about it. Is it the Medias fault for not asking the right questions or is it the candidates’ fault for not highlighting the right platforms? Does anyone know of other websites or articles that touch on this subject and candidates’ views? This is the biggest problem of the century and for generations to come…you would think the next president of the United States would be more vocal about it.

February 02, 2008 12:28 am  
Blogger mrtn said...

See, now you're placing me in a difficult situation. You're obviously astroturfing, you're obviously just somebody clicking through blogs and leaving links - and btw you'd think you'd know how to make link tags, dude - but on the other hand, you're obviously doing it for one of the best causes there are. So do I

a. tolerate your comment, thus making me a hypocrite for accepting bad faith rhetoric (I am guessing you've never read my blog before) when I am in political agreement with the person making the statement.

b. delete your comment, thus infitesimally lowering necessary media exposure for one of the defining political issues of our time, and therefore possibly have cause to feel guilty about it.

or

c. make a long metaargument explaining how I actually thought this through, but decided to keep your comment after showing that I was aware that you made those links while in bad faith, said metaargument established only in order to reflect well on myself while also feebly trying to draw attention to the cause, despite the fact that I have also damaged the credibility of the followers of that cause.

I think C. But see? See what you made me do? Couldn't you just behave like a real person and not leave those astroturfing comments with their habitual opening compliments about what a great blog this is and bla bla bla. It hurts the cause more than it helps it. Get in the fray and make some honest debate and spread the links properly, the way they should be spread.

February 02, 2008 12:48 am  

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