Is this how accidents happen?

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67 Responses

  1. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    My suggestion: avoid the ironic hipster mustache.Report

    • Avatar greginak says:

      I’ll still never understand how any facial hair can be ironic. I mean my back hair can be downright effervescent at times and the occasional ear hair can drip with ennui. But facial hair, only hipsters can see irony in facial hair.Report

      • Avatar SaulDegraw says:

        I think it is used as a way of justification. Moustaches are pretty silly. All sensible people know this. so the hipster needs ironic detachment before getting one.Report

    • Avatar SaulDegraw says:

      I already do, counselorReport

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      I’m not saying that it’s time to get yourself a vigilante costume and go out at night beating up hipsters, but I’m not NOT saying that either, if you catch my drift.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 says:

      To be blunt — try not to be a minority. The odds of you getting shot or assaulted as a burglar in your own building are much lower if you’re pasty skinned, or if the ‘suspect’ is pasty skinned.

      Hand to god here — the number of people who, deep down, seem to think that darker skin makes one almost a superhuman when it comes to physical feats is ridiculous. It’s a weird, subconscious belief, and it makes people overreact.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        They’ve actually done studies and it leads to Black folks getting less pain meds, anesthesia, and the like because, ya know, they have super powers. Disgusting.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck says:

        “To be blunt — try not to be a minority. ”

        Except for the part where the intruder (and, presumably, Saul) are both white guys.

        But, y’know, keep on telling us about those eeeeeeevil Secret Racists.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 says:

          Didn’t read the whole thing, didja? Second part of the second sentence, and then the entire second paragraph.


          • Avatar DensityDuck says:

            Entire what? The part of the comment where you said “try not to be a minority”, bringing the tired old “the problem is this GOD DAMN RACIST SOCIETY” into a discussion that’s not about that at all?Report

            • Avatar Morat20 says:

              “Second paragraph”. It’s easy to tell, because it’s the two words after the word “Entire”.

              So “entire second paragraph”. It seemed pretty clear that I knew the intruder was a white guy, because I noted that we — as a society — tend to view white suspects differently than black in terms of ‘threat’. Kazzy even noted an entirely different way we do so!

              But do continue your screaming. It won’t change society, or the simple fact that the darker Saul’s skin, the more likely he is to be ‘suspicious’ and the darker skinned a suspect, the more likely he is to be judged ‘dangerous’.

              Perhaps if you shout it loud enough, society will change! I think that’s the whole point of BlackLivesMatter, in fact!

              In further news, Tod just posted about this exact same thing. Perhaps you should go shout at him after not reading it carefully?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                Saul said he was worried about escalation even though he was white.

                You were so focused on making sure we all knew how racist you’re not that you said “well, being white is a good way to not worry about escalation!”

                But keep using words, bro. Maybe if you can just post enough times then you won’t have been wrong.Report

      • Avatar Vikram Bath says:

        Morat20: Hand to god here — the number of people who, deep down, seem to think that darker skin makes one almost a superhuman when it comes to physical feats is ridiculous.

        Is this a black thing? Because there are a billion Indians no one thinks this of.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 says:

          Black thing for certain, at least in the US. (I’m not saying we’re the only country with a race problem, but slavery has really left a mark on us, however much we might wish it was buried in the dusty past).

          However, blacks actually do it to themselves as well — to a lesser degree, I think, but it’s there.

          Which implies either some weird biological mechanism that just short circuits on black people (highly unlikely, for lots of reasons) or it’s some weird cultural thing we imprint on people growing up.

          I think there was a thread awhile back that talked about people’s perceptions of gender balance in groups — that men tended to think it was 50/50 once women hit about 20 to 30%, and they tended to report it was majority female (heavily so) once it hit 50/50. (This is steady, whether you measure things like how long each gender speaks in a given setting, or the ratio in crowds, etc). Again, you see a similar but less strong pattern in women (they tend to think there are more women in a crowd then there are — or that girls have spoken more in class then they did, etc).

          Care to guess what the ratio of men to women tends to be in background shots of movies and TV? Are we wired that way? Or did growing up and seeing that ratio everywhere we looked wire in that a crowd in which 1 in 4 is female must be “50/50” because random crowd on TV, right? Gotta be 50/50. Do directors or casting people pick that ratio because they feel it’s ‘right’ (based on what they internalized growing up) or because that’s what they know audiences expect?

          Honestly, the harder you look at racism and sexism the more you see that so much of the problem is buried beneath the surface, in the places in the human mind (mine, yours, everyone’s) that are pretty much outside your control.

          You look at the concept of ‘microaggressions’ and you start to see there’s a point there. It’s not the guy in the hood with the burning cross that’s the problem — most people can clear go “Dude, racist!” and hold them in contempt.

          It’s those deep down things, a million little bits and pieces of everyday life that look and feel totally normal until you put it under scrutiny. And aside from a few academics, who really can — or even wants — to look at the nasty, gritty undersides of their culture and spot all the flaws?

          Nobody wants to think they’re racist. Not even if it’s “you’re not like…racist racist. You’ve just got a lot of crap that you absorbed through cultural osmosis that shades your thinking.”. So I’m not racist — I’m just so stupid I don’t know I’m racist? Screw you, pal.

          What do you do about that?Report

          • Avatar veronica d says:

            @morat20 — +100

            I honestly believe there are some people who truly are “color blind,” and maybe even a bit “gender blind.” The thing is, such people are rare, and if you think you are such a person, you really should do some empirical tests to see.

            It’s funny what happens when you start actually counting stuff. Like, people think that women and minorities have it easy in the media, cuz there are so many “black writers” or “Lebanese transgender writers” (or whatever), but if you actually spend some time counting the number of articles, blog posts, comments, etc., that you read, you’ll find (probably) that you are reading mostly dudes, mostly white people, mostly cis people, etc. (At least insofar as you can tell.)

            So yeah, that rare person is truly non-biased, but our culture is enormously biased, so in a weird sense, acting all “race blind” or whatever is bullshit, since that only ignores a huge problem in the world.Report

  2. Avatar Damon says:

    Can you IMAGINE if people were armed???!!! There would be blood running in the apartment hallways and garages!!! Won’t someone think of the children!! While that might be considered a downside, the upside is more apts might become available. 🙂

    Or you could try some of these response to the question “Are you authorized to be here?”

    1) Yes, are you? Give them the 1000 mile stare…
    2) Yes
    3) Yes, now f off.
    4) None of your damn business.
    5) Who the hell are you to be asking ME that?

    But that’s just me.Report

  3. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Or you can get to know your neighbors.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      We just a little neighborhood shindig so we could get to know everyone. Happens 2-3 times a year.

      CERT also does a program called “Map Your Neighborhood ” so people get to know one another & you have an idea of who lives where for disaster recovery.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck says:

      I thought that just happened automatically in urban areas, because everyone is just so much happier and more cheerful there and more willing to engage with neighbors.

      At least, that’s what the densification advocates keep telling me.Report

  4. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Now imagine that paranoid attitude being the primary mode of public interaction. Then get a gun, a badge, & robust legal protections.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      I go back to this a lot…to some degree, we kind of pay cops TO be paranoid for us. It’s a cop’s job to always keep an eye out for anything which looks “out of place”, that which is “not quite right”. False positives and confirmation bias are a real job hazard.

      Assuming they don’t overreact and go too far (and that, of course, is the rub), I do think we have to occasionally cut them some slack, if they check on something that turns out to be nothing. The alternative would be to require them to be only passive, to only respond when called.

      Maybe that would work, but I don’t think the public would like it if police were not seen to be proactive and trying to prevent crime or intervene early – I assume the first time a suspect walked away and clearly could have been stopped before he committed his next crime, the public would go nuts.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Cops and criminals both understand that cops are really, really outnumbered by criminals.Report

      • Avatar notme says:

        I agree to some extant, however we should all be concerned about the saftey of others in our community. Therefore what these people are doing and what saul objects to seems reasonable to me.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        In one of the discussions of police some time ago, either Stillwater or Greginak had suggested that perhaps patrol officers need to be rotated out on a regular basis.

        You can’t keep running around in a heightened state like that all the time, it messes with your head in a bad way.Report

        • Avatar Glyph says:

          That’s probably not a bad idea. It might also get rid of some of the stigma of a “desk job”, if everyone has to ride the desk periodically.

          Maybe that downtime from patrol can be used for refresher courses on best practices and stuff; and also maybe they could be given community outreach-type tasks to do during that time, so that they and the community they interact with get a chance to see each other at something other than their worst.Report

          • Avatar greginak says:

            Yeah it is a great idea. Well it was my suggestion but anyway working in big cities is really stressful for cops. Their mentality is often to tough it out which is often one of the worst things to do with grindingly difficult stress. They also could use the time for more training on a variety of issues.

            Contra Aaron below i don’t see unions having a problem with it as long as it isn’t done as punishment. It should be a standard part of being a cop in many places. It is about helping cops cope better which is good for them and good for us.Report

            • Avatar aarondavid says:

              I think if it was approached correctly, a union could be brought aboard with it, but the pushback I can see happening is to rotate patrol out and into desk/etc. jobs would require rotating IN people who are in those jobs currently. Officers who worked long and hard to get to the cushy spot. Not insurmountable, but at least that is how I can see the union fighting it (its how my union would fight it, but we aren’t PD or public.)

              Also, if I remember correctly, SFPD is heavily seniority based now, which means entrenched interests. I do think it is a good idea, but things like job seniority rules are one of the things unions really work for.Report

        • Avatar aarondavid says:

          Actually, that would be something that unions would go ballistic about (if my union experience is indicative) as it could be seen as disadvantaging longer serving officers. Which isn’t a reason not to do it, but much like medical interns working super jacked up hours could be very hard to stop.Report

        • Avatar Kim says:

          I kinda… disagree. They should have the opportunity to be rotated out, but not required.

          What they ought to be required to do is some mandatory time with a psychologist. Even if it’s just “I sit quietly in stony silence” time. Some time, with someone who can listen, and maybe help.Report

  5. Wait, when we say vintage Pirates cap, are we talking Vintage cap or a Nostalgia cap.

    Its important because it determines whether one accosts the mustachioed moucher ironically or nostagicallyReport

  6. Avatar notme says:

    I don’t know. Would you prefer that neighbors go back to being apathetic and not caring?Report

  7. Avatar Kazzy says:

    “Everyone is trying to be a good citizen I suppose but I can see how these situations turn bad.”

    Ummm… have you not been paying attention? How do you think all those innocent people shot by the cops end up innocent people shot by the cops?

    Also, by identifying the burglar as a “hipster burglar”… with hipster being a qualifying adjective… the implication is given that there is some sort of standard burglar. Who is this? The guy with the black mask? The Hamburglar?Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird says:

    There are a lot of benefits that come from being in a community and everybody knowing each other well.

    There are costs to people who are outside of this community, though.

    What are the available options?
    1) Join the community (even if only as a well-liked outsider)
    2) Date someone else
    3) Catch the criminal (this will likely lead to #1)
    4) Dismantle the organic sense of community that these people have adopted among themselves in response to a crisis (might require #3)Report

  9. Avatar notme says:


    Are you still in fear of someone deciding to escalate the situation needlessly? To be honest I’m not sure what you even meant by that in the first place. What do you think one of these folks would do to you? Tell you to leave or call the cops?Report