You're driving down the road and come upon someone driving significantly below the speed limit. Maybe that's because the traffic is heavy and everyone is below the speed limit, but in that case they leave such a gap in front of them that the lanes around you go double the speed, endlessly bifurcating off in front of this person.
Why is the driver of the suspect car always Asian?
Always. Always hunched over like driving is the most difficult thing they've ever done, going well below the speed limit.
April 17th, 2007 9:43am
That's no Asian... that's a stoner.
April 17th, 2007 9:45am
Scared of a ticket? Err on the safe side? Being sensible?
(100 + 85)/2
April 17th, 2007 9:48am
Squinty eyes make objects appear closer than they are.
April 17th, 2007 9:55am
That's no asian. That's an 80 year old grandma with poor vision, who just can't BELIEVE how fast people want to go.
Or, it's a black woman on a cell phone raving to her girlfriend how impossible it is to find a good man these days.
April 17th, 2007 10:30am
Their cars don't go any faster as they are loaded with guns. Isn't that obvious.
Locutus of Borg
April 17th, 2007 10:30am
>> a black woman on a cell phone <<
Racism doesn't enter into it. It's the cell-phone that is the common factor.
April 17th, 2007 11:12am
I live in area where the population is about 5% black. There are lots of other races too. Indians. Chinese. Arabs. Southern European. Jewish. Northern European.
My car was recently smashed into by a hit and run driver. It was a black woman. (Turned out car was stolen when I reported plates to police).
My wife's car was hit in a car park by a hit and run driver. It was caught on CCTV. They got the plates and everything... insurance company chased it... black woman, no insurance.
Two other friends we know, also have similar incidents... guess what: black women, hit and run, no insurance.
Is it racist to observe that certain anti-social behaviours are correlated with race?
For example, street robbery is overwhelmingly committed by black youths, by burglary is overwhelmingly committed by white working class.
April 17th, 2007 11:47am
Yes, it is racist to observe that certain behaviors are correlated with race.
Because you have three incidents, you conclude there's a correlation with race? It could be correlated with income, it could be correlated with their being female, it could be education, it could be cell-phone useage. Yet you choose to focus on their race.
It's not racism to observe that you've had three traffic accidents, and all three times the person causing it was black and female. That's data.
It IS racism to conclude from that that all black female drivers are dangerous.
Just as I was mistaken to conclude it was black ladies on cell phones that cause traffic slowdowns.
April 17th, 2007 12:18pm
It was 4, not 3.
Assuming 5% of the drivers in my area are black, and all drivers are equally likely to do hit and runs, The chances of 4 consecutive hit and runners being black would be (0.05^4) = 0.00000625. The chances of 4 consecutive hit and runners being black females would be (0.025^4) = 0.000000390625 (less than 1 in a million). To me tha rather does suggest some other issue than mere chance is involved.
Please note: This doesn't say anything about black drivers in general, or the causes of these hit and runs, and certainly not anything about being _because_ of black. It could be, for example, there is a relatively small number of black female drivers who drive round uninsured doing a vastly disproportionate number of hit and runs.
Just like the number of people who deliberately crash planes into buildings, contains a disproportionate number of muslim 20-something men. The correlation doesn't say anything about other muslims at all.
Or the fact that white working class are vastly disproportionately represented (and blacks under represented) in armed robberies (bank hold-ups and the like). Again, that says virtually nothing about white working class in general.
In each case, it's nothing to do with the group as a hole - it's simply related to a subculture of a tiny minority within the group, and a relatively unusual activity.
April 17th, 2007 12:43pm
> Because you have three incidents, you conclude there's a correlation with race? It could be correlated with income, it could be correlated with their being female, it could be education, it could be cell-phone useage. Yet you choose to focus on their race.
I picked the 4 accidents as an example.
Forget them if you want, as you can always argue those 4 cases are unusual.
Look at national crime statistics involving thousands of crimes, for example Tony Blair's speech references some.
- Drug-related gun crime is a (vastly) disproportionately black crime
- Street robberies are a (vastly) disproportionately black crime
- Burglary is a (vastly) disproportionately white crime
- Armed robberies are a (vastly) disproportionately white crime
The people who do those crimes obviously aren't doing them because they are black or white. We know why young people commit crime - obviously poverty and things like that pla a role - but the choice of particular crime is very often because they learn them from the peers.
So, it's not rocket science to think that if young men (and it is mostly young men doing crime) mostly circulate with people of their own race, that certain crimes will tend to get concentrated in particular groups.
April 17th, 2007 12:51pm
> mostly circulate with people of their own race, that certain crimes will tend to get concentrated in particular groups.
Mentoring, networking, scale-worthy discounts from suppliers, etc. It's sorta why in the States lots of gas stations are Arab-owned (and often by the oil-poor and non-Muslim Lebanese and Palestinian immigrants), motels by Bangladeshi, grocery marts by Koreans, etc. (I swear, half the moving companies in NYC are Israeli, not Brooklyn Jewish or anything, just plain Israeli grunts who don't know more English than to distinguish 'kitchen' from 'bathroom'.)
April 17th, 2007 1:12pm
I think it's reasonable to see a pattern where in multiple cases, 100% of the incidents conform to some pattern.
Like, guys who hijack airplanes and kill the passengers. What religion? Muslim, and that's a fact.
April 17th, 2007 1:55pm
But when percieved patterns are used to predict future behavior, it's important to be very careful that the percieved pattern is real.
It's very easy for percieved patterns to be distorted by our pre-concieved notions of what is true. Like filtering out all airplane hijackings, and only using the data from 9/11, then saying that's 'typical' of airplane hijackings, then concluding that 'typical' hijackings are done by Muslims.
You see the distortion there, I hope.
April 17th, 2007 2:10pm
>> But when percieved patterns are used to predict future behavior, it's important to be very careful that the percieved pattern is real. <<
I know someone who works for the state cops (a programmer) and he says that they run queries all the time to see if there's a racial pattern in the people that the troopers stop. They want to make sure that there isn't a pattern of "driving while black" (or hispanic, etc) going on.
The fine line with respect to the hijackers is when you say "But they're not citizens. What do we care?"
April 17th, 2007 2:26pm
Where do you live?
Here we have the opposite problem: the asians (HK Chinese in particular) are driving too fast!
God forbid you try to find parking in a Chinese shopping mall...
April 17th, 2007 3:12pm
99% of Asians might drive really fast. It just happens to be that the slowest drivers on the round tend to almost always be Asian, even if they are grossly misrepresentative of the group as a whole.
Virtually every hijacker in the history of hijacking has been Muslim. Yet it still represents only a miniscule, insignificant percentage of Muslims.
April 17th, 2007 3:15pm
Hey NASA, yeah I agree that one shouldn't persecute individuals who are members of a class, because of these observations. But on the hijackings, I'm not isolating 9/11. I can't think of any airplane hijacking that wasn't muslims, going back to the 1960s. Well maybe there was one the IRA did? And was there one dealing with a Macedonian or something? But almost all the hijackings have been muslims. Fortunately, airlines have responded and really clamped down on things so it's a lot harder to pull these off and it's also real clear that the US doesn't negotiate, so we'll blow up the plane before we'll let the hijackers do their thing, so that results in less hijackings here I am sure.
April 17th, 2007 3:27pm
Oh and on the drivers, around here it's always an old person. But when I last lived on the west coast, it was always a vietnamese or filipino lady, sometimes even as young as her 40s. Never saw a person driving 25 in a 50 out there unless they were asian. If you talk to the asians, they'll confirm it's true as well.
April 17th, 2007 3:29pm
in germany you are not allowed to hold a cell phone in your hand when talking on it in a car. how's that overseas?
April 17th, 2007 3:42pm
Cell phones - is this a new topic? I think it depends on what state you live in in the US.
There's some studies that show that it doesn't matter if you hold it, or use a headset, in both cases, you are much more likely to get in an accident, and much less likely to survive it.
April 17th, 2007 3:45pm
"I can't think of any airplane hijacking that wasn't muslims, going back to the 1960s."
D.B. Cooper was in the 70's.
April 17th, 2007 4:08pm
>D.B. Cooper was in the 70's.
He robbed an airline rather than hijacked it.
April 17th, 2007 4:19pm
OK, that's a good example and a very famous one. No one was killed in that one though except possibly him. Actually, I respect the guy given the whole adventure, how he escaped by parachute without the pilot OR the planes following him noticing, and how no one was hurt, not even a scratch, and he did the whole thing with a fake bomb prop. 10 out of 10 for style man!
April 17th, 2007 4:19pm
I'd go so far as to say Cooper was a daredevil performance artist and he completely earned his pay!
April 17th, 2007 4:21pm
PFLP was a Marxist (i.e. Atheist philosophy) organization with a Christian leader, although I expect they had some muslim members, so member this is arguable.
The Japanese Red Army and the Japanese Communist Party's Red Army faction weren't exactly muslims...
The German Revolutionäre Zellen weren't muslims either.
The German RAF weren't muslims
A rather large number of hijackings around Cuba, didn't involve muslims http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Cuba-US_aircraft_hijackings
All the above did one or more hijackings. In the case of cuba, there are dozens.
> I can't think of any airplane hijacking that wasn't muslims, going back to the 1960s
Tells us, not to draw conclusions based on Practical Economist's lack of knowledge of a subject
April 17th, 2007 4:21pm
April 17th, 2007 4:25pm
The wiki article has an amazing story of a COPYCAT hijacker Richard McCoy, Jr who pulled off the exact same stunt 4 months later. He was a "Mormon Sunday school teacher studying law enforcement at Brigham Young University"!!! fucking awesome!
So it's not that they are muslims, it is that they are radical fundamentalists, muslim or mormon, that drives them to hijack planes. Now we see the bigger pattern!
April 17th, 2007 4:27pm
Hey, the Qantas Flight 1737 case was a Christian religious fundamentalist trying to bring on the apocalypse! So you see!
April 17th, 2007 4:29pm
Practical Economist has forgotten about the Sikh hijacking of a Canadian plane.
And as for shooting down passenger planes that's a split between the Americans and the Russians.
The slow driver in Saudi is normally a South Asian. He's going at half the speed limit, the Saudis are going at double it, and the really dangerous ones are the Westerners who are sticking to it :)
April 17th, 2007 5:18pm
>> The slow driver in Saudi is normally a South Asian. <<
I've heard that max speed attainable in South Asia is about 45mph, as the crowded road conditions & variety of traffic don't permit high speed travel.
April 17th, 2007 6:13pm
>>> the asians (HK Chinese in particular) are driving too fast!
It's not the driving too fast that's a problem, that's only the young males. It's the driving too slow, too timidly, that's a problem, especially the thousands of people from HK that have never driven before they get over here and then they take lessons endlessly until they can barely pass the tests. A big part of why I moved out of Richmond was all the damned driving schools that insisted on taking people out onto No. 3 Road at rush hour. Morons.
April 17th, 2007 6:26pm
>>> God forbid you try to find parking in a Chinese shopping mall...
It's easy, you just have to have a less-than-perfect car, then you ruthlessly cut people off knowing that they won't risk scratching their Mercedes/Lexus/BMW/Acura against your beater. I never have problems in Yaohan or Aberdeen...
April 17th, 2007 6:30pm
I hadn't heard of the air india case. It's definitely a bombing not a hijacking. And almost all the suspects were found not guilty. Isn't Sikhism a contemplative religion? They are one of the offshoots of Islam, along with Bahai, right?
April 17th, 2007 7:10pm
Practical Economist: Look up Khalistan and Operation Blue Star, the bombing was tied in to that period.
April 17th, 2007 7:20pm
Interesting, and there's also the Amritsar massacre. So Brahman Indians have been persecuting and massacring Sikhs for some time, but the British started it. So bombing an Air India flight out of Canada was a double-blow to their persecutors.
The Amritsar massacre
In April 1919 British troops commanded by General E H Dyer opened fire without warning on 10,000 people who were holding a protest meeting. The troops killed about 400 people and wounded 1,000.
Dyer felt that he had been obliged to teach a moral lesson to the Punjab.
Realising the damage that had been done, the British rapidly retired Dyer, but not without promoting him first.
Some historians regard the Amritsar Massacre as the event that began the decline of the British Raj, by adding enormous strength to the movement for Indian independence.
April 17th, 2007 7:49pm
So are most Punjabis Sikhs then? I like those colorful Punjabi films, and most the guys do wear turbans.
April 17th, 2007 7:51pm
April 17th, 2007 7:52pm
----"Isn't Sikhism a contemplative religion?"-----
Yea, that's why they all must wear a dagger as well as a turban, as well as forming the backbone of the Indian military and police, and the British units before that. The number of atrocities the British Empire carried out using Sikh troops was considerable.
-----"So Brahman Indians have been persecuting and massacring Sikhs for some time"-----
Yea, and they do really nasty things like make them Prime Minister. The policeman in charge of the forces that stormed the Golden Temple, which was the excuse given for Mrs. Gandhis assassination was a Sikh.
April 18th, 2007 1:46pm