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Profiling Future Killers Before They Kill

YYW
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4/20/2016 2:49:52 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
https://www.washingtonpost.com...

This article is very cool, and if I ever was to study something like forensic psychology (or another similar, relevant field), it's a subject I'd be highly interested in.

Basically what happened here is that you've got a researcher who (though engaged in post hoc research) tried to map a digital footprint on a future killer. The implications of doing that are huge, and raise genuine concerns about privacy, the role of government, and what counts for an appropriate level of domestic surveillance. But it is very cool, nonetheless.

Long ago, I postulated that it was conceivable to profile future school shooters as well as future terrorists (and, in particular, Muslim youths who are likely to go radical based on what they do online. It looks like we're moving a step closer to that.
FaustianJustice
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4/20/2016 3:05:55 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/20/2016 2:49:52 PM, YYW wrote:
https://www.washingtonpost.com...

This article is very cool, and if I ever was to study something like forensic psychology (or another similar, relevant field), it's a subject I'd be highly interested in.

Basically what happened here is that you've got a researcher who (though engaged in post hoc research) tried to map a digital footprint on a future killer. The implications of doing that are huge, and raise genuine concerns about privacy, the role of government, and what counts for an appropriate level of domestic surveillance. But it is very cool, nonetheless.

Long ago, I postulated that it was conceivable to profile future school shooters as well as future terrorists (and, in particular, Muslim youths who are likely to go radical based on what they do online. It looks like we're moving a step closer to that.

Precrime divisions of police strike me as a quick way to a rather... irritated populace.

Minority Report?
Here we have an advocate for Islamic arranged marriages demonstrating that children can consent to sex.
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YYW
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4/20/2016 3:08:46 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/20/2016 3:05:55 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 4/20/2016 2:49:52 PM, YYW wrote:
https://www.washingtonpost.com...

This article is very cool, and if I ever was to study something like forensic psychology (or another similar, relevant field), it's a subject I'd be highly interested in.

Basically what happened here is that you've got a researcher who (though engaged in post hoc research) tried to map a digital footprint on a future killer. The implications of doing that are huge, and raise genuine concerns about privacy, the role of government, and what counts for an appropriate level of domestic surveillance. But it is very cool, nonetheless.

Long ago, I postulated that it was conceivable to profile future school shooters as well as future terrorists (and, in particular, Muslim youths who are likely to go radical based on what they do online. It looks like we're moving a step closer to that.



Precrime divisions of police strike me as a quick way to a rather... irritated populace.

Minority Report?

Well, yeah... so there's tremendous potential for abuse.
Vaarka
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4/20/2016 3:23:53 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/20/2016 2:49:52 PM, YYW wrote:
https://www.washingtonpost.com...

This article is very cool, and if I ever was to study something like forensic psychology (or another similar, relevant field), it's a subject I'd be highly interested in.

Basically what happened here is that you've got a researcher who (though engaged in post hoc research) tried to map a digital footprint on a future killer. The implications of doing that are huge, and raise genuine concerns about privacy, the role of government, and what counts for an appropriate level of domestic surveillance. But it is very cool, nonetheless.

Long ago, I postulated that it was conceivable to profile future school shooters as well as future terrorists (and, in particular, Muslim youths who are likely to go radical based on what they do online. It looks like we're moving a step closer to that.

If they were to try and help determine this through things like NSA and whatnot, like my communication via phone, I think I'd be one of many in rehab right now with how many death threats I make to no one in particular when I'm extremely annoyed.
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1harderthanyouthink
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4/20/2016 4:03:22 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
I don't agree with Langman's explanation on his turn, but w/e.
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YYW
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4/20/2016 5:28:45 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/20/2016 4:03:22 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
I don't agree with Langman's explanation on his turn, but w/e.

I think the idea that "damaged masculinity" is the cause, or at least a correlated factor, is pretty stupid, simplistic, and myopic. That said, we're moving toward the world where the kind of psychological profiling of people is something that people are looking into.

It is, as Varka correctly noted, like Minority Report type stuff, though it's actually more dangerous because of the inherent over-inclusivity of the factors we know now.

At best, based on the research, we're at the place where we can isolate circumstantial factors that are associated with those who either engage in school shootings or become islamic terrorists. The "profile" of those types of individuals, to the extent that it ***CAN*** be described (and it's a limited extent, to be sure), are identical.

The problem is that the factors associated with those persons who engage in acts of wanton violence against individual people would identify far more people as "potential risks" than are "actual risks," even if a person meets each and every one of the "factors" associated with radicalism and violence. That's the problem; and it's a due process problem, a privacy problem, and it sets an incredibly ominous precedent for the reach of what apparatuses of law enforcement can do.

But, this is the future. In fifteen years, maybe even ten, people will be doing this. People may even be institutionalized for "interventions" before they commit problems, and there's precedent for that in the law (see, e.g. cases upholding perpetual and indefinite commitment of individuals who have been deemed "sexually violent predators").
Vox_Veritas
Posts: 7,065
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4/20/2016 6:19:46 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/20/2016 2:49:52 PM, YYW wrote:
https://www.washingtonpost.com...

This article is very cool, and if I ever was to study something like forensic psychology (or another similar, relevant field), it's a subject I'd be highly interested in.

Basically what happened here is that you've got a researcher who (though engaged in post hoc research) tried to map a digital footprint on a future killer. The implications of doing that are huge, and raise genuine concerns about privacy, the role of government, and what counts for an appropriate level of domestic surveillance. But it is very cool, nonetheless.

Long ago, I postulated that it was conceivable to profile future school shooters as well as future terrorists (and, in particular, Muslim youths who are likely to go radical based on what they do online. It looks like we're moving a step closer to that.

Rehabilitative intervention is one thing, but it would be unconstitutional to lock up people to protect society against their "potential crimes". A violent mind is no guarantee that a person will snap; they might live their whole lives without killing, raping, or abusing anyone. Better yet, in rare instances they may even change and become normal-minded. You can't prove that a person will definitely snap, and people should be assumed innocent until proven guilty.
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ColeTrain
Posts: 4,291
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4/20/2016 10:17:12 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/20/2016 2:49:52 PM, YYW wrote:
Long ago, I postulated that it was conceivable to profile future school shooters as well as future terrorists (and, in particular, Muslim youths who are likely to go radical based on what they do online. It looks like we're moving a step closer to that.

Could you explain something for me? How is it racist to profile based off of evidence like that? I'm perfectly fine with profiling future school shooters and terrorists, etc. because it is the safest option. Why is it (in the view of so many) racist to profile in circumstances like this? Similarly, why is it racist, according to the aforementioned group, to profile based on race where crime rates by certain races/ethnicities is much higher?
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YYW
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4/21/2016 4:40:08 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/20/2016 10:17:12 PM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 4/20/2016 2:49:52 PM, YYW wrote:
Long ago, I postulated that it was conceivable to profile future school shooters as well as future terrorists (and, in particular, Muslim youths who are likely to go radical based on what they do online. It looks like we're moving a step closer to that.

Could you explain something for me? How is it racist to profile based off of evidence like that?

I don't think it is, but remind me later (i.e. tomorrow) and I'll walk you through the arguments for and against it; both of which are reasonable.

I'm perfectly fine with profiling future school shooters and terrorists, etc. because it is the safest option. Why is it (in the view of so many) racist to profile in circumstances like this? Similarly, why is it racist, according to the aforementioned group, to profile based on race where crime rates by certain races/ethnicities is much higher?

Remind me later (i.e. tomorrow) and I'll walk you through the arguments for and against it; both of which are reasonable.
ColeTrain
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4/21/2016 2:00:04 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/21/2016 4:40:08 AM, YYW wrote:
At 4/20/2016 10:17:12 PM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 4/20/2016 2:49:52 PM, YYW wrote:
Long ago, I postulated that it was conceivable to profile future school shooters as well as future terrorists (and, in particular, Muslim youths who are likely to go radical based on what they do online. It looks like we're moving a step closer to that.

Could you explain something for me? How is it racist to profile based off of evidence like that?

I don't think it is, but remind me later (i.e. tomorrow) and I'll walk you through the arguments for and against it; both of which are reasonable.

I don't think it is, either.

I'm perfectly fine with profiling future school shooters and terrorists, etc. because it is the safest option. Why is it (in the view of so many) racist to profile in circumstances like this? Similarly, why is it racist, according to the aforementioned group, to profile based on race where crime rates by certain races/ethnicities is much higher?

Remind me later (i.e. tomorrow) and I'll walk you through the arguments for and against it; both of which are reasonable.

Will do! :)
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW
1harderthanyouthink
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4/21/2016 3:54:22 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/20/2016 5:28:45 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/20/2016 4:03:22 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
I don't agree with Langman's explanation on his turn, but w/e.

But, this is the future. In fifteen years, maybe even ten, people will be doing this. People may even be institutionalized for "interventions" before they commit problems, and there's precedent for that in the law (see, e.g. cases upholding perpetual and indefinite commitment of individuals who have been deemed "sexually violent predators").

That is what I would fear most.
"It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here,
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear - that I'm not here."

-Syd Barrett

DDO Risk King
Valkrin
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4/21/2016 4:08:12 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/20/2016 2:49:52 PM, YYW wrote:
https://www.washingtonpost.com...

This article is very cool, and if I ever was to study something like forensic psychology (or another similar, relevant field), it's a subject I'd be highly interested in.

Basically what happened here is that you've got a researcher who (though engaged in post hoc research) tried to map a digital footprint on a future killer. The implications of doing that are huge, and raise genuine concerns about privacy, the role of government, and what counts for an appropriate level of domestic surveillance. But it is very cool, nonetheless.

Long ago, I postulated that it was conceivable to profile future school shooters as well as future terrorists (and, in particular, Muslim youths who are likely to go radical based on what they do online. It looks like we're moving a step closer to that.

This type of technology reminds me of the one presented in Psycho Pass (an anime) where it analyzes people based on "Threat Levels". I don't know the whole specifics of it but it's supposed to be some sort of algorithm that determines whether the person is stable or not to function in society (or whether they'd commit a crime).

To be honest, if implemented properly with a very low chance of errors or zero errors, I wouldn't mind exchanging some of my privacy in order to keep my country safe.

The problem with this kind of technology as-is is that it's very experimental, and as such there will be many people who would "slip through" and many false positives. Would I exchange my privacy for a system that doesn't work as intended? No. But I could see the numerous benefits in this if it worked out AND it was already out of its experimental phase.
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." - Vaarka
YYW
Posts: 36,234
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4/21/2016 6:30:06 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/21/2016 3:54:22 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 4/20/2016 5:28:45 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/20/2016 4:03:22 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
I don't agree with Langman's explanation on his turn, but w/e.

But, this is the future. In fifteen years, maybe even ten, people will be doing this. People may even be institutionalized for "interventions" before they commit problems, and there's precedent for that in the law (see, e.g. cases upholding perpetual and indefinite commitment of individuals who have been deemed "sexually violent predators").

That is what I would fear most.

Yes, and that's what the concern is for me as well. Social science can tell us a lot of things; psychology too, but this is the kind of thing both will be used for in the future.
ford_prefect
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4/21/2016 10:13:23 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Interesting that none of the terrorists mentioned in the article were Muslim. They were all white males.

In addition to predicting which next white male terrorist will go "gun crazy" and shoot up a school, I'm also excited for the algorithms that can predict cop brutality:

http://fivethirtyeight.com...
ColeTrain
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4/22/2016 2:56:42 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/21/2016 4:40:08 AM, YYW wrote:
Remind me later (i.e. tomorrow) and I'll walk you through the arguments for and against it; both of which are reasonable.

Reminder bump. :)
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW
YYW
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4/22/2016 5:03:13 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/20/2016 10:17:12 PM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 4/20/2016 2:49:52 PM, YYW wrote:
Long ago, I postulated that it was conceivable to profile future school shooters as well as future terrorists (and, in particular, Muslim youths who are likely to go radical based on what they do online. It looks like we're moving a step closer to that.

Could you explain something for me? How is it racist to profile based off of evidence like that? I'm perfectly fine with profiling future school shooters and terrorists, etc. because it is the safest option. Why is it (in the view of so many) racist to profile in circumstances like this? Similarly, why is it racist, according to the aforementioned group, to profile based on race where crime rates by certain races/ethnicities is much higher?

Whether profiling is racist turns on how you think about racism. It kind of exists on a scale.

(lowest threshold) If any racial distinction results from kinds of acts of categorization, some people call that racism. That's, for example, how the people who believe that the SAT is racist, think about racism.

Other people think that if race is a correlated factor with something, such that there's a statistically significant relationship between that something and race, that relationship is racist. Describing numbers as "racist" is stupid, but people still do it. People who regard hiring practices as racist, generally fall into this category. There's some merit to understanding statistical differences, but the differences themselves are not racist; the implication there being that there may or may not be some racially motivated animus behind the numbers, though the numbers themselves are not racist.

(highest threshold) Other people yet require at least some kind of intent to make race based-based distinctions, to be racist. I'm in this camp. Without intent, there is no racism.

Having said that, profiling falls into all three of these camps, because it touches each of them in different ways. If we look at the general population, and find that first generation children of Arab immigrants from the middle east who are either youths or young adults are more likely to convert to radical Islam (a fact, by the way), people in the first camp say this is racist because a distinction between arabs and non-arabs (to the extent that middle eastern immigrants are Arabs are Muslims) is being drawn. This is the "identification" and "filtering" stage.

When we go into the "sorting" stage of profiling once we've got race as a correlated factor, we've got to control for all the other factors. Are these guys socially integrated into their communities? Do they have jobs, friends, and stable families? What kind of mosque to they attend? Is it a mosque that is known to work with the United States government to try to prevent the spread of radical Islam (the good guys), or is it a mosque that is hostile to the US government known for radical beliefs? Have there been any religious changes? Now we're past race, which was used for the purpose of identification and filtering, but we're moving into controlling for other variables, though race is still very much a conditionally associated factor. But the sorting stage goes beyond that, because after all, race is only (often) a necessary but not sufficient factor. (Note: you do not have to be Arabic to convert to radical islam. All members of all races have been known to do this, though specific kinds of people are more likely to do it than others.)

The third stage is where we get into intent: We're looking at people both because they're brown, and because we've gotten past the sorting stage where we can hierarchally rank people in terms of the statistical probability of the risk they pose to the general public. This is where it gets freaky, though it is very much possible to do. So, there, we're going to be monitoring people because they're brown, but also because they fit through an additional exhaustive list of criteria. Though there's very much an intentional selection made on the basis of race, due to the higher statistical probability of radical islamic conversion.

People who argue for this do so on the basis of appeals to society's general defense against radical Islam. The picture is more complicated, though. Way more complicated. But the people who argue against it (justifiably) are concerned for the threat that this kind of activity presents to individuals' civil liberties. It's a comes down to a choice between liberty and security, and that's a very hard set of issues to balance.
ColeTrain
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4/22/2016 10:36:28 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/22/2016 5:03:13 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/20/2016 10:17:12 PM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 4/20/2016 2:49:52 PM, YYW wrote:
Long ago, I postulated that it was conceivable to profile future school shooters as well as future terrorists (and, in particular, Muslim youths who are likely to go radical based on what they do online. It looks like we're moving a step closer to that.

Could you explain something for me? How is it racist to profile based off of evidence like that? I'm perfectly fine with profiling future school shooters and terrorists, etc. because it is the safest option. Why is it (in the view of so many) racist to profile in circumstances like this? Similarly, why is it racist, according to the aforementioned group, to profile based on race where crime rates by certain races/ethnicities is much higher?

Whether profiling is racist turns on how you think about racism. It kind of exists on a scale.

I agree. Perceptions of racism (just like feminism) of high sensitivity are become much more prevalent.

(lowest threshold) If any racial distinction results from kinds of acts of categorization, some people call that racism. That's, for example, how the people who believe that the SAT is racist, think about racism.

I can't understand this... IMO, it's frankly idiotic.

Other people think that if race is a correlated factor with something, such that there's a statistically significant relationship between that something and race, that relationship is racist. Describing numbers as "racist" is stupid, but people still do it. People who regard hiring practices as racist, generally fall into this category. There's some merit to understanding statistical differences, but the differences themselves are not racist; the implication there being that there may or may not be some racially motivated animus behind the numbers, though the numbers themselves are not racist.

This makes a little more sense. I can understand if you have two people who are basically at the same skill level and you hire because person A is a certain race. That's not right.

(highest threshold) Other people yet require at least some kind of intent to make race based-based distinctions, to be racist. I'm in this camp. Without intent, there is no racism.

I definitely agree.

Having said that, profiling falls into all three of these camps, because it touches each of them in different ways. If we look at the general population, and find that first generation children of Arab immigrants from the middle east who are either youths or young adults are more likely to convert to radical Islam (a fact, by the way), people in the first camp say this is racist because a distinction between arabs and non-arabs (to the extent that middle eastern immigrants are Arabs are Muslims) is being drawn. This is the "identification" and "filtering" stage.

People too often allow personal perception to get in the way of facts. I would only expect to be "filtered" if I were to identify with a group that has a history of violence. Of course, being in such an environment might change that view, but it's very logical from the outset.

When we go into the "sorting" stage of profiling once we've got race as a correlated factor, we've got to control for all the other factors. Are these guys socially integrated into their communities? Do they have jobs, friends, and stable families? What kind of mosque to they attend? Is it a mosque that is known to work with the United States government to try to prevent the spread of radical Islam (the good guys), or is it a mosque that is hostile to the US government known for radical beliefs? Have there been any religious changes? Now we're past race, which was used for the purpose of identification and filtering, but we're moving into controlling for other variables, though race is still very much a conditionally associated factor. But the sorting stage goes beyond that, because after all, race is only (often) a necessary but not sufficient factor. (Note: you do not have to be Arabic to convert to radical islam. All members of all races have been known to do this, though specific kinds of people are more likely to do it than others.)

I agree. I particularly find your last sentence to be true. There are certain groups that tend to lean toward violence, crime, etc. than other groups. The intent, then, is not focused on the race of the individual/group, it is directed at the tendencies. People complain "we're all the same." Even if everyone was white, we'd still arrest those who commit crimes. Adding a different race doesn't make the crime any less punishable, or make the criminal any less guilty. SJWs tend to misuse their argument.

The third stage is where we get into intent: We're looking at people both because they're brown, and because we've gotten past the sorting stage where we can hierarchally rank people in terms of the statistical probability of the risk they pose to the general public. This is where it gets freaky, though it is very much possible to do. So, there, we're going to be monitoring people because they're brown, but also because they fit through an additional exhaustive list of criteria. Though there's very much an intentional selection made on the basis of race, due to the higher statistical probability of radical islamic conversion.

Yeah. This is the point where it becomes iffy -- but still not because of race. Just because of *what* is done. But, you're right, statistical probability would justify monitoring, assuming you accept monitoring as justified.

People who argue for this do so on the basis of appeals to society's general defense against radical Islam. The picture is more complicated, though. Way more complicated. But the people who argue against it (justifiably) are concerned for the threat that this kind of activity presents to individuals' civil liberties. It's a comes down to a choice between liberty and security, and that's a very hard set of issues to balance.

Very true. If security measures *did* prevent crime and make life *way* better, I'd be more in favor. But, in reality, we can't stop crime altogether, so I generally think it's better to favor liberty at this stage. The preliminary work you mentioned from lower levels doesn't get so sticky and can help almost more than the latter stage anyways.

Btw, thanks for responding. Really nice to read stuff like this. :)
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW