© 2018 by Sohaila Mosbeh.

  • Sohaila Mosbeh

Dirty Data

Class 02- Reading reflections and research.


Nothing good can come from predictions:


Diving into this research I had to familiarize myself with how some US law enforcement troubles with discriminatory police practices and otherwise know as stop and frisk, which in many cases show it resulting in targeting mostly people of color. By stopping an individual, arresting them and then search which feeds into a violent cycle of corruption include covering up crimes.


Juking the stats is a new term I never heard of before, according to the reading it defined it as the inflating or deflating of crime data that can correlate to specific policies. Meaning maybe it's violence stats can be manipulated to show it lower as it really is, but the repercussions that might result in citizens not being heard properly from the police or even the law enforcement themselves might not properly report the crime as a serious case. Another side of this term which was scary to learn about is when the oppiste happens reporting highs amount of crimes to justify the need for a lot of technological interference within certain neighborhoods. Such technologies as surveillance cameras, automated license plate readers, finger print scanner and taser guns. I can't help but wonder if such equipment are getting increasingly implemented how would that effect the stop and frisk policy? How does it feed into the state of police brutality?


So what is predictive policing? it's identified as two ways. One is place based predictions, which tries to predict where crime might occur in specific regions in a window of time. Two is a person based prediction, which tries to identify via network who is a possible victim and who is will commit the crime. In all cases this does not sound good in any way, if the roots of this technology grew from corrupt data and unjust policies. How can anything be trusted? "The absence of data is as significant as its creation..."

Towards the end of the research paper is a table of public data about the use and proposed use of predicting policing systems to see how dirty data would affect the use by these systems and results. For example a case like Chicago they used a person based predictive resulted in the individuals labeled as high risk on such list have never even been arrested and the majority of that list were young black men. It puzzling to me to comprehend using a predictive device or system, are human's a bit more complex than data?


“Billions of years ago, you were a big bang, but now you’re a complicated human being. And then we cut ourselves off, and don’t feel that we’re still the big bang.” — Alan Watts


Alan Watts, was British writer and lecturer who popularized eastern philosophy to the western audience. Watts fascination with the Zen teaching developed due to the embodied spirituality along with practicality, in his later years he had a weekly radio program KPFA in Berkeley he was not paid for the broadcast and he continued until 1962. His talks and lectures can be still heard today on youtube. Watts covers many topics but the most impactful ones I can recall in the the full spectrum of love and the dream of life, in it he defines the self not as the end result of the big bang. But as the original force of the universe an on going process of the big bang. His ways of explaining this concept is like stumbling on a magical force consistently thinking and wondering how all of the sudden life makes sense. His ways of breaking down elements such as falling in love, and then goes to further dissect the aspect of just using the word falling instead of rising describes this ghastly action of how it is a condition of their being life for all life is an act of faith and act of gamble, by giving ones self up.