Tag Archives: profiling

Liars and Outliers

Tonight, on Skeptically Speaking, Desiree Schell will interview Bruce Schneier, author of Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive. From the Amazon page, the author notes: “This book represents my attempt to develop a full-fledged theory of coercion and how it enables compliance and trust within groups. My goal is to rephrase some of those questions and provide a new framework for analysis. I offer new perspectives, and a broader spectrum of what’s possible. Perspectives frame thinking, and sometimes asking new questions is the catalyst to greater understanding. It’s my hope that this book can give people an illuminating new framework with which to help understand the world.”

The Book, Liars and Outliers.
You may remember the Marshal McLuhan Incident that recently happened on Sam Harris’s nonBlog. Harris had been pushing blatant racial profiling and was heavily criticized for this. So, he went to the expert, Bruce Schneier and asked for a guest blog post to evaluate Harris’s ideas. To his credit, Harris ended up Marshal McLuhaning himself when Schneier essentially backed up the ongoing critiques of his, Harris’s, arguments.

As usual, Desiree will conduct the interview before a live radio audience on line. The edited interview will be provided at the end of the week, along with a special guest appearance by me, in which I will talk about an issue related to Schneier’s book.

This week, we’re talking about trust and cooperation, and the implications these social values have for security in the era of global networking. We’re joined by security technologist and author Bruce Schneier, to talk about his book Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust Society Needs to Survive. And on the podcast anthropologist/blogger Greg Laden returns to discuss speculation about cognitive limits on the use of social networks.

We record live with Bruch Schneier on Sunday, June 3 at 6 pm MT. The podcast will be available to download at 9 pm MT on Friday, June 8.

Details and links, including a link to the live show, are HERE.

Sam Harris is Right: Profile away!

In a recent essay, called “In Defense of Profiling,” Sam Harris defends profiling. The basic idea is sound, even though he’s gotten some opposition. You look at some person and figure “Oh, that person is very unlikely to be a terrorist” based on some model or another, and ignore them. Then you look at another person and you go “Oh, that person is much more likely to be a terrorist … better check ’em out” and so on. If your concept of what makes a person more likely a terrorist is correct, then you will have a better chance of catching a terrorist, and it will take fewer resources to do so.

Continue reading Sam Harris is Right: Profile away!

Cambridge Cop has some ‘splainin’ to do…

According to the following, the person who made the 911 call did not mention race until asked, and even then did not mention “two black males with backpacks.” The two black guys with backpacks seem to have been added in to the police report authored by Police Seargant James Crowley. Specifically, he states that the 911 caller observed these two men. That is not even slightly surprising to me. There is nothing close to a guarantee that police reports will be accurate, and race is often used as a factor when discussing crime. It is most sensible, it would seem, to investigate black men doing things. After all, they … do things. (Profiling anyone?)

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy