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(Daily Mail)   Crime rates dramatically dropped in the 2000s because of. A) Fewer immigrants. B) Increased police presence. C) Unleaded gasoline   (dailymail.co.uk) divider line 109
    More: Unlikely, off-road vehicles, Tulane University, inquiries  
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9728 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Jan 2013 at 12:36 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-04 02:46:47 AM
My theory is the invention of the transistor.

Originally, radios and TVs had a bunch of tube in them and many of those tubes contained noxious gases/radioactive elements in them. As radios and TV spread and became more popular, so too did crime spread. Trouble here is that all those tubes were not being recycled or disposed of properly. They were simply tosses into the trash... even the broken radioactive ones.

Then came the transistor. It began to replace more and more tubes in the radios and TVs in the very late 60s and early 70s. As more people bought the new transistor devices and got rid of the tube devices we see that the crime rate leveled (during the transition phase) and then declined.

Now, as we see the last of the CRT TVs/monitors going away in favor of LED/LCD we continue to see a decline in crime. Notice in the charts that it didn't matter if it was a 'tough on crime' city or a 'soft on crime' city. It happened uniformly as adoption of the transistor spread. It was the tubes that caused the crime and getting rid of the tubes is getting rid of the crime. QED.

/whar my PHD??? WHAR??
//and i'll take the grant money too
///i like money
 
2013-01-04 02:48:40 AM

47 is the new 42: Correlation != Causation, Daily FAIL. Also a sample size of six cities? Too small.


Ya talk about correlation...with the reduction in crime, which the news agencies have built themselves an empire in, comes news about other dramatic things. We're hearing more about congressional in-fighting, droughts, floods,cats stuck in trees, and crazies with guns. The media has a lot of space to fill, and gun control is much sexier than mental health and police control.
 
2013-01-04 02:52:07 AM
The most interesting thing about lead is that it has a well studied medical mechanism that would explain the effect attributed to it.

If legalized abortion were a significant cause of decreases in crime, one would expect states where laws have restricted and limited access to abortion through the death-by-papercuts methods being used by conservatives to circumvent the supreme court to have less significant drops in violent crime (major cities in Texas and Georgia; New Orleans), but that does not seem to be the case.
 
2013-01-04 03:10:58 AM

doglover: [extranosalley.com image 411x403]

Michigan Homicides peaked around '87.

My Little Pony'n Friends began running in syndication in '87.

QED My Little Pony is responsible for the global drop in crime.

Thank you. Where's my nobel prize in applied economics.


Correlation means causation. You can't argue with that.
 
2013-01-04 03:19:26 AM
www.aopa-malta.org

Still sold, BTW. Aviation "100LL" is "Low Lead". It's still leaded gasoline, in fact they may have more lead than what used to be put in cars.

Aircraft don't have catalytic converters to poison, and 30% of the aircraft out there have old engine designs that CAN'T run safely without 100LL.
 
2013-01-04 03:23:00 AM
ksj.mit.edu
www.mindfully.org

My god... it was in front of us ALL along!

Children NEED lead to prevent autism, autism is a LEAD DEFICIENCY!!
 
2013-01-04 03:25:32 AM

Ed Willy: If we can get rid of the shiat food poor people eat (in part due to the USA farm bill favoring high-fructose corn syrup and artery clogging meat) imagine how much more productive citizens we'd have.

Also, end the drug and see the number of arrests go down.


Uh. Poor people could rob faster?
 
2013-01-04 03:32:49 AM

Oznog: doglover: [extranosalley.com image 411x403]

Michigan Homicides peaked around '87.

My Little Pony'n Friends began running in syndication in '87.

QED My Little Pony is responsible for the global drop in crime.

Thank you. Where's my nobel prize in applied economics.

Correlation means causation. You can't argue with that.


No you can't.

24.media.tumblr.com
All hail our pastel protectors.
 
2013-01-04 05:11:02 AM

dameron: traylor: it's the crime rate that causes the drop in lead concentration.

Intriguingly, violent crime rates followed the same upside-down U pattern. The only thing different was the time period: Crime rates rose dramatically in the '60s through the '80s, and then began dropping steadily starting in the early '90s. The two curves looked eerily identical, but were offset by about 20 years.

From the original article.


I'd ALMOST buy it....except lead was also removed from things that kids were more likely to eat during that same 20-year offset. Like paint. If there is a correlation, it's more likely to be the removal of lead from paint, not the removal of lead from gasoline. And the switchover from lead water pipes to copper and, later PVC. Now if they really want to prove their theory, does the curve follow true only for the nation (since lead was removed from gasoline on a national mandate) or by state/county (since paint had to be abated much more slowly)? In other words, did go down first in areas where lead paint was removed first, and only later in areas where paint removal lagged?

THAT, if demonstrated, would prove correlation/causation much more closely than a silly gasoline/crime reduction curve. And also be a big predictor for areas where we could expect large pockets of violent crime (i.e. older areas where there are still old buildings with lead-based paint).
 
2013-01-04 05:15:08 AM

dameron: traylor: it's the crime rate that causes the drop in lead concentration.

Intriguingly, violent crime rates followed the same upside-down U pattern. The only thing different was the time period: Crime rates rose dramatically in the '60s through the '80s, and then began dropping steadily starting in the early '90s. The two curves looked eerily identical, but were offset by about 20 years.

From the original article.


I DNRTFA just looked at the graph. But it does make sense. Fewer bullets flying in the air means lower concentration of lead in the atmosphere. You cannot argue that.
 
2013-01-04 05:29:02 AM
Funny how gun control never seems to make the list of reasons for falling crime rates.
I would have blamed the increase in home video game systems. That has to have taken a chunk out of traffic accidents and kidnapping.
That and also the increase in cell phones, CCW, and video surveillance putting repeat offenders down faster.

/lead vs crime strikes me as a correlation not equalling causation argument.
/how we fueled our cars is one out of dozens of things that changed in society during that period.
/if stupid causes crime, why is crime so low back in the early 1900's, when there was plenty of stupid to go around?
/stupid AND unregistered automatic weapons should have equaled a bloodbath.
 
2013-01-04 05:36:49 AM

Britney Spear's Speculum: The religious right also tells me the bible (which is a cannon of books, not a single tome as most xtians would lead you to believe) is real written word of some dude in the sky. So it's not a far fetched idea that more abortions produces less criminals.


Fark the religious right, what they believe is irrelevant to reality. And I agree that more abortions and less lead have both produced less criminals, in fact I have stated both on occasion in the past, it's old news (and covered in Freakanomics among other places in fact). What I don't agree with is that excess estrogen makes one less violent, but there are obviously other biological effects that would make it something that should be reduced in the environment.
 
2013-01-04 05:42:47 AM

way south: /lead vs crime strikes me as a correlation not equalling causation argument.


Only in the same way that a bacon diet is correlated with heart disease. Lead has known psychological effects that include learning disabilities, behavioral problems and irritability. It would actually be surprising to me if lead wasn't a causative agent for criminal behavior.
 
2013-01-04 05:48:03 AM

DigitalCoffee: My theory is the invention of the transistor.

Originally, radios and TVs had a bunch of tube in them and many of those tubes contained noxious gases/radioactive elements in them. As radios and TV spread and became more popular, so too did crime spread. Trouble here is that all those tubes were not being recycled or disposed of properly. They were simply tosses into the trash... even the broken radioactive ones.

Then came the transistor. It began to replace more and more tubes in the radios and TVs in the very late 60s and early 70s. As more people bought the new transistor devices and got rid of the tube devices we see that the crime rate leveled (during the transition phase) and then declined.

Now, as we see the last of the CRT TVs/monitors going away in favor of LED/LCD we continue to see a decline in crime. Notice in the charts that it didn't matter if it was a 'tough on crime' city or a 'soft on crime' city. It happened uniformly as adoption of the transistor spread. It was the tubes that caused the crime and getting rid of the tubes is getting rid of the crime. QED.

/whar my PHD??? WHAR??
//and i'll take the grant money too
///i like money


I hate to burst your bubble but they were vacuum tube's. they did not contain consipersy gasses or emit magic crime radation.
 
2013-01-04 05:52:17 AM

way south: /if stupid causes crime, why is crime so low back in the early 1900's, when there was plenty of stupid to go around?
/stupid AND unregistered automatic weapons should have equaled a bloodbath.


What makes you think crime was so low back in the early 1900's? Crime actually was always much higher in the US than in Europe, and in the long run has been declining since colonial times. Certainly you have must heard of the era of prohibition and organized crime at least? A gilded age where a thin layer of wealth covered up the shiat underneath? Never mind the countless wars both large and small and eradication of our native population (yes I know a lot of that was from disease). Somehow I think you believe in a peaceful past that never actually existed in the US.
 
2013-01-04 05:59:44 AM

Gwyrddu: way south: /lead vs crime strikes me as a correlation not equalling causation argument.

Only in the same way that a bacon diet is correlated with heart disease. Lead has known psychological effects that include learning disabilities, behavioral problems and irritability. It would actually be surprising to me if lead wasn't a causative agent for criminal behavior.


But as an overall factor in crime its not acting alone, just as bacon isn't so much of a problem as the lethargic lifestyle that tends to follow it.

Weve been a motorized society since the 50's.
The drug war officially kicks off in 71.
The charts seem to span a bubble of aggression that covers the start of prohibition II and rounds off in the era of cheap information technology.

I see Money as a greater motivation for violent crimes, especially where gangs are making a large part of that happen. Surveillance and sharing of information (both by government and individuals) brings more perpetrators to justice.

The anecdotal evidence I'd offer is crime rates in US territories.
In the USVI we had a spike in the 70's despite barely having any cars or other new pollution sources.
What we did have was a port being abused to sneak contraband through.
Criminal money is a pollutant too.
 
2013-01-04 06:04:33 AM
Everyone knows the gas stations pay no more than twenty-nine cents a gallon for their supply. The rest is pure profit that these criminals cheat us out of!
 
2013-01-04 06:05:28 AM
Wow, no pirate chart?

Fark, I just can't quit you.
 
2013-01-04 06:16:20 AM

bobtheallmighty: DigitalCoffee: My theory is the invention of the transistor.

Originally, radios and TVs had a bunch of tube in them and many of those tubes contained noxious gases/radioactive elements in them. As radios and TV spread and became more popular, so too did crime spread. Trouble here is that all those tubes were not being recycled or disposed of properly. They were simply tosses into the trash... even the broken radioactive ones.

Then came the transistor. It began to replace more and more tubes in the radios and TVs in the very late 60s and early 70s. As more people bought the new transistor devices and got rid of the tube devices we see that the crime rate leveled (during the transition phase) and then declined.

Now, as we see the last of the CRT TVs/monitors going away in favor of LED/LCD we continue to see a decline in crime. Notice in the charts that it didn't matter if it was a 'tough on crime' city or a 'soft on crime' city. It happened uniformly as adoption of the transistor spread. It was the tubes that caused the crime and getting rid of the tubes is getting rid of the crime. QED.

/whar my PHD??? WHAR??
//and i'll take the grant money too
///i like money

I hate to burst your bubble but they were vacuum tube's. they did not contain consipersy gasses or emit magic crime radation.


Come to think of it, the inside of vacuum tube doesn't contain much of anything at all.
 
2013-01-04 06:24:45 AM
I'm gonna go with C even though while it may be the cause of reduced crime in the US it is also the same reason so many cars are on fire in France.

So, a draw then?
 
2013-01-04 06:35:04 AM

way south: But as an overall factor in crime its not acting alone, just as bacon isn't so much of a problem as the lethargic lifestyle that tends to follow it.

Weve been a motorized society since the 50's.
The drug war officially kicks off in 71.
The charts seem to span a bubble of aggression that covers the start of prohibition II and rounds off in the era of cheap information technology.

I see Money as a greater motivation for violent crimes, especially where gangs are making a large part of that happen. Surveillance and sharing of information (both by government and individuals) brings more perpetrators to justice.


Oh I agree that like almost all sociological phenomenon, the crime rate is a complex process that has multiple causes all interacting with each other, just how different lifestyle choices all affect our health in some fuzzy logic calculation.

But that's not what people mean when someone mentions causation vs correlation, they are rather talking about coincidental pairing of data points, like the joke example of the decrease of pirates and the increase of global warming, which clearly have nothing to do with each other.

Money which feeds organized crime through prohibited vices which will never disappear does feed into the crime rate, but that doesn't take away from the effect of lead or abortions among other things. Other factors include the larger number of (untreated) mentally in this country and easier access to deadlier weaponry.

As for the effect of information technology, I'd say that's more debatable. Criminals can just as well or sometimes make better use of commonly used technology as police can and as organization technology can make criminal enterprises more efficient. I think surveillance in general gives more of an illusion of safety than it does actual safety, and in most cases I think there are better ways to deter crime (I certainly don't want to go down the road London has in that regard).
 
2013-01-04 06:36:07 AM
On top of all of that, the crack cocaine epidemic really skews the violence numbers for about fifteen years.
 
2013-01-04 06:47:28 AM
Cheap enthralling videogames like Xbox.

Idle hands do the devil's work.
 
2013-01-04 06:50:10 AM
e) the best president ever.
 
2013-01-04 07:03:11 AM
upload.wikimedia.org

No studies showing the impact of this guy on crime rates? The only reason I'm not out raping and pillaging this very second is that I'm afraid I'd disappoint McGruff, the crime dog.
 
2013-01-04 07:14:30 AM

GhostFish: fusillade762: D) Legalized abortion

I'm inclined to think it's both.

Unwanted children raised in impoverished environments where they'll be exposed to more toxins. It's like the origin story for bad supervillains.


They definitely both contribute. As do tougher sentencing laws and better policing techniques. Its not just one factor.
 
2013-01-04 07:15:24 AM

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: On top of all of that, the crack cocaine epidemic really skews the violence numbers for about fifteen years.


This too.
 
2013-01-04 07:19:30 AM
And you can see, it wasn't what we thought. There's been no war here and no terraforming event. The environment is stable. It's the Pax. The G-23 Paxilon Hydrochlorate that we added to the air processors. It was supposed to calm the population, weed out aggression. Well, it works. The people here stopped fighting. And then they stopped everything else. They stopped going to work, they stopped breeding, talking, eating. There's 30 million people here, and they all just let themselves die. I have to be quick! About a tenth of a percent of the population had the opposite reaction to the Pax. Their aggressor response increased beyond madness. They have become...Well, they've killed most of us. And not just killed... they've done things... I won't live to report this, but people have to know. We meant it for the best... to make people safer.
 
2013-01-04 08:13:16 AM

ArcadianRefugee: Ed Willy: Also, end the drug war and see the number of arrests go down.

FTFY.


Still wrong, try again.
 
2013-01-04 08:18:34 AM

Gwyrddu: Money which feeds organized crime through prohibited vices which will never disappear does feed into the crime rate, but that doesn't take away from the effect of lead or abortions among other things. Other factors include the larger number of (untreated) mentally in this country and easier access to deadlier weaponry.


The power of the weapons has changed very little. The ease of access to guns is actually down because of technology flagging repeat offenders (to include gang members, the domestically violent and the mentally ill).

Gangs can circumvent this of course, but that's because of all the money they get through the drug war. The rise and fall of meth and crack as popular drugs had a big impact on crime, just as prohibition did before.

It can be argued that a change in lead exposure seems to coincide with violence, but its also happening during a major change in drug policy and technology.
The lead theory only holds until the bottom either falls out of the drug market or the crime trends begin to reverse.
 
Esn
2013-01-04 08:20:54 AM

ThrobblefootSpectre: Esn: Although I can see why free will advocates would be outraged and attempt to discredit this.

Free will advocates?

I take it you believe your life is predetermined?


I've read too much about neuroscience to believe that there's some sort of invisible "soul" that's responsible for how we act.

So yes, I do. The mind is a subset of the body.

And the whole reason why studies like this are not widely accepted is because most people really don't want that to be true, so they ignore evidence that suggests it.
 
2013-01-04 08:21:31 AM
Kids are just more lazy each year.
 
2013-01-04 08:27:44 AM

fusillade762: D) Legalized abortion


E) Packed prisons. The right ones are in jail. (Alongside the people busted for pot possession)
 
2013-01-04 08:34:23 AM
Crime rates are dropping because

A) Technology makes crimes harder. Its much easier to catch people with modern technology than it was during the old days.

B) Technology makes people complacent. Now instead of hanging out in the street getting drunk, people sit in front of the TV/Computer and veg out.

/My theories
 
2013-01-04 08:45:16 AM
Well, maybe it would have stopped these guys?

upload.wikimedia.org

/Maybe not, they were on a mission from God
 
2013-01-04 08:52:12 AM

traylor: [i.dailymail.co.uk image 634x436]

Looking at the graph, a change in the trend of lead concentration happens after a change in the trend of crime rate more often than not. The scientists are idiots, it's the crime rate that causes the drop in lead concentration.


You may want to read the article. The lead curve is shifted by 22 years.
 
2013-01-04 08:55:14 AM
From the Mother Jones article, it looks like it's been cross-referenced across states and nations -- entities that ditched leaded gasoline (which spews lead in the air for everyone to breathe) saw lowered crime 20 years later as. Even though overall birthrates are down from the Baby Boom, as the echo boomers of the 80s and 90s hit 16-25 year old range, there should have been a spike in crime (and throw in the recession, it should have spiked even more.)

The article also referenced a spike in lead paint use that corresponded with a spike in murder and violent crime years later.

As for crack, crack sounds like the perfect thing to make irritable, violence-prone young men even more irritable and violent.

I blame the Roman Empire. There may have been something to the leaded pipe theory but it turns out they did a surprising amount of cooking in lead pots.
 
2013-01-04 09:01:13 AM

way south: Funny how gun control never seems to make the list of reasons for falling crime rates.


TFA is out of the UK where gun laws have been a constant for decades. Their effect on crime rates has, therefore, also been constant for decades.
 
2013-01-04 09:37:52 AM

Alonjar: Crime rates are dropping because

A) Technology makes crimes harder. Its much easier to catch people with modern technology than it was during the old days.

B) Technology makes people complacent. Now instead of hanging out in the street getting drunk, people sit in front of the TV/Computer and veg out.

/My theories


What made them climb in the 60s?
 
2013-01-04 09:45:04 AM

way south: But as an overall factor in crime its not acting alone, just as bacon isn't so much of a problem as the lethargic lifestyle that tends to follow it.

Weve been a motorized society since the 50's.
The drug war officially kicks off in 71.
The charts seem to span a bubble of aggression that covers the start of prohibition II and rounds off in the era of cheap information technology.


When you chart back far enough, the crime spike actually starts in the late 20s. Most charts start in 1950 or so, which is when the crime fatigue that spanned the end of WWII ends. Still, the rate in 1950 was markedly higher than the rate in 1920.
 
2013-01-04 09:47:46 AM

Jarhead_h: Why the unlikely tag? Lead toxicity comes with psychotic behavior. This isn't debatable. And lo and behold, the first generation to grow up not inhaling it every waking moment of every day is less violent than the previous two that did.


Less violent, yes, but is it less psychotic? Have rates of psychopathy actually dropped, or just the later step of violence?
 
2013-01-04 09:52:24 AM
From what I can tell of the ACTUAL published article:

Link

Least Squares Regression was used, which means that they failed to account to auto-correlation that is inherent in the time series nature of the data. LS regression assumes that the errors are independent and identically distributed. In the case of time series data, this is not the case, since each moment in time is somewhat dependent on the previous observation.

As wikipedia points out:

Link

This leads to an inflation of the t-statistics of the coefficients, making them appear more significant than they are (higher t-values are more significant). The authors claim that 90% of the violence can be accounted for by lead, yet the underlying time series trend most likely accounts for most of this.

Without a proper time series correction, the entire findings of this paper are questionable as this is a very serious design error.

Disclaimer: I did not read the full article, but read enough from the available materials to see key references to OLS regression and a lack of reference to time series methods. I reserve the right to be wrong, having not read the article in it's entirety.
 
2013-01-04 10:05:58 AM

Benni K Rok: bobtheallmighty: DigitalCoffee: My theory is the invention of the transistor.

Originally, radios and TVs had a bunch of tube in them and many of those tubes contained noxious gases/radioactive elements in them. As radios and TV spread and became more popular, so too did crime spread. Trouble here is that all those tubes were not being recycled or disposed of properly. They were simply tosses into the trash... even the broken radioactive ones.

Then came the transistor. It began to replace more and more tubes in the radios and TVs in the very late 60s and early 70s. As more people bought the new transistor devices and got rid of the tube devices we see that the crime rate leveled (during the transition phase) and then declined.

Now, as we see the last of the CRT TVs/monitors going away in favor of LED/LCD we continue to see a decline in crime. Notice in the charts that it didn't matter if it was a 'tough on crime' city or a 'soft on crime' city. It happened uniformly as adoption of the transistor spread. It was the tubes that caused the crime and getting rid of the tubes is getting rid of the crime. QED.

/whar my PHD??? WHAR??
//and i'll take the grant money too
///i like money

I hate to burst your bubble but they were vacuum tube's. they did not contain consipersy gasses or emit magic crime radation.

Come to think of it, the inside of vacuum tube doesn't contain much of anything at all.


Incorrect.
 
2013-01-04 10:10:36 AM
Kids used to do this:
t1.gstatic.com
Now they do this:
nivel22.com
 
2013-01-04 10:12:51 AM
It [leaded gas] is still in use - but only in race cars, piston-powered airplanes and some off-road vehicles.

Which goes a long way toward explaining NASCAR fans.
 
2013-01-04 10:13:08 AM

GAT_00: Keeping on the biological aspect, there's a chance it could be the increasing levels of estrogen in the water that is making us less violent. That rise in estrogen is well documented, from chemicals and things like birth control pills. The levels are high enough to cause deformations in some fish.


No, estrogen is what makes men become Progs -- relying on the State apparatus to commit your violence, instead of at least having the stones to commit it personally.
 
2013-01-04 10:34:55 AM
This is all BS.

When I was a kid, back in the 70s, my friends and I owned minibikes. Those minibikes ran on leaded gasoline. We used to siphon gas for our minibikes from the gas tanks of our parents' cars by mouth. I'm not typing this from prison.

/Believe me or I'll kill you.
 
2013-01-04 10:50:19 AM

Zasteva: Alonjar: Crime rates are dropping because

A) Technology makes crimes harder. Its much easier to catch people with modern technology than it was during the old days.

B) Technology makes people complacent. Now instead of hanging out in the street getting drunk, people sit in front of the TV/Computer and veg out.

/My theories

What made them climb in the 60s?


Ummm...
www.findingdulcinea.comwww.pbs.orgupload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-01-04 11:13:35 AM
And if lead were truly the cause then China would be overflowing with stark-raving-mad psychopaths since they can't seem to make anything without getting significant levels of lead into their stuff.
 
2013-01-04 11:21:04 AM

SageC: Zasteva: Alonjar: Crime rates are dropping because

A) Technology makes crimes harder. Its much easier to catch people with modern technology than it was during the old days.

B) Technology makes people complacent. Now instead of hanging out in the street getting drunk, people sit in front of the TV/Computer and veg out.

/My theories

What made them climb in the 60s?

Ummm...
[www.findingdulcinea.com image 195x225][www.pbs.org image 230x160][upload.wikimedia.org image 250x174]


So desegregation, police and vietnam?

Let us know when you find a study as high quality as the one mentioned that shows strong correlation to all those factors at a variety of scales and also has a scientifically understood mechanism (lead poisoning) for the changes.
 
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