Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Irreni Solutions VS The Baltimore Angels

Hi! Happy Tuesday!

Baltimore Angels? That's not right. The baseball team in Baltimore is named the Baltimore Orioles.  What's going on here?


Normally when you read 'versus" then the juxtaposition are on the two sides opposite of the word 'versus'.  A versus B would juxtaposition A against B. Right. However, in this case B doesn't exist where The Baltimore Angels don't exist. Mmmm.

Well I'm having a bit of fun aren't I. The real juxtaposition is not Irreni Solutions VS The Baltimore Angels because the Angels do not exist. The real juxtaposition or contrast in this case is Baltimore VS Angels, or the violence of Baltimore  versus the peace of  of our better angels.

Again, the contrast of the 'versus' is the violence of Baltimore versus the peace of our better angels.

This week the peaceful protests in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray by police  were taken over and co-opted by looters and violence doers. What should we think of this? Well, Irreni Solutions has a distinct take on it that is worth listening too: your intuition is wrong.


Pinker presents a large amount of data (and statistical analysis thereof) that, he argues, demonstrate that violence has been in decline over millennia and that the present is probably the most peaceful time in the history of the human species. The decline in violence, he argues, is enormous in magnitude, visible on both long and short time scales, and found in many domains, including military conflict, homicide, genocide, torture, criminal justice, and treatment of children, homosexuals, animals and racial and ethnic minorities. He stresses that "The decline, to be sure, has not been smooth; it has not brought violence down to zero; and it is not guaranteed to continue."
Pinker argues that the radical declines in violent behavior that he documents do not result from major changes in human biology or cognition. He specifically rejects the view that humans are necessarily violent, and thus have to undergo radical change in order to become more peaceable. However, Pinker also rejects what he regards as the simplistic nature versus nurture argument, which would imply that the radical change must therefore have come purely from external ("nurture") sources. Instead, he argues: "The way to explain the decline of violence is to identify the changes in our cultural and material milieu that have given our peaceable motives the upper hand."
The world is going to hell in a handbasket. That's what people think when they see images such as with Baltimore. Also a new meme is on the rise that police are killers. Every day new video of police indiscriminately killing for no reason makes the national news. It is difficult to watch police shooting people in the back and not think, "Wow, that's not what the police should be doing."

People's intuition will lead them to the wrong conclusion. Steven Pinker's book shows violence has declined in a world even with an ever larger population.  Awesome! That's what we should all be thinking. But we aren't, are we?  We are less violent than ever before and yet that is not the impression people have. Violence in the US has been on a dramatic decline for 40 years and yet people see the news and think the opposite.

What's going on?

What's going on is that your intuition is failing you. Your intuition is simply this:
  • Where there is smoke there is fire. 
That intuition works well with real smoke and real fire but fails miserably with statistics. In statistics smoke is considered an anecdote.

Challenge for you. Here's your challenge. Crime studies in the US have shown that child murder and child abduction off the streets by strangers is lower than it ever has been. Specifically, child abduction is lower than in the 1960s where kids like me grew up as "latch key" kids. When I was a kid I walked to school and walked home again, just like every other kid. Would you let your kid walk seven blocks home knowing it is safer today  then in the 1960s? That's the challenge. Would you let your kid walk home from school?

I've put this challenge to a couple of friends of mine awhile back and both gave an empathic "No!" for an answer.

People don't intuit statistics. For example, the lottery is tax on the poor and uneducated. I do not buy lottery tickets because I know better. I'm sorry but you are an idiot if you throw your money away on lottery tickets.  And yet people who know better, who know math, still buy lottery tickets and cannot let go of their intuition; an intuition that says buying a ticket means they might win.

Another case of failed intuition was demonstrated to me a few years ago when there was a sniper in Washington DC. A co-worker of mine cancelled a business trip. I was like, "why?" Her response was the snipers. I reminded her that mathematically speaking she was more likely to die in a car crash on the way to the airport than by then sniper given the population of DC. She said she knew this but couldn't help herself.

When it comes to scale your intuition will fail you, big time. Get it? ha! Big time! That is the lesson of Irreni Solutions VS The Baltimore Angels. One of the many, many, many reasons for everyone to have a solid understanding in math is to retrain your intuition for scale.

We are in the most peaceful time ever in human history but the media paints an anecdotal misrepresentation that is on the extreme other end.

So how does Irreni World Scale help people overcome their intuition and approach scale of topics like violence realistically?
  1. Information: The device of life is in the hands of everyone. The Terran Sea Otter Academy collects data for everyone. The Data Center On the Moon backs it all up to make it publically available as a trusted public resource.
  2. Moral diversity: If you read Steven Pinker's book about violence declining he points out that cosmopolitan world view mitigates tribal violence. Irreni promotes moral heterogeniety and not religion and moral homogeniety. The world is more secular than ever, more atheist than ever, and the most peaceful ever. Suck on that religion.
  3. Scaling Empathy. Moral diversity means building a tribe with people who have emotional spaces different from you that you can leverage. Like minded people create group-think that can bolster violence and has been human behavior since the dawn of time. Now with public education and public information massive empathy is made possible. 
In conclusion the fact of the matter is that police murdering black people may be on the decline now that police are getting caught on video more and more every day. However many people are just now becoming informed about police killers and will jump to a conclusion that the police murderers are on the rise when in fact they are just now being exposed for the first time ever.

The fact of the matter is we don't know if police killers are on the rise or decline. The fact of the matter is that an anecdote such as Baltimore does not a trend a make. And yet people will come to conclusions because of Baltimore. Irreni World Scale promotes scalable, 7 billion people solutions that work to overcome our natural intuition. It does so by using technology that helps people better make decisions in an information age that is managed by statistics and not intuition that smoke means fire.


Scale your empathy, scale the world! 

Find your tribe!

Be sexy people!

The future is coming! 

Innovate at a rapid pace!

Slow speed ahead!

Well come! and well met!

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