Vadim Berman

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The future of crime

OK, maybe it's a bit twisted of me, but I am curious. Are the career criminals of the future all going to be B2cr ("business to criminal", e.g. robbing a warehouse, prostitution, drug trade) professionals and computer hackers?

Even today, I can't see how it's possible to make a living breaking in and stealing electronics, or picking pockets for a few hundreds or a smartphone that will go out of fashion tomorrow and probably contains a tracking device. It makes little to no sense to obtain plastic means of payment, because it makes getting caught easier.

I do realise that the disparity among the different countries is huge (in monetary terms). But even the bulk of what used to be called "third world" and is now known as "emerging markets", will have the same magnitude of ratio of average earnings to valuables being carried, in a matter of 20 - 30 years.

All replies are welcome, but reactions from law enforcement professionals are much appreciated.

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    Mar 20 2012: I don't believe white collar criminals will resort to traditional pickpocketing even if they have a prison record and I don't think blue collar criminals will delay the adrenaline rush and instant money to use computers to increase their take. Just like other careers, things come and go. You might be a career criminal but it could take many forms jiust like everyone else life does.
    Recently I have seen crimes in heatlthcare. Kickbacks for bringing in patients, kickbacks for showing up for a test or operation, hospitals firing good doctors and getting cheaper staff who don't benefit the patient but benefit the bottom line. Crimes against the elderly will increase with lack of jobs and an increase helpless older people.
    I'm sure it's hard to get back into the workforce after being in jail, so crime would see attractive. Problem is, to get a job you have to have skills and a proven track record. You don't want to get caught again.
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      Mar 20 2012: An extremely insightful comment, thanks a lot.
  • Mar 20 2012: Yeah but if you steal 5 smartphones a day and sell them for 40 dollars each you would be making 52k/year. I think we would be lucky just to see humans last another 30 years, much less see the evolution of crime into a more technological age. Crime has been evolving since the first societies, its doubtful you would see much difference between now and 2 years from now.
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      Mar 20 2012: I kinda wonder how one can steal 5 smartphones a day. Not to mention that many of them are using tracking services, which will bring the whole "venture" down in no time.
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        Mar 21 2012: When I was in the telco biz, the re-fitted prepaid phones were beign bought at a subsidised rate and sent off into China to be re-chipped and onsold in teh Asian market. That was before the phone ID number became part of the comms packets along with the SIM ID. SO I suppose the new process is to falsify the phoneID and register it in unregulated networks .. or just bribe networks to register your phony IDs. SO then to more monitoring and tracking .. each time loading up the comms with more ID packets.
        Another way was to case-out the delivery schedules and hijack the trucks with new phones - around 4 mill per shipment. REsult? Armed escorts and randomised schedules - increased costs and a higher premium on corrupting a truck driver.
        The only one I directly fixed was the practice of cable guys selling de-installed set top boxes out of the back of their vans. I put a process in to track de-installs, a lot of cable guys went to jail .. and within 2 weeks, the market was being satisfied at gunpoint - taking new STB's directly from the depots.
        Each fix makes the problem worse.
        I've seen this everywhere - systems that used to crash and result in me getting called at 3am to log in and fix a file, then putting atomatic recovery in place and still being called at 3am to fix the failures in the fixes and each layer of fixes requiring more and more time spent fixing at 3am.
        I called the process "Artificial Stupidity".
        And it all has to do with trying to control risk.
        Risk cannot be controled - it can only be delayed into a great heap that eventually collapses.
        SO Vadim - look to the industries that are preparing to reap the benefits of collapsing risk. It will be all about charging people for a haven while the risk you delay gets dropped on someone else.
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        Mar 21 2012: Forgot to add - how do you steal 5 smartphones per day?
        You give backpackers $5 per unit and just set them loose.
        THey pay the subsidised prepaid fee at the legit phone-merchant, and you reimburse plus $5.
        The handset is actually worth at least 4 times as much - with the real profits coming from call rates.
        SO there's a markup that can be had in other jurisdictions with the non-legit phone merchants reaping the difference in subsidies paid by legit merchants.
        ANd the backpackers are happy to get $5 for a few minutes of their time - they can subsidise themselves on only an hours work/day..

        And dissabling gps is a doddle.
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    Mar 20 2012: So vadim would survey data,history data,all the data collected by all those progs that we have installed and haven't read the eula is also up for grabs? Some savvy group could use it to lay in false data trails that leads back to a stolen ip, if the average user doesn't clean out their history.

    What about kim dotcom? he's one very smart man and julian lasange who by the way might consider running for the Australian senate in absentia,i heard it on the talk back here in nz though it probably is radio gossip.
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    Mar 20 2012: So, the question is, "what kind of current criminal activities will in the future be viable"

    That would make me ask:
    What would still considered to be criminal?

    If I assume the definition to be: "any non-positive sum game", then I would assume there will always be free-riders.
    The ways to free-riding are almost limitless... as is abuse.
    I suspect that such (negative sum game) behavior is bigger if means of survival are lower.

    My hypothesis is that crime will decrease (as we get more pro-social)
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      Mar 20 2012: Like I mentioned, law enforcement professionals are especially welcome :-) .

      There are obviously things falling into the grey zone or potentially harmful for the economic order (insider trading, barratry, some say blackmail, IP piracy), but probably the easiest definition of an economic crime is a transaction from another party to oneself, not defined by law, and done despite being detrimental to the donor or a 3rd party. Yeah, "non-positive sum game".

      And yes, I also believe that the crime will in general decrease.
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      Mar 20 2012: I agree there could be less crime with social networks in place. Growing up in a small town is different from living in the city, as I do now. Social networks feel like being in a small town, a fishbowl. In my opinion, the benefits of small towns is people are more ethical but the downside is that every mistake and risk is recorded. It's harder to take chances because of your reputation. You can neither try new things, screw up, do something immoral or out of your area of expertise without risking your reputation.
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        Mar 20 2012: Why must you care of what others think of you? People are bound to talk, whether you do well or do bad. Why not accept it and live your life the way you want, with a rational mindset of course. I say screw what people think, but do be compassionate and understanding, not materialistic and superficial. =)
      • Mar 23 2012: Suzanne, things are that black and white so to speak. We tend to stereotype, as in your perception of small town culture. However different towns vary in morals and values as do areas and individuals in large cities. And a lot depends on the economic climate of a specific area. In small towns in Humbolt county you might consider are lacking in ethics since many people there are involved in the illegal drug trade (cannabis) since the lumber industry was destroy by government regulation and depletion of trees. Your area may be influenced by other dynamics like Christianity etc. How social networks will lead to lower crime is purely speculative since there will never be a way to actually quantify a correlationary relationship. Economics however provide a better tool to determine potential crime factors.
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      Mar 20 2012: Nice take Christophe,

      There is no crime without law :)

      So I suppose that any new crime will be related to any new law.

      And Vadim's answer is to just watch the legislation - every new law passed will indicate to the "criminal" which crimes to choose from.

      .. makes you wonder why laws are passed these days .. it's a bit of a lolly bag and represents one of teh only reliable abundances we have.

      Eating lawyers sounds cool .. damn! canibalism is already illegal .. but if we can get them legislated as non-human .. then pass a law that it's illegal to eat lawyers .. anyone up for a steak?
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    Mar 19 2012: Hi Vadim,

    I reckon this is a complex discussion, so much avenues to blame (The demand for who or what they are stealing for, lifestyle/low socio-economic areas) or it could purely be the adrenaline of getting away with something or the joy of gettting something for free. A serial killer grows an addiction so it highly likely for career criminals to do so too.

    The system may need speculation? Once you have an offense on your criminal record and you apply at the local McDonalds, your very unlikely to pass a criminal check to get a job that nobody really wants. Placing offenders with no other choice to exist in a further career of crime.

    There might be a need for change in the layout of the criminal record documents. Maybe next to the offences, you'd have a list of courses or payments the offender attended and paid to rehabilitate them from such offenses so employers can read that something was done about it.

    If their offense was to do with money, the employer can direct the applicant to a job title away from money.
    At the moment it points out all the negatives giving no chance for anyone to move forward from their history.

    Sorry if this is irrelevant.
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      Mar 19 2012: Hi Sam,

      Thanks for that. I'm basically curious to see where it's going.

      Adrenaline is an interesting aspect. Indeed, it makes sense that many are too ambitious for minimum wage jobs, and if they can't find another legal opportunity, they try themselves elsewhere.
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    Mar 23 2012: Guess I'm paranoid. I know that everything I write or say on the phone is tracked in a database. Lots of businesses have started out illegally as noted above. People make mistakes.Customs differ by country or region. I have known people from the Czech Republic who could not speak freely in their own homes. I agree with Jimmy Carter who said we are not allowed to even discuss Israel because we would be hushed by being labelled anti-semitic. It will be hard to measure how social networking affects people and crime. I see someone's name in the news for a crime of any kind and now I can see their facebook friends and their professional friends. I can even see inside their houses through zillow. All I'm saying is that it's hard to be creative and make mistakes when life is so public. Innovation comes from taking risks whether they are legal or illegal, moral or immoral.
  • Mar 22 2012: Crime is a construct of society, nothing more... nothing less. Some things that were considered crimes in the past are accepted in society today while new definitions constantly emerge thus creating new crime. Crime does not exist with any other species on Earth. So as society and culture change, so will the crimes of the future. For instance, no drugs were considered illegal until the early 20th century, now certain drugs, under very specific conditions are considered illegal. Any users, distributors, manufacturers are committing crime. The causation is the rule of societal law, nature stayed constant. Murder is only illegal in certain situations also. If the President sends a predator drone to kill someone in the Middle East and innocents die in collateral damage that is rationalized as acceptable by society. However if a U.S. citizen kills another citizen without a societal acceptable rationalization, then that is a crime. Basically, the future of crime is based on the future definitions of such behavior and determined by societies, not individuals. Chewing gum may become a crime if it set by society. Anything is possible, and logic and reason may present very little value in setting such definitions.
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    Mar 22 2012: I'm urgently trying to get a functional map of the state of humanity in order for humanity to have some traction at this time of challenge.
    It all has to do with the nature of space and metaspace - this includes crime.
    About crime - all I can say is that the only crime in any game is to be alive.
    From there, you must play to be alive.
    Stop playing - grow-up and be alive anyway.
    The traction map? Simple:
    THe interface between space and metaspace is defined by:
    1. perception. (lags behind in time) Humans gain enlarged perception through communication - modulated by trust.
    2. Agency. (Agency preceeds time)
    everything between perception and agency is life. And it exists in metaspace.
    All Life violates time.
    To be human is to trust.
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      Mar 22 2012: I am curious....what are you like in person, and do you have a slot for usbs in your body so I can download your knowledge into my own? You possilby hold a key role in giving this world a large paradigm shift into the next advances of the world. I encourage you to start some type of large movement that would move people from around the world to join and possibly something positive may happen to the world or the world may end up reconstructing itself, which could be a good thing. =)
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        Mar 22 2012: LOL!
        Well . it's all pretty easy - you just have to dare to fail.
        You stick your head up. and if it doesn't get shot-off, you do it better the next time.
        You get a lot of near-misses and lose your ear .. but so long as you take time to heal . you can keep your head up long enough to smell the roses and look at the scenery.
        It's the strangest thing . you see so much darkness. but that allows you to see so much light.
        Watching the TED talks and exposing my ignorance in these discussions has allowed me to join some important dots.. Then you end up with one of those "does the pope sh*t in the woods?" observations of the obvious.
        It is obvious to me now that Humanity has been taken for a dirty little trip into the woods. And I'd like to see us hack our way out.
        It's been going on for a while - all this involution that got started with farming -> the farming of people. It's all based on the notion that comptetition between people is the one and only rule of success. But it's not - trust is the one and only characteristic that gives humans their edge. HUman competition serves only the psychopath - and the psychopath has been running this fake selection routine to produce more psychopaths since the advent of agriculture. WE grow up in this atmosphere and assume that it has always been that way and there is no other way to be - learning the truth of it is traumatic because it's a process of un-learning the lie. And it's hard - because the lie has been going for the whole of recorded history.
        All vested interests re-lie on the lie - so .. If I started a movement, all my followers would be rounded up and shot.
        So what do you do?
        Well, you sow seeds and support those things that erode the lie. Create groundswell - so that when it all comes together, it comes together like a crystal - all happening at once, and unstoppable when it does. The good thing about that is everyone comes to the same conclusion as if they just thought it up themselves - they take ownership - of themselvs
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          Mar 24 2012: Dare to fail...I like that thought. =)

          And shot! HAHA! I guess this supposed 2012 "end of the world" crap, is just what you would like, but you aren't the first I've heard that one from...I'm not sure if that is categorized as pesimistic or optimistic. HAHA!

          OMG, I can't believe that I, not the first person on earth, didn't think of that idea first! haha! Very true observation. Let's all go have a drink now. haha!
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        Mar 25 2012: SNork/CHortle!

        I've been accused of being teh "illuminati" more than once ;)

        I think the "dare to fail" thing was one of those Dale Carnegie wisdoms .. maybe he got it from teh Masons. Like all that stuff, it can be taken the wrong way. - You have to pick-out the self-destructive bits.

        End of the world? Well, as we know it anyway. The pillars of civillisation are all pretty much screwed at this point. SO what falls down? And did we really need it anyway? THere is certainly going to be a lot of disruption, but people are pretty effective in a crisis .. I don't imagine it will be the worst case, but it kinda can't be the best case either. I just hope htat not too many people get wrecked by it. Being centered on your true self will be an advantage .. getting out of competition and into trust will also be essential. All I can say is that anyone with blood on their hands will have marked themselves for extinction.
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    Mar 21 2012: Well, that's what I'm saying, Mitch. The criminals in the future have to create complex schemes and get into technical details, even for a low-grade occupation like pickpocketing.

    This is not unlike transportation. It used to be simple: feed the horse, remove what it left behind in the stables. Today one has to know about injectors, unleaded gasoline, tyre pressure, ABS, road tolls with smart cards.

    And as much as we love making things look dramatic and "desperate", the so-called hardship of modern people is no match for what people used to undergo a couple of hundred years ago. In the current economic "depression" the bulk of population is able to afford phones with cameras and iPads. Oh no, I won't get massages for my feet and won't be able to watch TV in 5D! Two hundred years ago children were being hanged or sent to far away colonies for stealing bread. A bit of a difference, isn't it?
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      Mar 21 2012: Well Vadim, One of my ancestors was cabin-boy on the barqu Endeavour(May the glory of England's light be held on high), and one was a boy shipped into the penal colony of Australia on the hulks - for stealing bread. (May the hated English rot in the hell of their shame).

      You are talking about different types of crime. Crimes of property have always been about 2 things - the oppression of the dissposessed and the game itself. The oppression og the disposessed is committed by teh state - and is perfectly legal., In fact the laws are designed to enact the oppression.
      To avoid being the disposessed, you play the game.
      I mentioned the pre-paid phone scam - $millions worth of handsets were going out of the Oz netwporks into China every year - and a lot of contract (new) handsets were going as well. THis was because the handsets were only identified by SIM ID. The backpackers were not breaking any law, the (Fagans)purchasers were not breaking any law - bending terms of contract a little - The exporters were bending the law on goods description, and the re-chip operations in China were breaking no Chinese law. Were any of them criminals? Certainly in terms of fair-play, but not as far as the law was concerned.
      I put in place a supply/demand process for that telco on behalf of the company because the handset procurement was not matching the market demand - it was not matching market demand because the purchase agents were awarding supply tenders based on things like 9-year-old sex toys and a years supply of high grade cocain. Laws were very definitely being broken there, but it was not the law that stopped it - it was the company.
      All of this happens because of the game - because of law itself. Law creates the game. And western law deliberately creates the game because it is adversarial - it is based on competition. THerefore, the powerful are those who learn the rules and play the game well - we reward game-players. Unfortunately, the best game players are psychopaths.
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        Mar 22 2012: So many answers, thanks Mitch. You sound like a man with an interesting background (it's my inner bot speaking :-) ).

        I wouldn't call the postpaid phone thingy a crime - more like a breach of contract, which is a bit different. Still, you may observe that it's all going towards the grey zone and compexity.

        Now regarding life being better... Let's put it this way: it is not significantly worse and easier in many respects. Forget the gadgets, the important basics are:

        * food
        * shelter
        * health
        * transportation
        * finally, education

        Hunger still exists, but nowhere close to the past. Shelter, well, it's a mixed bag, but in general, more people can afford decent or at least sufficient place to house themselves (and yes, millions still live in poverty, but it's all in comparison). Health, it's much more difficult to die from flu these days and the pension funds are going bankrupt because the life expectancy is on steady rise (not only in the "golden billion" countries). Transportation, well, no question here, right? Education - being able to read and write no longer makes you exceptional.

        Even communicating is so much easier when one doesn't have to lift one's bum and can talk to the other end of the planet.

        Again, I'm not saying that the issues do not exist or are not serious, I'm just saying that things are not worse than a few hundred years ago.

        Of course, one thing which got seriously worse is ecology. And another one which makes lives of many people more difficult: they don't have to sweat in the field and therefore must confront their own mind. Many find it too challenging.
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          Mar 22 2012: Yes, But Vadim - people are NOT living longer - they are just taking longer to die.
          It has nothing to do with how long you live - it has to do with how alive you were in the process.
          I think I already commented on the nature of risk.
          Less pain is not equal to more life. It is equal to the life we refused to live.
          So yes, OK - what we don't see is how we are the stepping stone for the next creature.
          Humanity has been throwing prototypes of this bastard child for millenia.
          WHat is the next creature? Well . farming for a start, civillisation(of various kinds) money, science .. these are creatures.
          THe only true living thing we succeeded to throw, apart from money, (as at now) is the internet. And even that is being sown with the seeds of its own death.
          Here - do this exercise - design a currency for Greece to allow the Greeks to escape the tyrany of the Euro. When you do this exercise, you will get a great big lightbulb over your head about what money is. If you are a decent guy, you will stop there - if you are a psychopath, you will put it into practice.
          Do this other exercise - hey dude - you are made up of cells. Every single one of them can survive without you (given the right neutrient environment. ANd most of those cells aren't even human (google that - it's surprising). But the point is that all those cells trust you - you are their major project, and every steop you take, and every breath you take is a victory for them. Now - elevate your 20 trillion admirers to the level of your own ego - then .. tell me how you feel about that. Then tell me about the honour.
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      Mar 21 2012: And look Vadim - don't buy-in to the myth that life is so much better these days. It is most certainly not.
      100 years ago, the adversarial law system was just the same as it is today - and the only reason we have 5-D TV is to keep us all with our faces glued to little squares so we don't look away and see that our lives are being sucked dry by the game. If we look away from teh seductive sh*t that slimes out of out 5-D TVs, we might notice that it's all to deliver power and wealth to the winners of teh games. If we look away, then we see that the whole thing is a ponzi-scheme that is all about to collapse in a heap.

      8 years ago - I left the game - the players didn't like having an honest man in the game - so they got rid of me.

      Life outside the game is a whole lot better. THese days, I avoid players like a case of syphilus. All the colour has returned to my life. I recommend it.
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      Mar 22 2012: OK Vadim - since you want to know, there are only 3 books you need to read:
      On the manner of negotiating with princes by François de Callières,
      Justine by the Marquis De Sade
      Emma by the Marquis De Sade

      If you survive these, have a look at:
      Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean genet.

      If you survive that have a look at:
      I'm Right/You're Wrong by Edward De Bono and
      Chaos by James Gleik.

      And if you survive those, have a look at:
      Neural Computing Theory and Practice by Philip D Wasserman. THen visit Marvin Minski's website.

      THen go out into the sea of metaspace and watch.
      THe new crime happens in the metaspace of our proxies of life - mind farming. Get prepared.
      Oh and .. damnit - read "The Magic of FIndhorn" - after reading all the above (and doing the math) you will need to see a way out. I met Peter Caddy - and I have seen the work he and Eileen set lose .. but you have to know what dirt you are walking on before you can actually walk. And how the hell would you know that except through walking?
      edited to say - these are not triffling challenges - almost any one of these books has the potential to utterly destroy you. GO at it softly.
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      Mar 22 2012: People. So much damn potential and so much fear.
      Most die before they even took a single step.
      On the face of all this darkness .. everyone startled like deer to be strapped on a hood for someone's genital statement - and more deer got killed by SUV's than guns.
      And more wars got decided by what pathogens you imported than the weapons you used.
      Napoleon was proud of his "Scum of the Earth" as he marched around Europe and became the defining little man in his century. And how many steps did he take? 2. ANd how many steps defined his "scum"? 1.
      Able was I ere I saw elba .. and he was honoured by his own palindrome and inspired more music than any other actor in recorded history.
      Take step - then take step, then take step. Napoleon was a child.
      Each step you take is a lifetime - I have taken 5 or 7 .. .. it's no benefit . exept how many lifetimes you live before you die. ANd there are some who have taken lifetimes in every step their body did - we call them "the Buddha".
      THe closer we get to a lifetime in every step and every breath we undertake .. that is what it is all about - now .. step out human!
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    Mar 20 2012: I have done some studying on criminal activity, brain waves, etc, as I have a degree in psychology.
    I found that many inmates have more "theta" waves than "delta" "alpha" or "beta" waves. We all have these waves. When we feel bored we have theta waves. Those people who have more theta waves, often do dangerous things to stimulate their brains to feel normal. This is why race car drivers can function well at high speeds, because they are at their peak performance while under stress. Criminals who would use violence are a different group from those who would pickpocket and those who would swindle. Though a well-thought out plan to get money might appeal to some criminals, to others, planning wouldn't use their natural skills which call for action.
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      Mar 20 2012: Hmm. That's very interesting, although kind of conforms with common sense. Like those shoplifters who want to draw attention.

      This means that whatever the economic benefit is, the "physical" crime will still exist just because of "adrenalin junkies" and "hobbyists".

      I wouldn't automatically file all the swindlers and the pickpockets into the low theta waves group though (the ones I had to deal with, liked the saying "the grass is greener on the other side of the precipice").
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      Mar 20 2012: That is really cool! I think I was sleeping through that portion of pysch 1, but I vaguely remember my class talking about this. =)
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    Mar 20 2012: With all our psychological studies on typing people such as with Myers-Briggs, we can speak in a way that convinces people. We can present only certain information, in certain ways to them to sway them. We can tape the information from iphone's siri to know where someone will be and everything about them to become their best friend and swindle them. Sorry, were you looking for new methods for yourself or what was your reason for wanting ideas on future crime?
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      Mar 20 2012: Methods for myself, funny :-) . Do I look like Dr. Moriarty or a small-time pickpocket?

      Well, it's a mix of idle curiosity and my personal experience in which I and some other people were caught in a very clever scheme which the law is unable to handle properly, for a variety of reasons. This got me thinking: maybe this is the future of crime? Maybe the guy is not only a crook but is actually a visionary crook :-) .
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    Mar 19 2012: I'm going to go ahead and pretend that I have not read your last comment on what type of crime you had in mind.

    In my opinion the definition of crime will include more subtle acts in society and for example an act of discouraging people, killing their motivation, creating bad feelings, misleading, will be considered crime.

    ok now for the futuristic crime you had in mind, I guess it will be mind control and making people do things they are not consciously aware of. I am not suggesting that this will be done by hypnotizing, what I have in mind is high tech devices that can be used to inject thoughts in minds of others.
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      Mar 20 2012: Sina, I did not mean "futuristic crime", I meant "crime predominant in the future". Regarding the increase of what is considered crime... I don't know, I see that due to the prisons being full and pressure from the taxpayers, much is being de-criminalised. For example, barratry, criminal maintenance, etc.
  • Mar 19 2012: Hi there,I do realise that you reduced the width of term crime. From what I read, crime for you limit itself into breakin in, theft hold up and few minor stuffs. CRIME is wider than that. This contains all activity that goes against the law, be it written or Communitarian rule: It is an industry.Crime evolved so much in the recent years that real criminals are no longer individuals but big strong and powerful companies legally recognised worldwide. How do you call a multi national that makes billions and bribe goverments abroad-case of african countries for example- but doesn't pay taxes where they make actually their wealth? They are career criminalsThe worrying thing about crime actually is that it is getting legally covered by the law that is suppose to fight it. Is it because the representants of this law are accomplice of the criminals or the system favor the spread of this social cancer?Nowaday, we tend to congratulate well known crime figures instead of walking away from them just because of the power of money over justice: You have money, you can buy nearly everyone. To be honest ,crime have a bright futur especially with the assistance of technology. We measure our evolution against the amount of criminals we have in our society as someone said. The advanced we are, the more sophisticated crime becomes. Goodbye TRUST, hello DECEPTION!Signing a document require more attention than ever and even with your BANK, read carefully any document handed to you otherwise you might find yourself being thrown out of your house.I do not want to sound pessimistic but crime is just becoming a common activity praised by many as this path leads quickly to everyone dream. We live in an era of GREED and VIOLENCE and those who run it are seated upstairs, elected by ourselves.Our species is in real danger for there are more criminals now than 20 years ago. Morover we are losing our IDENTITY. Even the medias are getting involve into crime. ie; NOTW scandal in London.
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      Mar 19 2012: That's exactly my point, Eric.

      The crime is looking for the grey zones and modernises itself: better payout, less risk. Just like harvesters replaced ploughs and earth-moving machines are used where people were using shovels, crime uses technological advances, too.
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    Mar 19 2012: Hi Vadim,

    I think you missing something very important here which is the reasons or factors that contribute to people being career criminals.....From what I read in your post, you do not see much of a future for them..

    your assertions makes sense but I do not think they touch up on the situation entirely.

    First things first: you need to understand the reasons as to why they are doing what they are doing. Is it an adrenaline rush? does their past play a major influence? How is their socioeconomic situation? Should the focus be on rehabilitation or retribution (Justice)?

    The first two may be very hard to dictate being that their would have to be a lot of analysis and studies that take place but the one regarding their social and economic life does not require such hard work. All is needed is common sense and observation and this will be the basis of the point I am trying to make.

    As long as we live in political economies that only serves to keep people balkanized and desperate, crime will continue to exist on a very large scale (although I think it is safe to say that violence has decreased overall).

    I am in agreement with you that, career criminals are going to have to up the ante eventually (if they have not already) but I do not think that this will stop them from doing what they are doing. I just think that if they are smart enough, they'll find other ways of obtaining what they want....
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      Mar 19 2012: Thanks Orlando. I am, however, more curious not about **why** they do that but **how** they are going to do that in the near future. In my opinion, the law enforcement is seriously lagging behind and much of the crime today may not even be defined as crime.

      On a higher level, there are fictive offshore companies, outsourced call centres, spam-sending botnets, and other modern technological and legal devices which may help the offender avoid being prosecuted. This kind of offenders may avoid the punishment for very long time, if not indefinitely. It is not rocket science either.

      My point was that if the traditional crime, like pickpocketing and stealing appliances, merely keeps the operators alive with high danger of being prosecuted, then modern crime is a more natural choice, isn't it? Criminal world is a subculture with own rules and "survival of the fittest" must be one of them.

      On a personal level, did you more often hear about someone getting mugged, or receive spam emails about millions waiting for you somewhere?
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    Mar 19 2012: Guys, thanks for your replies, but please note that I was talking about career criminals. That is, people whose main income is derived from crime. Not domestic violence, not anti-social behaviour, not paedophilia, not bombing someone based on ideology or anything else which is caused by urges.

    Hundreds of years ago, burglars needed to be skilled with a lockpick. Then, they had to adapt to electronic locks, electronic alarm systems and even webcam security. Pickpockets now can end up with a few bucks and a bunch of plastic cards they can't use - it makes more sense to launch a phishing operation or generate random credit card numbers. Someone busts an ATM and they are on a national TV.

    Today the videocameras are everywhere and there are talks about launching surveillance drones to patrol problematic neighbourhoods. When or if that happens, mugging will become more difficult, too.

    Yes, these guys are hardly visionaries at the technological forefront, but they will have to catch up eventually.
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      Mar 19 2012: Well, human kinds greatest arsenal is their internal skill of adaptation. Crime not being an exception to adaptation, others will either think of new gadgets or think of ways to avoid these drones; like to blind the drones by wearing a certain spectrum of color or applying an agent that machines can't, my knowledge is somewhat, a bit scary, but completely fun to think of. =)

      I was consciously aware that you were refering to "career criminals". Such is life, so prepare to either not get robbed or to robb, I guess. I much prefer a society without the use of theft, but the thought of yin and yang comes into mind after that. =)
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      Mar 19 2012: I was thinking along the lines of paypal and game sites where your credit info is kept,i know of one instance where a paypal account was used to purchase online games,they weren't out to take the money but more like prune it so it doesn't get noticed til maybe a month later.

      Drones? that will bring on the hoodies like in england,the only secure identification i know of is facial thermals as every human on the planet has a unique pattern, even identical twin.

      Android bots,i think is the current big news out there.
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        Mar 19 2012: Paypal is already firmly associated with phishing :-) .
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          Mar 20 2012: I am delighted to hear that, so happy I don't have one. =)
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    Mar 19 2012: It will start with the paedophiles then progress to the others.It's far easier to chip them rather than to incarcerate them.The only criminal that will be the hardest to catch will be the mimic,i.d stealers who use it to gain access to systems they want in to,oh and the organized groups.

    That's how i see the future.
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    Mar 19 2012: Petty crime continues because people only see them as petty and no one jumps at the source of the issue, specifically enforcers of law. Though looking at it in another light, that constant fear of doing something considered as petty crime would be a form of repression, but I believe that if you did nothing wrong, there should be nothing to be afraid of.

    Crime need not be more violent, but crime should become more educated.
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      Mar 19 2012: So you also believe that in the future the majority of career criminals are relying on technology, is this correct?
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        Mar 19 2012: I believe that criminals will either find a career less dangerous or they will take what they have learned and apply an evolved structure of crime using new methods such as, technology; after getting a higher form of education in any type of setting.
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    Mar 19 2012: Interesting, P G.

    Yeah, I suppose the petty criminals don't make a killing (pun not intended) but I wonder how it compares with minimum wage. If it's way below, what's the point?

    Why do you think the crime is to become more violent? We're talking about economic crime, right? Not hate crime.
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    P G

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    Mar 19 2012: Your describing petty criminals and they don't make "a living" they merely survive with heads bobbing above the water line. Allow me to simply predict that crime is going to become more violent.