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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

  • How we perceive crime...
  • Potential of the horror genre in a TV environment
  • What defines art..
  • Heroes and Villians (some even of the 'super' nature)
  • The New Media (Twitter, podcasts, etc...) and the future of how we get the news
  • Michael Vick
  • The constructs of family (continued)
  • The Dead Weather - Horehound
  • The Fiery Furnaces - I'm Going Away
  • The Fiery Furnaces in general...
  • Universal Health Care
I know what you guys are's Nathan welshing on his word again, but I assure you - I'm here and I'm going to continue to try to be here. Things are busy at work, busy at school and busy at home. In other words, I'm busy. I have four posts semi-prepared (just have to write them...d'oh!). I will try to do as much as I can today and tomorrow.

Some of you may note (and kudos to those of you who do), that my subject line is a great quote from the Simpsons in regards to the Springfield mafia's website...obviously a play on organized crime (, get it?). It would be not be ridiculous to assume where this post, on crime in today's modern society and how we perceive it, would focus on mob type romanticism.

I begin with - does the mob still exist? Does it exist in the way that it once did? And how has the mafia evolved to include things like social networking or even the Internet as a whole. The same would go for gang related activity, which we obviously know exist on a much larger scale. The concept of the mob intrigues me because of the inherited secrecy involved and the lack of privacy that comes with the Internet as a whole. Now every "legitimate business" has benefited greatly from the growth of the Internet, from faster communication to a more global network, so is it really far-fetched to assume that the mafia hasn't also utilized these new technologies in order to increase revenue. It also isn't far-fetched to assume that these advances has compromised the mafia's level of secrecy and thus, compromised the mafia as a whole. We already know terrorist organizations utilize the Internet with great success and I suppose, they benefit most from the grand size of the Internet. So is the mafia online and they are just using carefully coded keywords to avoid being found via Google? Sometimes I wish I were a journalist because I'm far too curious not to want to know.

On a similar note, how has crime changed in our minds? Obviously the laws are the same, but how has how we think about them changed? Is shoplifting okay? Or downloading movies, music or software? It's all stealing, but somehow we justify to ourselves that what we do, or what others do, is okay for one reason or another. This raises the question of property, rights, etc...but I suppose the argument would be stealing is stealing in the eyes of the law, no? The Internet has greatly increased our ability to commit crimes, outside of just downloading music, but also stealing identities. Because of the Internet's security flaws, which are unavoidable regardless of your browser or OS protection services, using the Internet with private data, you are - at least on some level - putting your information out there to be stolen. As we grow more and more comfortable with the Internet's security and trust it more, which I'm not saying we shouldn't - I have full faith that my information is safe, however I'm aware there's a chance it's not - but we're growing more and more comfortable putting things out there that three years ago, we would have been reluctant to give out over the phone. Is it possible to rationally control this kind of illegal activity that takes place online or is it a lost cause? Is there much to gain from controlling it? We live in a quickly changing world thanks to the Internet and, unfortunately, crime is always five steps ahead of law enforcement when it comes to technology.

I got sidetracked on the cyber-track. Where I was heading was - do we look lighter upon shoplifting now that we are almost always stealing from a faceless corporation than we would have fifty years ago when it would have been a proprietor that suffered our thievery? I'm almost positive it's more common these days than it was even five years ago, but the economy is probably a large contributing factor in that. What other 'crimes' have really lost their edge and now generally accepted as a fact of life? Is this a good or bad thing that we are becoming more lenient, at least in thought, about certain crimes?

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