NYPD Needs Legitimacy

Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath:

[L]egitimacy is based on three things. First of all, the people who are asked to obey authority have to fell like they have a voice—that if they speak up, they will be heard. Second, the law has to be predictable. There has to be a reasonable expectation that the rules tomorrow are going to be roughly the same rules today. And third, the authority has to be fair. It can’t treat one group differently from another….

[W]hen the law is applied in the absence of legitimacy, it does not produce obedience. It produces the opposite. It leads to backlash.

Joanne Jaffe

Kids playing football with then NYPD Housing Bureau Chief Joanne Jaffe [now Community Affairs Bureau Chief] at PSA 6’s National Night Out event at the Grant Houses in Harlem.

A New York Times article reported on the NYPD’s Juvenile Robbery Intervention Program (J-RIP) created by Chief Joanne Jaffe:

The New York City Police Department has embarked on a novel approach to deter juvenile robbers, essentially staging interventions and force-feeding outreach in an effort to stem a tide of robberies by dissuading those most likely to commit them.

Officers not only make repeated drop-ins at homes and schools, but they also drive up to the teenagers in the streets, shouting out friendly hellos, in front of their friends. The force’s Intelligence Division also deciphers each teenager’s street name and gang affiliation. Detectives compile a binder on each teenager that includes photos from Facebook and arrest photos of the teenager’s associates, not unlike the flow charts generated by law enforcement officials to track organized crime.

Continue reading

Advertisements

I Could Be… a documentary addressing inequity

I Could Be...

I could be a congresswoman
Or a garbage woman or
Police officer, or a carpenter
I could be a doctor and a lawyer and a mother
And a good God woman what you’ve done to me
Kind of lover I could be
I could be a computer analyst, the Queen with the nappy hair raising her fist
Or I could be much more and a myriad of this
Hot as the summer, sweet as the first kiss
And even though I can do all these things…

~ Jill Scott
The Fact Is (I Need You)

Hope Community Services

HOPE Community Services is the largest food pantry/soup kitchen in Westchester County. HOPE Volunteer Coordinator Sue Gedney, New York State High Chess Champion Joshua Cola, 94 years old volunteer Iris Freed, and Terrance Jackson.  Photo: http://www.geneshaw.com/

And if you give yourself to the hungry And satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness And your gloom will become like midday.
~ Isaiah 58:10

Following in the footsteps of people such as Jack London, George Orwell, and Steve Jobs, Terrance Jackson spent over two and half years homeless in New Rochelle, NY and discovered the power of empathy to fuel innovation and creativity:

I believe that empathy – the imaginative act of stepping into another person’s shoes and viewing the world from their perspective – is a radical tool for social change and should be a guiding light for the art of living. Over the past decade, I have become convinced that it has the power not only to transform individual lives, but to help tackle some of the great problems of our age, from wealth inequality to violent conflicts and climate change.

It is important to understand what empathy is and is not. If you see a homeless person living under a bridge you may feel sorry for him and give him some money as you pass by. That is pity or sympathy, not empathy. If, on the other hand, you make an effort to look at the world through his eyes, to consider what life is really like for him, and perhaps have a conversation that transforms him from a faceless stranger into a unique individual, then you are empathising. ~ Roman Krznaric

Roman Krznaric - Empathy

RSA Animate – The Power of Outrospection – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG46IwVfSu8

The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’
~ Matthew 22:39

Continue reading

Don’t Let Wall Street Takeover Education

BROOKLYN CASTLE tells the stories of five members of the chess team at Intermediate School 318, a below-the-poverty-line inner city junior high school that has won more national championships than any other school in the country and the first middle school team to win the United States Chess Federation’s national high school championship. Teams from I.S. 318 recently won the national seventh and eighth grade championships.

Seventh and Eighth Grade National Champio

2014 Seventh and Eighth Grade National Champions from I.S. 318

In 2013, Mayor Bloomberg cut the budget, and there was no money for after school programs like the chess team at I.S. 318. Luckily they were able to raise over $67,000 online to keep the chess program going.

In contrast, Eva Moskowitz Founder and CEO of the Success Academy held a fundraiser for her charter school chain and raised $7 million in one night. In New York City, Success Academy currently runs 32 schools,  has approval to open 14 additional schools, and is looking to grow to 100 within the next decade.

Continue reading

International Scholastic Freestyle Chess Tournament

Freestyle Chess Tournament

To promote education reform, we are developing the International Scholastic Freestyle Chess Tournament (ISFreCT). In the ISFreCT, students can work in teams and make use of any technical support for selecting their chess moves.

ISFreCT will explore former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov’s ideas of using the decision-making process of chess as a model for understanding and improving our decision-making everywhere else and how we have discarded innovation and creativity in exchange for a steady supply of marketable products.

In a book review of Diego Rasskin-Gutman’s Chess Metaphors: Artificial Intelligence and the Human Mind, Garry Kasparov wrote about freestyle chess:

In 2005, the online chess-playing site Playchess.com hosted what it called a “freestyle” chess tournament in which anyone could compete in teams with other players or computers….

Lured by the substantial prize money, several groups of strong grandmasters working with several computers at the same time entered the competition. At first, the results seemed predictable. The teams of human plus machine dominated even the strongest computers. The chess machine Hydra, which is a chess-specific supercomputer like Deep Blue, was no match for a strong human player using a relatively weak laptop. Human strategic guidance combined with the tactical acuity of a computer was overwhelming.

The surprise came at the conclusion of the event. The winner was revealed to be not a grandmaster with a state-of-the-art PC but a pair of amateur American chess players using three computers at the same time. Their skill at manipulating and “coaching” their computers to look very deeply into positions effectively counteracted the superior chess understanding of their grandmaster opponents and the greater computational power of other participants. Weak human + machine + better process was superior to a strong computer alone and, more remarkably, superior to a strong human + machine + inferior process.

Continue reading

A Woman Should Have Complete Control Over Her Body

Let’s start connecting the dots. As Steve Jobs said:

A lot of people… haven’t had very diverse experiences. They don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions, without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better designs we will have.

Is the way women are depicted in the media a major contributing factor to our society’s inequity towards women?

Tech-industry executives say they have an extremely difficult time finding technical talent and that this shortage hurts their company’s performance. They claim to look far and wide, including abroad, yet they overlook the lowest-hanging fruit: women and minorities. The percentage of women in engineering jobs is so embarrassingly low – in the single digits or low teens — that many tech companies refuse to release diversity data. ~ “How to Increase the Number of Women in Tech” by Vivek Wadhwa

An article in The Guardian tells us:
The Big Bang Theory, a California-based comedy that follows two young physicists, is being credited with consolidating the growing appetite among teenagers for the once unfashionable subject of physics.
Academy Award winner Geena Davis has appeared in several roles that became cultural landmarks, including portraying the first female President of the United States in ABC’s Commander in Chief. She is the founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which engages film and television creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters—and reduce gender stereotyping—in media made for children.

Geena Davis

At the Makers Conference, Davis discussed the lack of parity in media and its effect on young girls. “The more hours of TV a girl watches, the fewer options she thinks she has in life.”

She asked the MAKERS Conference, “What if unconscious gender bias is a much deeper problem than we’ve ever imagined?” and showed the challenges women face in media. The ratios of male to female characters has been exactly the same since 1946.  In movies, of the characters holding jobs, 81% are male.

Jada Pinkett-Smith did an interview on Katie and stated that “a woman should have complete control over her body.” And “that there is nothing wrong with being beautiful.”

Jada Pinkett Smith ~ dontsellbodies.org

Jada Pinkett Smith ~ dontsellbodies.org

“There is nothing wrong with being beautiful,” yet according to Dove® research only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful.

Continue reading

Don’t Let Anybody Take Your Manhood

Martin Luther King, Jr

I come here tonight and plead with you. Believe in yourself and believe that you’re somebody. As I said to a group last night, nobody else can do this for us! No document can do this for us. No Lincolnian Emancipation Proclamation can do this for us. No Kennesonian or Johnsonian Civil Rights Bill can do this for us. If the Negro is to be free, he must move down into the inner resources of his own soul and sign with a pen and ink of self-assertive manhood, his own Emancipation Proclamation. Don’t let anybody take your manhood.
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Malcolm was a man. I mean man in a particular sense. Malcolm had created a new style for those of us who would be men to follow. Not only black men, but also white men. Malcolm left us the heritage of manhood, which in our country has long been going out of style.
~ Ossie Davis
Telegram from Malcolm X

Soon after meeting King in Washington, Malcolm wired King to offer his support for the campaign in St. Augustine, Florida. Malcolm offered to organize “self-defense units” to give the Klan a “taste of their own medicine to demonstrate that the day of turning the other cheek to those brute beasts is long over.”

Nobody can give you...
There are 43 million African Americans in the United States, 13.7 percent of the total population, the second largest racial minority in the country. The median age is 32 and 47 percent are under 35 years of age…. The African American population is an economic force to be reckoned with, with a projected buying power of $1.1 trillion by 2015.
Black Buying Power

Don’t Be Afraid To Dream

afraid-dont-be-afraid-dream

You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
~ Exodus 20:7

God Damn! Jesus F##king Christ! This is what most people think about when one talks about talking the name of the Lord in vain. Yet in many Jewish and Christian traditions, Bible passages can have more than one meaning. For instance, translating from the original Hebrew the name (shem) of God is not simply a word or sound, such as Yahweh, Jehovah or Allah but the name of God is your conviction concerning God or the nature of the universe. More precisely, it’s your embodiment of the divine or sacred.

In Aramaic and Hebrew, the word shem, which is usually translated as “name,” can also mean light, word, sound, reputation, and atmosphere. The concept that unifies these meanings is vibration: everything that vibrates its way into existence as a seemingly separate being carries its own unique shem. At the same time, all individual name-light vibrations are connected in various ways to the one sacred shem of the divine, which is beyond human words or thoughts. All vibration is part of the whole vibration of the universe. This concept of shem is ancient mysticism, yet it is entirely consistent with the particle-light duality of modern physics.

What do you believe is the true nature of the universe? That is the most important question in the whole world because your beliefs about the true nature of the universe and what you believe is important in life is your god. These beliefs will determine your whole life. From your health down to the farthest place your influence goes, all is determined ultimately by what you truly believe about the nature of the universe.

Continue reading