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Tuesday, February 19, 20081203439278


Catholigauze's post about the sad fate of Fort Totten, Washington, DC includes this warning to would-be travelers:

Today the fort is along Fort Totten Drive right near Fort Totten Metro. Things have changed like the farmland giving way to townhouses. A roadside sign and a plaque which is in risk of being grown over by plants mark the site to no one in particular. Though it is a short walk from the metro no tourists come to visit as they have to pass through an area known as “Rapesville” to some. If locals come to visit it is to drink their beers and not take in history. Students at the nearby Catholic University of America expressed no interest or even knowledge of the fort. The fort and its presences on the landscape is marked yet forgotten.

Rape, at least among that tenth of the population that generally does not feel empathy, is likely the result of the following calculation

  • Forcible mating is physically enjoyable

  • Imprisonment is not

Even assuming a functioning criminal justice system, however, one variable predicts the weighting of both these factors: general intelligence. People of low intelligence discount future events more and put a premium and immediate events. In other words, the dumber an unempathetic male is, the more he figures he will enjoy the rape, and the less he figures he will hate the imprisonment.

About half of the variation in intelligence within a culture is explained by genetics. Indeed, as physical and social conditions become more similar, the variation explained by genetics (through both general intelligence and other factors) will increase.

Now that the easy portions of the Gap have been transitioned into the New Core, would-be-Systems-Administrators will increasingly face causes of state failure, violent crime, and general Gappishness that have genetic routes. The more these causes are not addressed, the more the states of the Gap will always be dependent on oversight by the developed states of the Core. As labor from the Core becomes increasingly expensive, Core states will naturally transition from labor-intensive methods of Sysadmin work (such as patrols, invasions, etc) to capital-intensive means (infrastructure development, eugenics, and so on).

This is true whether the Gap we are talking about is on the other side of the world, or just a subway stop away.


On the related subject of epigenetics:


Posted by: Michael | Tuesday, February 19, 2008

If think if you start to define "The Gap" as the block that has crime, while the block next to it is "The Core", the term becomes meaningless. My understanding is that Barnett created the term to be able to generalize over hundreds of millions of people and not have to define it down to block by block.

Take that with a grain of salt, as it's from someone who disagrees with the whole concept of Gap and Core anyway.... ;)

Posted by: Adrian | Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Tom has (briefly) discussed Domestic PNM Theory before [1] -- it's a similar breakdown of infrastructure and rulesets, just on a small scale.


Interesting that the article about epigenetic causes of variance included a call to euepigenetics.

[1] http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/2006/04/more_pnm_theory_applied_at_com.html

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hmmm, I'd disagree with two accounts.

I'm not sure how you are defining intelligence, however, I've seen rapists adapt to their crimes and are quite adept at covering up the evidence which suggests to me not only cunning, but a sort of machiavellian intelligence.

One such case was a serial rapist who had a continuous MO of entering the dwelling, raping the female, then forcing the female to wash herself and her sheets. He also wore a condom, thus negating bodily fluids. The shower negated pubic hair evidence. Of course, this sort of behaviour made it easier to find the rapist, because such planning could only mean this guy would have done this before and been charged on it (he probably would have been caught based on that evidence, so he knew what to cover up, he was eventually caught based on the fact that he was a recent prison release with history of sexual assault).

In relation to the urban gap theory. Very interesting. Anecdotally, I'd disagree. No doubt, property crime and domestic assaults occurs with more frequency in areas of poor people and ethnic groups, however, the most violent places of any city are friday and saturday nights where the "core people" go out and get drunk in core districts like nightclubs in the CBD and beat the crap out of each other.

There was also a serial bikepath rapist in our metro region who targeted good looking female joggers on bike paths ran along a creek bordered by affluent neighbourhoods. This guy would lay in wait, ambush them, and use restraining techniques to control their motions and whether or not they could yell out. The going theory is the guy is a military guy, because the bike paths eventually connect to a military base, he matched the description of a military guy, and his field craft skills were quite good (he left minimal trace and was skilled in moving quietly through the bush and getting away, he also would kick out the legs of the female and force them into semi-stress positions). So, I think he matches another individual who was quite crafty and targeted females in what would be considedred "core" areas.

Also serial break and enterers and sneak thieves tend to break into places far from their dwelling, I'd have to find some studies on breaks though.

I guess it all depends on your definition of intelligence though, and also whether or not the data matches up to, or refutes, the PNM domestic theory.

Posted by: Münzenberg | Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I do agree criminals are stupid though. Some are crafty, but mostly stupid. One of the main reasons they get caught is because of their stupidity. God help us if every criminal was of the level, of say, Stringer Bell in "The Wire" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stringer_Bell).

Posted by: Münzenberg | Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Thanks for the comment.

"I'm not sure how you are defining intelligence, however, I've seen rapists adapt to their crimes and are quite adept at covering up the evidence which suggests to me not only cunning, but a sort of machiavellian intelligence."

An older showed showed "significantly lower IQs for rapists compared to nonrapists convicted of violent crimes and compared to heterogeneous nonrapist convicts. The present research supports the findings of Karacan and co-workers, indicating a general tendency for rapists to have lower IQs than other convicted prisoners." [1] However, I also see above-average intelligence for serial rapists [2]. But of course, if you are repeating an action regularly, you're planning for it, so it's less impulsive.

"however, the most violent places of any city are friday and saturday nights where the "core people" go out and get drunk in core districts like nightclubs in the CBD and beat the crap out of each other."

Is there evidence for this?

[1] http://www.springerlink.com/content/g56117356163nvk3/
[2] http://books.google.com/books?id=Zr2emm2vT2EC&pg=PA492&vq=IQ&dq=%22general+intelligence%22+rapists&source=gbs_search_s&sig=abDk83EE_2j2JOb2X2eFnY5QCBo#PPA439,M1

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Wednesday, February 20, 2008

well there you go. I'll have a look at those links for a read then.

On violence on Friday and Saturday nights ... No, again, anecdotal on my behalf, you could probably ask any emergency first responder who works in a western city and I'd imagine they'd agree, but that isn't really evidence. For real evidence, I would say there would be good statistics somewhere, I'll have a look around and get back to you to see if there is.

Posted by: Münzenberg | Wednesday, February 20, 2008