Friday, August 30, 2013

Smartphone Theft and Mitigation Tactic

View Cellphone Thefts in a larger map

If you have a Gmail account, then you have access to modify this custom map by clicking this and adding the information pertinent to the subject; in this case, places where people have been reporting cellphone theft.  On a couple of occasions there have been reports of groups of kids on bicycles in the Wooster Square neighborhood.  The robberies are reported as nonviolent; the youth responsible probably are unable to afford smartphones, which doesn't justify the crime itself; but could be mitigated by ensuring that the youth don't feel compelled to rob and steal in order to have 21st century amenities, which seem to come to others in that neighborhood with ease.

The right solution to this problem would be to make sure that everyone has access to a computer. This would go against Google's "Chief Internet Evangelist" Vinton G. Cerf's argument that "internet is not a basic human right."  Yet those with smartphones, as well as people who are recently left without one, know what an immense amount of assistance these devices provide to their owners.  People without computers are left with fewer computer skills, and the new illiteracy is computer illiteracy.  Without a book, you can't learn to read.  And without a computer, even something as simple as a smartphone, it's literally the same principle, modernized.

Customize the map by clicking "edit" ... if your cellphone is snatched by a band of unruly youngsters on velocipedes.  We can put a map together as a community which indicates where these crimes are occurring, to better assist us in predicting patterns.  The button is below.  If you'd like to donate your old smartphone or computer to a group that distributes them to disadvantaged youth, you can try to thru GiveLaptops, a organization which does just that.  It's a step above criminalizing the underprivileged, and could prevent antisocial behavior among youth like cellphone theft.

Donate your old laptop or smartphone
This opinion does not justify or encourage theft, but brings about the argument that society is responsible for itself as a whole, and that this sort of crime is a result of a division in class, which could be mitigated by ensuring that everyone has access to the same technology.