November 28, 2007

Study finds pictures of eyes may deter crime. The experiment, which gained global media attention, found that people put nearly three times as much money into a unsupervised coffee room cash collection box when they were being watched by a pair of eyes on a poster.

Police are using the study to produce crime-preventing posters. In other, more recent, eye/crime news: Walk alone at night across the Washington Avenue bridge on the University of Minnesota campus and someone will be watching -- and paying closer attention than in the past. While there have been cameras on the pedestrian level of the bridge for some time, that footage is now being analyzed in near-real time each night by next-generation security software that can detect whether someone is alone or in a group and whether people's movements are suspicious.

  • .- .-
  • OMG! /puts down stolen pen /runs
  • I wonder if there was a drop in British street crime in 1997?
  • The writer of this passive-aggressive note must have read that article.
  • What are you, a spy? That's where I got the second link! The eyes are everywhere!!
  • Well, ever since you posted this link, I've been checking out PAN regularly.
  • I don't think it's got anything to do with subtle effects of pictures of eyes. Think about it - here's this coffee system where you're on your honour to pay. There's a picture of some flowers, so you deduce that they'd like to be paid, but don't really care all that much and that being welcoming is their top priority. Then, you've got a scary poster with a threatening message. Obviously being paid their tiny sums is really important to these people, so OK: I don't want to upset them. Lots of other pictures that looked serious would have had the same effect. Double underlining would probably have been as good. It doesn't mean putting up posters with eyes is going to psychologically put criminals off their stroke.
  • I dunno. I don't like to go to the bathroom if there are any magazines with people on the front looking at me. TMI?
  • -. -.
  • For the last several hours I've been trying to remember the anecdote regarding a bagel seller. He sold bagels by setting up an honesty box, and did some fairly sophisticated A/B testing to find out how best to minimize theft. It might have been in Freakonomics, or possibly The Tipping Point. None of my googling has turned anything up, and it's getting a little frustrating. Anyone? (Worst. Comment. Ever.)
  • Did it have anything to do with Indian toilets?
  • 2nd worst comment ever: A scuba resort in Honduras that I have been to several times has a gift shop that sells the usual small resort stuff - t-shirts, sweats, caps, beach wraps, swimming trunks, towels, bottles of rum, sunburn preventative, etc. -- but works entirely on the honor system. Guests take whatever they want and sign out with the item(s), cost, and room number. No human supervises this. The owners have figured (I am sure correctly) that the cost of theft is less than the cost of paying a clerk. Plus it gives the small resort a good bit of PR goodwill. Okay, off topic. But I love this place.
  • Yeah, the future is a boot stamping on a human face, forever eyes, organic and electronic, keeping tabs on our every step.
  • *puts thumb in islander's eye*
  • What the Bagel Man Saw I remember reading this article and thinking how nice people can be when they're not jerks. I sent the eyes article to my church, and suggested they put a picture of Jesus' eyes watching the collection box in the narthex. I suggest that it can hardly be called unethical if it's used to deter crime.
  • What an interesting story, f8x! And an interesting man.
  • A thousand thanks, f8xmulder!
  • Hey, f8xy!
  • Note the authors of that, mechagrue. It is indeed from Freakonomics.
  • Hey! I'm just dropping by, seeing how all my monkeys are doing!
  • Hi f8x...don't be such a stranger.
  • F8xy! Good to see you!
  • It's the f8x-man! Pull up a chair. Have a beer. Catch us up on yer life, guy.
  • Lol. Is there any way we can all do a world-wide MoFi meetup? I'd be happy to jaunt anywhere on the seven continents. I've been too busy to do much online community stuff for the last two years, primarily because I am now officially a movie producer. I've got a film premiering in Ethiopia this December in Addis, and up to this point, I've been working like mad to get the darn thing completed and in a state worth showing. Still lots of work to be done, marketing, et al. But it's nice having that notch on my belt. How's everyone else doing?? I miss you :/
  • Whoot! Congrats to you! Hey, you know I'M always willing to have you fly me anywhere for a premier, baby. unlike these other ingrates And I'm posting your comment to the self-link thread. Many monkeys wanna be in the know! We've missed you. However, sorry, there will be no party. We forgot to post a picture of eyes over the kitty, and there's only 35 cents and a button
  • I taped a picture of eyes on the kitty, but he chewed it up.