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Licensing and Crime Prevention, With Added Irony

During my morning news-reading session I came across two interesting articles, both tackling complex topics and giving a different view of each.

The first, ‘Universal Exec. – Say Goodbye to the Old Record Co.’ starts with:

An RIAA board member and executive from the world’s biggest record company has said the old way of doing business has gone forever now.

Kenswil today said labels could no longer “count units” but had to license rights; “We can’t think of it as counting unit sales anymore we have to license … and think like the publishers.”

An interested read.

Next on the list came ‘Abortion or Broken Windows – How Can the US Be Safer?’ – an interesting article comparing Freakonomics and The Tipping Point; both books which The Register says…

…have quite a lot in common, including catchy titles, bestseller status and the allure of turning very plebeian readers into pseudo-intellectuals.

The article discusses the differing viewpoints the books have on crime reduction in New York with an added infusion of irony (as in the quotes below, so take them lightly in this context):

Few could be so blunt and get away with it. Levitt and Dubner turned the harsh logic into a bestseller read with pride by hundreds of thousands.

Their success hinges on the solid looking evidence behind the assertion that wiping out potential criminals in the womb wipes our crime.

The number of “at risk” youth dwindled as poor, single teenagers turned to legal, affordable abortions, so the authors argue. That’s in large part because poverty and single-parent homes “are among the strongest predictors that a child will have a criminal future.”

In addition to discussing the big problems of jumping to conclusions and coming to outrageous cause-effect deductions, the article is also littered with classic ‘El Reg’ humour:

Crime – you are to understand – is an epidemic just like syphilis, the New Kids on the Block or over-hyped bestsellers. And so crime obeys all of Gladwell’s major catch-phrases such as “the law of the few” and “connectors.”

Thanks to The Register.