Sunday, June 21, 2009

Murder and the City

The New York Times has another interactive map that presents an absurd amount of information, so I am duty-bound to post it here:

homicide map of new york city

It's a grim inventory: every murder in New York City since 2003. This image shows the race of the victim; they also show age, sex, and weapon used, among other statistics. Every dot is a life snuffed out, and you can click on them for details.

Fun fact: murder rates in the Middle Ages were much higher than they are today. By like orders of magnitude. This is from a paper by Manuel Eisner:

So, you know... none of that claptrap about "the good ol' days"...


Richard said...

True. Though I wonder what the death rate by all violent acts is (this century had some massive state-sanctioned killings (WWII, Holocuast, etc.), though life was probably still much more dangerous in the Middle Ages.

Chachy said...

I can't find a link, so take this for what it's worth, but I've read before that studies of present-day "pre-historical" tribes tend to showmuch, much higher rates of death from war than modern contemporary societies; and that the trend of deaths from war has generally been downward over time, and that it was unprecedently low during the 20th century - less than 1% of all deaths attributable to war. There were certainly a lot more spectacularly ghastly mass casualty wartime fatalities in the 20th Century, but there were also long periods of peace that were more or less unprecedented in world history. And of course there were just a lot more people in general.
Again, this observation falls in the "something I read once somewhere" category, so it's probably not worth going around quoting me here or anything, but it at least sounds plausible that it's true.

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I wonder what the blue dots mean, what does the 61% represents in that map? maybe this information could be vital for the project and the speech I have to present in the university.

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