I just got back from a seminar on Crime and Community in Langley City where some of the locals and academic experts discussed their ideas on our “somewhat miss interpretative crime rates.” I say I’m sceptical because no one could answer my questions on what these rates are, or give me their sources, and what measurements they used when making their arguments. I’m a “show me your data” kind of guy, and when someone makes a claim, you better back it up with some research facts. Anyway, it was not what I would consider a great seminar for many reasons. I left having felt like I gave up a whole night for nothing. People are mad about crime, but no one has any constructive ideas other than turning into vigilantes.
Religion and crime arguments don’t mix. As one speaker pointed out, and shot herself in the foot when she made her arguments, if we lived by the rules of whatever scripture/beliefs you follow, then we would be all either be cutting off the hands of every child, stoning every man for impure thoughts and killing every woman who looks beautiful, to live in her perfect society. Yes, I’m not joking, there were some pretty bizarre theories from this group. It is one thing to evoke crime controls based on your social ideals, but are you willing to impose them on yourself within your community? Those who answer yes then must suffer the consequences of living in gated communities that will segregate themselves from one another, and base crime on rules so riged that the cost will limit the usefulness of how effective that community is. And by usefulness, I mean, to maintain a crime free environment. It is a utopia that is unattainable for many reasons… .
The power Point infraction goes to the speakers who talked about Langley’s ever growing problem of homelessness. It was a very good topic, and they had some very good ideas and critiques, however, their presentation went by so fast that I could not get any good solid notes written down from it. Rules on Power Points should be basic. Never use any font that is smaller than size 24. Never put more than 100 words into a slide. Keep the contrast of colour as “black and white” as possible. And leave the slide up long enough so everyone can at least read it while you talk about it. Also, cheesy graphics may look great and pleasing to the eye, but at least keep them within the theme of the presentation. When talking about gang violence, keep butterflies off the screen—they look cute, but are inappropriate for this topic.