I’m sitting here in the student lounge on campus eating a Mexican wrap and sipping on strong coffee. 8:00am this morning I wrote, which took only thirty minutes, then sat around until the class completely left, and chatted with the prof for a while. Unfortunately, his job was not over, as marking and posting our grades will keep him up all night, so he had to depart once his three hour commitment was up. He said he has to stay in the class because the exam was, technicality, scheduled for three hours. So, I headed off to the library for a while, got bored, then headed here to the lounge. I’m staying until my 2:00pm appointment with the advisor just to make sure that I’m talking all the required courses and then to see what my grades are—maybe gather some additional advice on what I should be doing and any new possible directions I should take.
The conversation I had with my Criminology Theory prof (CRIM3100) was really cool and enlightening. I think that there is a huge difference when the student/ teacher barrier is lowered and we can talk freely. I say that because this is when the learning really starts, although you need the fundamentals, free talking is so valuable and honest—the real meat and potatoes of thinking comes out—not the structured planned curriculum. We had some very cool topics in the two hours that we debated. Everything from politics to Banking was free game—and we approached many ideas and thoughts in a very short period of time, but none so critically as crime and society.
In our discussion, we talked about the economic problems that we are facing today, mainly what will happen when governments start printing more many to bail out the Banks and corporations? What a good topic too I might add. What will happen when there is so much money printed and these institutions start collapsing anyway, will the public stops spending, causing deflation? The worry is that for many people who owe money, i.e., the mortgage, car payments, credit cards, the value of the currency will, or could, put us into a 1930s depression. Government will have to do extraordinary measures to combat the economic disaster to prevent this that some possible scenarios could be exercised. One possible scenario could be more control of financial institutions by governments to heavily regulate our capital system. How will markets of the future work in that type of system? What about the consumer, will we see record profits again for investors and the working class people? Will Banks loan money like they did in 2008? Scary stuff, eh?
Then there is the crime perspective. Will crime climb to unprecedented levels that our society will spin into chaos? We have a provincial election in four weeks, and so far all the political parties are playing the crime-card, albeit heavily endorsed by the media, but that in itself is interesting because is crime generated by them, the media, or is it the political parties appealing to voters who argue that crime is out of control?
Crime is interesting, not because I’m a Criminologist, but look at how people think about it. Ask yourself this, is crime a personal problem, or a social one. Are you fearful of walking outside your home, or are there neighbourhoods and communities that you will never venture because you are afraid that you will get robed, shot, or assaulted there instead? For most people their homes are well protected, and the most they will have to worry about is property crime. So crime for most people is a very small probability that most will not need to worry about. However, once you venture into areas where crime is (perceived) higher, then your probability of being a victim increases, and you will change your normal routines because of this—right? So, therefore, your aspect of crime would then be a social one, as opposed to a personal one. Gang violence is the classic case of crime for how people see crime—the odds of a biker parking in your driveway is small, and even smaller is him/her shooting you, unless you are rival biker gang member, but you see my point. We don’t want gang members shooting people, especially in public where bystander are. We then therefore are going urge whomever, “Mr. Politician,” to take a harder stance on crime and gang violence because we are constantly aware of it from the news reports every thirty minutes of every day. So the voting public will focus more on crime than any other issue, even surpassing the economy—that was our prediction today.