Daniel Schulman 
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Recent Comments

Re: “Are More Cops the Answer?

As somewhat of an aside, at the last Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board (LPAB) meeting, CalTrans presented their plans for the rehab of the Posey & Webster tubes. Plans call for replacing the boarded-up windows in the towers with Plexiglass or a similar material.

As a board member, I asked about why they were not planning on retrofitting with more historically-appropriate and presumably much less expensive glass. While I was expecting to hear about seismic requirements or durability or some-such, the answer was to meet the requirement of bullet-proof material.

Apparently the maintenance personnel who work in the towers insist on bullet-proofing because the towers get shot at so frequently. While I have no idea if these concerns are substantiated, I find it interesting that CalTrans is willing to acquiesce so readily.

In Oakland, apparently it's taken as a given that people will blindly shoot at a tower that might have someone working inside.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Daniel Schulman on 05/20/2013 at 2:39 PM

Re: “Are More Cops the Answer?

@Robert Gammon, you are making the same fundamental error in interpreting the IBM study as the authors of the article. It does NOT apply to the Oakland experience.

The main thesis of the report is that if crime is going down and it has been for awhile and your city wants to reduce it even further, spending more on police may not be a very good idea. This is why the sub-title of the article is "Re-Calibrating Spending on Police Services in an Era of Declining Crime Rates."

Are you arguing that crime rates have been down in Oakland? You have to make that case if you want to say this research is relevant.

In fact, let's follow the authors recommendations for first steps in assessing your city's situation:

1. Examine local police spending and employment history.
Go back as far as the data permits.

2. Examine changes in crime rates over that period and see if
any patterns emerge. Is there a relationship between
police spending and changes in crime rates in your city?

Hmmm, Oakland had budget problems, reduced police spending, and crime went up. I think the IBM study indicates that Oakland should hire more police.

51 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Daniel Schulman on 05/15/2013 at 6:36 PM

Re: “Are More Cops the Answer?

There's a lot wrong with this article, but the statement about findings from the IBM study strikes me as very true:

"Up to a certain point, hiring more cops might help reduce crime, but above a certain point, the returns — the crime rate — simply don't change, the authors found."

Well by any conceivable measure, the number of Oakland cops is well below that threshold. We can start talking about "more cops not being the solution to the crime problem" when the crime problem is not at absurdly high levels.

56 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Daniel Schulman on 05/15/2013 at 10:09 AM

Re: “How to Stop Ignacio De La Fuente and Other Ranked-Choice Voting Tips

If someone wants to block IDLF using their rank choice ballot, all they can do is not put him anywhere on it.

Their ballot choices have no impact on other voter's preferences. If they want to do what they can to stop him from winning, they should lend support prior to voting to the candidate they think has the best chance of winning. Such support might include financial donations, endorsements, precinct walking, and phone-banking. Personally, I also like to make funny tweets.

The only thing I am confused about is why anyone would come to you with a question that has anything to do with quantitative reasoning.

3 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Daniel Schulman on 11/02/2012 at 4:27 PM

Re: “How to Stop Ignacio De La Fuente and Other Ranked-Choice Voting Tips

Bob, Ultros1234 and Marga did not have " mistaken assertions." You are the one who is overly complicating rank choice voting and confusing people.

In your example, someone who wanted Broadhurst to win would have placed her in the number 1 spot not the number 3.

Seriously, the best way to get tripped up by ranked-choice voting is to try and game the system and outsmart yourself.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Daniel Schulman on 11/02/2012 at 3:54 PM

Re: “How to Stop Ignacio De La Fuente and Other Ranked-Choice Voting Tips

In other words vote for the candidates you'd like to win, ranking them by your overall preference.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Daniel Schulman on 11/02/2012 at 3:31 PM

Re: “Why a Curfew in Oakland Is Still a Bad Idea


Youth arrests is not the only measure of Youth Crime, it just happens to be the only one we have at hand. Just because it is the one available, it does not mean that it is a good one. For the ancients, their only measure of the shape of the earth was their own perception. That does not mean that the earth used to be flat.

More importantly, though, we are both agreeing that Youth Arrests are down. We also agree that Adult Arrests are down by about the same amount, yet crime is up.

The question then is how do we distribute the increased number of crimes among youth and adult offenders. Well however we distribute them it is going to be a pulled-from-ass type number, but the usual course of action without more data or a good argument is to distribute them in the same ratio as the data we do have.

In other words, the fact that overall crime is up is evidence that Youth Crime is up. If you want to argue it down (in fact you say “way down”), the burden is on you to come up with more evidence.

2 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Daniel Schulman on 08/16/2012 at 10:52 AM

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