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SF Weekly Letters November 5-12, 2013 


Just a computer and an algorithm: Predictive policing is equivalent to alchemy, or transforming pseudoscience into science by collecting stochastic events into a computer database application and allowing it to populate a particular set of random outcomes into a non-particular set of variable outcomes ["All Tomorrow's Crimes," Darwin Bond-Graham and Ali Winston, feature, 10/30]. It's snake oil for sale.


Program still can't predict why people commit the crimes: Some crime sprees occur when hard working people cannot find adequate work, housing and food — despite their best efforts. And people pass judgment on them as lazy and irresponsible, when they are trying to feed their families and survive. America has turned its back on God and the poor, while worshiping at the altar of greed, guns, and ruthless corporate bullies.


Snark diverts from main point: I know it's hard for Joe Eskenazi to resist the snark, but the "kaffiyeh-obscured anarchists" (and many others who had strong feelings about Grant's slaying) weren't protesting BART, per se, they were protesting the BART police ["Sit on It," Joe Eskenazi, Your Humble Narrator, 10/30]. This isn't exactly the same thing as the totality of BART. Focus up, Joe. I don't think any of those scary anarchists were asking for the end of public transportation. As such, Eskenazi's snarking about protesters had little to nothing to do with the rest of the article.


Teen on a crime spree wasn't a genius: I don't exactly see how this kid could have done so much more — why is the writer implying he's some sort of genius ["Legend of Max Wade, Teenage Marin Outlaw, Still Incomplete," Chris Roberts, the Snitch, 10/31]? It's easy to get by in an age of technology. This is just awful, and if the last name weren't Wade I'm sure there would be a different angle on this. This story is clearly trying to be some cool, slick journalistic piece, but it's a futile attempt. Sorry, move on.

Ariana V.

If protesters really want to help the homeless they should volunteer: It's real nice that they are trying to help homeless people's plight, but maybe instead of sleeping in a park as a protest they should volunteer at one of the many, though dwindling, nonprofits that seeks to help the homeless ["New Law Targets Camping at City Parks, Which Is Already Illegal," Chris Roberts, the Snitch, 10/29].


New tax would be more sticky than sweet: Scott Weiner has proposed a bad idea to tax sugar-sweetened beverages ["Soda Wars: Scott Wiener to Propose Beverage Tax," Joe Eskenazi, the Snitch, 10/28]. This tax would apply to sports drinks and to Frappucinos. Does this tax also apply to coffee, cappuccinos, espressos, lattes, and mochas? If a customer at Starbucks orders beverages with sugar, does this tax of 2 cents per ounce also apply? Perhaps the customer should instead order beverages without sugar and then later add sugar into the beverages when the sales clerk isn't looking. If customers are forced to pay 2 cents per ounce in San Francisco, then customers would simply go outside of San Francisco to do their shopping.



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