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FBI and NYPD Officers Sent On Museum Field Trip

samzenpus posted about 4 years ago | from the warrantless-permission-slips dept.

Crime 70

In an attempt to "refresh their sense of inquiry" FBI agents, and NYPD officers are being sent to a course at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Art of Perception hopes to improve an officers' ability to accurately describe what they see during an investigation by studying art. From the article: "Amy Herman, the course leader, said: 'We're getting them off the streets and out of the precincts, and it refreshes their sense of inquiry. They're thinking, "Oh, how am I doing my job," and it forces them to think about how they communicate, and how they see the world around them.' Ms Herman, an art historian, originally developed the course for medical students, but successfully pitched it as a training course to the New York Police Academy."

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And only 5 paintings and sculptures were shot (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#34027554)

The New York Police Department calls the trip a "resounding success." Though several paintings and sculptures were shot multiple times during the trip, an internal NYPD investigation has confirmed that the pieces of art were apparently reaching for weapons when they were fired upon. "Yeah, sounds like a clean kill to me," said Officer Leo Sekonsky, in reference to an incident that left Vincent van Gogh's "Self-Portrait with Straw Hat" in tatters. "That Van Gogh was definitely reaching for a knife or some shit. Ain't no one gonna say different."

Re:And only 5 paintings and sculptures were shot (4, Funny)

Coren22 (1625475) | about 4 years ago | (#34027638)

They also repeatedly tazed a statue until it stopped resisting arrest.

Re:And only 5 paintings and sculptures were shot (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#34027700)

However, they steadfastly deny any knowledge of how a statue carved in black marble got a broomstick and three flashlights shoved up its ass.

Re:And only 5 paintings and sculptures were shot (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 4 years ago | (#34028224)

And they disclaim any rumors that one of the patrons escaped through a window and is now involved in a manhunt all over the city. In other news, the body of the museum's curator was found dead, having written "Call Robert Langdon" in his own blood.

Re:And only 5 paintings and sculptures were shot (1)

II Xion II (1420223) | about 4 years ago | (#34027868)

Don't chip me bro!

Re:And only 5 paintings and sculptures were shot (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#34028262)

Hey why all the negativity? It got numerous armed and dangerous people off the street for a short time and the crime rate more than likely fell to.

Win/Win

Re:And only 5 paintings and sculptures were shot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#34034400)

First I read "Hey why all the negativity?" and started firing up my cop-hating, but then I saw the sarcasm... carry on.

ze inspecter (0, Offtopic)

rossdee (243626) | about 4 years ago | (#34027590)

Did they catch any art thieves?

Re:ze inspecter (1)

mcneely.mike (927221) | about 4 years ago | (#34028202)

They tried to, but the art thief was holding a banana and they hadn't yet taken the Monty Python course yet.

The first outing was so successful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#34027604)

Officers plan on bringing The Art of Perception to a strip club or donut shop next month.

P.S. Ms Herman is a genius.

Quite a novel approach... (1)

eepok (545733) | about 4 years ago | (#34027640)

I may implement this with my students and colleagues.

Meditation (3, Insightful)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 4 years ago | (#34027642)

It sounds like an attempt at filling the gap left by the lack of meditation our society experiences. Nobody plays Go (or Chess; but Go is a superior game), nobody quietly contemplates, nobody does listening meditations or anything. The most basic are breath awareness exercises-- sit quietly, close your eyes, observe the sound of the air passing through your nose and into your lungs, how your chest and belly expand, how your body shifts... then focus as well on your heart beat, and then add the focus of your attention on your muscles adjusting to hold your posture against gravity, shifting your balance constantly. All of these things at once, just for a minute or two, or an hour if you wish; time is a personal decision.

We do none of this stuff, and then we sit around wondering why people are bad at observing things. People want answers to shit; we still want to understand what's happening around us. But we've trained ourselves to be intolerant of the task of observation. We want to look, see, and understand; but our minds are looking for an ANSWER, not simply looking. So we don't understand what we're seeing, and we can't form a viable answer of what's going on around us.

It's like when you put a can of soup to the right of a jar of mayonaise in the cabinet. Then you open the cabinet and somebody moved the mayo a foot to the left next to a bottle of oil, and you spend 10 minutes trying to find it. You NEED it to be there, because you don't know HOW to observe and understand.

Here we have an attempt to make people stop, relax, stare and contemplate the art, the sculptures. Talk about what they see. A hollow attempt to regain these abilities that we no longer have.

The sad part is this is all completely whacked out and ridiculous ... and that I'm right.

Re:Meditation (2, Interesting)

MaWeiTao (908546) | about 4 years ago | (#34027800)

I generally agree with all the points you made. But something stuck out to me:

Nobody plays Go (or Chess; but Go is a superior game)

I have to ask: why is Go superior to Chess? Easier to pick up? More possible permutations? It was created in China as opposed to Chess which is a Western game?

I don't see how any of these reasons make Go inherently superior to Chess. Hell, even Checkers is a pretty damn good game and there are a million other good ones out there.

If you prefer Go, that's great, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's better than anything else.

Re:Meditation (2, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about 4 years ago | (#34028076)

I have to ask: why is Go superior to Chess?

You get more meditative observation of symmetry and pattern matching out of the simple rules of Go, than the relatively much more complicated rules of Chess.

Go is more about the patterns of pieces whereas Chess is more about the interactions between the different rulesets for pieces.

The board for checkers is way too small to develop exciting patterns to watch.

Re:Meditation (1, Offtopic)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 4 years ago | (#34028422)

Nobody plays Go (or Chess; but Go is a superior game)

I have to ask: why is Go superior to Chess? Easier to pick up? More possible permutations? It was created in China as opposed to Chess which is a Western game?

I don't see how any of these reasons make Go inherently superior to Chess. Hell, even Checkers is a pretty damn good game and there are a million other good ones out there.

Let's say that "superiority" is a fuzzy term first. No matter my arguments, someone will come with a completely different list of valuable aspects of a game and claim that X is superior to Y because these aspects are more important.

Checkers is a simpler game than Chess, but in the same vein. I would call Chess superior, because Checkers allows for isometric thinking (i.e. breadth, but very little depth... look at the field and play). Checkers is also quite shallow: pieces move around and do not really guard other pieces to any great strategic extent (they do, but not to the extent of Chess or Go), so moves are usually pretty isolated and play is rather basic. All pieces being identical initially, and then in two classes, Checkers allows a huge amount of flexibility on a strategically simple game.

When we talk about Chess in relation to Checkers, moving a pawn to a position is in no way similar to moving a knight, bishop, rook, or queen to that position. Getting any piece there is different. Their strategic meaning is completely different. Having a bunch of pieces in one area can be a weakness if they can't function as an efficient military unit; you have to have a proper strategy. This makes Chess superior to Checkers.

Now, let's compare Chess and Checkers to Backgammon, let's say. Chess and Checkers being in the same vein, we'll take just Chess. Backgammon is man versus luck: you roll dice and see what happens. Chess on the other hand sets up two opposing armies with strategic configuration, pitting a man with a concrete goal (unconditional capture of the king) against another man by strategy. Thus, Chess represents the struggle of Man versus Man: a man's tactical cunning against his opponent will produce victory.

In Go, you start with an empty board. Immediately playing against your opponent will win you ... nothing. The brief study of Joseki helps ensure that such petty plays as to immediately confront lone stones comes out balanced; the farther reaching study of Go teaches the foundations of this, so that altering the Joseki only puts you at a loss since your opponent responds with devastating play that shifts the balance to his favor. Thus the opening is about playing your influence, spreading out enough to gain territorial control but not so much as to lose strength in the later play of the game as your opponent isolates your dispersed stones from one another while approaching them with his own.

The play of Go further continues with understandings of not just small patterns here and there; but of the intrinsic connections that form between stones. Go follows the concept of "Life and Death," and shapes begin to form which can become alive or be killed by cunning play. At the same time, seemingly distant stones may provide a clear path to escape death and to connect shape: stones may be impossible to divide from each other despite the board being so open. Play can thus establish strong territorial control, but only by seeing many, many possibilities and at the same time few or none. Rather than playing small areas and connecting, you play small areas and at the same time consider the larger, far reaching impact of each individual stone to the whole of the playing field.

Thus improvement of the game of Go is considered to come from improvement of the self. You have no direct goal against your opponent; your goal is to maintain control of territory, by influence. Your influence includes securing large and small areas of the board, and encroaching deeply into opponent territory maybe for no personal gain (you might win 2 or 3 points, or even none) but to the assurance that your opponent suddenly suffers a huge loss (mayhaps you made no territory, but isolated his border from a 15-20 point territory in the corner; thus his score lowers). You make these plays purely against the weakness of shape in the current position of the board.

So it is said that Chess is won by tactically outmaneuvering your opponent to accomplish a direct and concrete goal. The game of Go is also made by accomplishing a goal; however, that goal begins with absolutely no definition, as no territory bounds exist. As the game develops, the state of the board is interpreted, and judgement and balance are employed to shape and form the territory. Implications of yours and your opponents plays are continuously made. The game of Go is not won by defeat of your opponent; it is won by insight, understanding, and careful contemplation.

In every facet of Go, you are faced with extreme choices leading to more subtle choices. Do I play in this or that discrete area? Do I defend or abandon this group? Do I respond to the last play or tenuki elsewhere? Decide. Now in this place, how exactly do you play? When you play, you want a direct advantage, like linking two stones or defending something; but your play should also open up your future play, establishing shape and further possibilities for running, invading, connecting, defending. This is radically different from Chess, which is strictly tactical, with each play representing a direct abandonment of the previous position and a movement into another, more tactical position.

That is long winded and very fuzzy and complex; but the question is complex. In some cases, there are not concrete answers, however much you wish to believe there are; concrete answers come in the form of what happens when you hit a nail with a hammer, or what is the function of love in reproduction. Questions such as why do we build or what IS love are fuzzy; and games are expressions of fuzzy concepts, as amusement itself would seem to be the result of an evolutionary flaw (why must we be amused, when our existence relies only on self-preservation, food, and reproduction?).

Re:Meditation (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 4 years ago | (#34030072)

Go no more 'stems from the concepts of life and death than chess or checkers.' Claiming that it is superior, even in a 'fuzzy' way is applying meaning where their is none. Unless you are going to claim that Go is about becoming good at genocide, while chess is about subduing your enemies without genocide.

Go also has a definition to it's goal. "Remove all of your opponents pieces". Go is won by defeat of your opponent. Period.

There are reasons that Go is superior to Chess though. The rules are simpler, and the permutations are greater while offering just a complex strategy. They are different games though. Chess takes relatively complex arbitrary rules and works out strategy from their, and Go takes simple rules an works out strategy from that point. If I had to pick only one game per group, would rather see my engineers playing Go and my lawyers playing Chess.

Re:Meditation (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | about 4 years ago | (#34035906)

> Go is about becoming good at genocide
> Go also has a definition to it's goal. "Remove all of your opponents pieces"

Incorrect. You could win a game of Go without capturing a single stone.

Re:Meditation (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 4 years ago | (#34036744)

Go no more 'stems from the concepts of life and death than chess or checkers.'

In Go, your most advantageous skill is recognizing shapes that suggest life or death. Can you make this group of stones uncapturable? Can you make a play that prevents the opponent from making a group of their stones uncapturable? If these stones are dead, you can safely ignore them; if they are alive, you don't have to worry about capture and you can leverage them. If they are unsettled, you should take action here.

In Chess or Checkers, you have no way to guarantee that even a single piece cannot be captured; you can only assure that that piece is "protected" such that if the black Queen takes your Bishop you can capture her with your Knight. In Checkers there isn't even that: pieces "guarding" other pieces become jump chains for your opponent to devastate.

Go also has a definition to it's goal. "Remove all of your opponents pieces". Go is won by defeat of your opponent. Period.

Go is won by the control of territory. A failed invasion is construed as a loss of territory: capturing a piece gains you a point, but with the alternation of play leading to ultimate capture in an invasion I would play exactly as many stones as you would in my territory to capture if played out. If I simply kill your stones and don't capture, I still retain them as prisoners after the game is over (capture dead stones), which has the same effect; in which case playing out the capture would serve to REDUCE my score. In the case of a futile run, you send me more pieces to capture while I ignore them, then play to capture, INCREASING my score.

If both players recognize the death of those stones the moment they are dead, then the net gain for both sides is zero; a struggling invader will increase his opponent's score, and an overzealous defender will reduce his own score to finish capturing.

It seems you have no idea how Go is played.

If I had to pick only one game per group, would rather see my engineers playing Go and my lawyers playing Chess.

Go is to philosophers and warriors what Chess is to merchants and accountants. (It would be more kind to say Go appeals to the philosopher in a man and Chess to the merchant in him; but less correct.) That said, I would rather see engineers and managers (generals are managers, are they not?) playing Go, and Lawyers I suppose would find more interest in Chess. You can't much help a lawyer.

Actually chess has an Eastern origin as well (2, Informative)

sgtrock (191182) | about 4 years ago | (#34028696)

The game is thought to originated somewhere in the border country of India and Afghanistan around 600 A.D. It came to Europe via Arabic traders a few hundred years later.

Yea, and Irish are Chinese and Scots are Latino. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#34029134)

Because the Irish originated from a migration route from China through Pakistan (origin Kilts) and then Persia, up the India trade-roads into Spain where they aquired their red-hair and then departed Gaelicia (Lyons?) to kick-out the Femorians (toads) where is then founded Ireland and then St Patrick genocided all the remaining Femorians and druidic Yews (snakes).

And then you have Scots who are nothing more than the children of a Norwegian that passed from India through Iraq and Iran (bagpipes), that then mated to an Irish, and puts consonants on his Gaelic language to be more Goi[d]ellic.

And do you want to know who the English are? Do you? Huh? Dinaric with Phoenician ancestry and a hint or recent Scotch and some Irish, with exception to Wales who are ancestrally Hebrew (not Jewish).

Re:Meditation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#34028086)

That's the modern working day for you.

Re:Meditation (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 4 years ago | (#34028158)

It sounds like an attempt at filling the gap left by the lack of meditation our society experiences. Nobody plays Go (or Chess; but Go is a superior game), nobody quietly contemplates, nobody does listening meditations or anything.

This is only true for rather loose definitions of nobody. Practitioners of Eastern meditative traditions, New Age traditions influenced by Eastern meditative traditions, Christian meditative traditions -- native or adopted from other sources, etc., are not exactly hard to find in the U.S.

It may be a little harder to find meditative practices practiced outside the context of a religious tradition, but there's quite a bit of that around, too. (Even if most of the practices themselves are adapted from one or more of the religious traditions.)

Re:Meditation (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 4 years ago | (#34028562)

It may be a little harder to find meditative practices practiced outside the context of a religious tradition, but there's quite a bit of that around, too. (Even if most of the practices themselves are adapted from one or more of the religious traditions.)

Religion and spirituality are separate concepts. Many people avoid meditation because they don't want to accept the idea of a "spirituality" and thus determine that since they can't explain why this is any different than sleeping it must be a complete waste of time for whacked-out new age hippies.

Just as meditation can be practiced outside religion, many forms of meditation can be practiced without discomforting yourself with the ideal that this is somehow "mystical." Kundalini meditation cannot. Yoga, breathing exercises, quiet contemplation, the like, can all be taken as direct physical/psychological stimulus if you like. While it is true that rejecting the spiritual limits your options, it is also true that you have nothing to gain by enduring uncomfortable ideals; those discomforted by the ideal of "spirituality" will not benefit from such mystical meditations, although they may benefit from exploring this as a flaw in themselves if they so choose. Meditations that revolve around sexuality, for example, are usually avoided by those uncomfortable with sex; however I chose to pursue these in order to understand and correct this discomfort.

The point still stands. People don't know how NOT to quickly move from one thing to the other without observation. They encounter stress, and they can't understand what's happening. They develop hateful relationships because someone does something that they dislike and they MUST obsess about it because they CANNOT look into themselves and determine that this does not affect them in any meaningful way. They make bad decisions because they cannot take the time to reason; they only know that something has happened and they MUST react, so they react as habitual rather than as considered and understood.

Re:Meditation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#34028180)

The sad part is this is all completely whacked out and ridiculous

Yes.

... and that I'm right.

.
No.

Re:Meditation (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | about 4 years ago | (#34028260)

nobody does listening meditations or anything

While I wish more people in our society did so, lots of us still do. For anyone interested here's a great site with some free podcasts on the topic: This [audiodharma.org] is a great series by this guy [audiodharma.org] , and while not affiliated with audiodharma, here [amazon.com] is a great book on cultivating "Mindfulness".

By the way, before anyone mods me into oblivion, neither of these 2 resources teaches mediation that's necessarily from 1 particular religious background (or any religious background). So, this isn't preaching, proselytizing or anything, just trying to share some good resources for learning meditation techniques from people who teach it well.

Re:Meditation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#34029466)

It sounds like an attempt at filling the gap left by the lack of meditation our society experiences. Nobody plays Go (or Chess; but Go is a superior game), nobody quietly contemplates, nobody does listening meditations or anything. The most basic are breath awareness exercises-- sit quietly, close your eyes, observe the sound of the air passing through your nose and into your lungs, how your chest and belly expand, how your body shifts... then focus as well on your heart beat, and then add the focus of your attention on your muscles adjusting to hold your posture against gravity, shifting your balance constantly. All of these things at once, just for a minute or two, or an hour if you wish; time is a personal decision.

We do none of this stuff, and then we sit around wondering why people are bad at observing things.

So people are bad at observing things because they don't take time to explicitly recognize involuntary/automatic bodily processes? I fail to see the connection.

People want answers to shit; we still want to understand what's happening around us. But we've trained ourselves to be intolerant of the task of observation. We want to look, see, and understand; but our minds are looking for an ANSWER, not simply looking. So we don't understand what we're seeing, and we can't form a viable answer of what's going on around us.

So the reason that we don't find answers in our observation is that we are looking for them? I can't speak for everyone else, but I feel like I generally *do* find answers in my observation, and it's because I *was* looking for them. You can't find what you're looking for if you don't know what you're looking for, and if you do know what you're looking for, why on earth shouldn't you look for it? I'm all for discarding useless preconceptions. Take lateral thinking puzzles, for example, where the point is to confound people by getting them stuck in an assumption that they fail to question. But logical analysis and methodical elimination has proven far more effective as a means to solve the puzzle than aimlessly meditating on it.

Besides, there's a reason we have these preconceptions. The human brain is very good at throwing out vast amounts of useless information. The vast majority of what we experience through our senses is irrelevant. If I'm trying to find my exit off the highway, it doesn't matter how my shirt feels against my skin or if seagulls are making noise nearby. So how exactly does one improve one's ability to pick out *relevant* information by focusing on things that are, in most circumstances, irrelevant? (i.e. breathing, muscle positions, etc.)

It's like when you put a can of soup to the right of a jar of mayonaise in the cabinet. Then you open the cabinet and somebody moved the mayo a foot to the left next to a bottle of oil, and you spend 10 minutes trying to find it. You NEED it to be there, because you don't know HOW to observe and understand.

Well, I certainly *expect* it to be there, but once evidence shows that it is not, I will look elsewhere. I will reason what the likely places for it might be (mayonaise is moved by people, so where might a person have put it?) and I will methodically search those places. If I still do not find it, I will question assumptions I have previously been operating under (perhaps it was not moved, but rather determined to have gone bad and thrown away), and proceed to widen my search. Skills acquired by regular meditation will prove no more effective in this task... less, I'd wager. My way simply cannot fail if it is at all possible to succeed.

Here we have an attempt to make people stop, relax, stare and contemplate the art, the sculptures. Talk about what they see. A hollow attempt to regain these abilities that we no longer have.

The sad part is this is all completely whacked out and ridiculous ... and that I'm right.

What is whacked out and ridiculous? That we've allowed these so-called skills to lapse? That we're allegedly attempting to reacquire them in an ineffective manner?

Re:Meditation (2, Interesting)

Labcoat Samurai (1517479) | about 4 years ago | (#34029492)

Well this is odd. I do not recall clicking the button to post anonymously. And yes, I realize the irony of that.

Re:Meditation (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 4 years ago | (#34032564)

Yes, people "want answers to shit" and that's why they invent bullshit like meditation and numerology and astrology and chi and acupuncture. Because they don't care if they're logical or sensible answers. Just as long as they can put their primitive monkey-brains at rest.

The time and money would have had a greater return on the investment if they had sent everyone to a remedial course on the constitution and civil liberties, since law enforcement officers tend to know the least about the actual laws they're enforcing or abusing.

Re:Meditation: amusing how studying your OWN MIND_ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#34033294)

is considered bullshit: scientific method, studying the substance ( mind, one's system-of-knowing, one's tools ) with-which you study Universe, is beyond you, utterly?

I pity you:
I consider understanding one's tools-of-knowing to be required,
for mental competence & integrity...

and you consider it to be bullshit to be opposed, automatically...

Too difficult/offensive to do the experiment?

  -Antryg

Cue scene from L.A. Story. (4, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 4 years ago | (#34027644)

This made me think of the scene in the movie L.A. Story, where Harris K. Telemacher (Steve Martin) is describing an off-screen painting, which then turns out to be composed of all red paint:
  • I like the relationships. Each character has his own story.
  • The puppy is a bit too much, but you have to overlook that.
  • The way he's holding her, it's almost... filthy.
  • He's about to kiss her and she's pulling away...
  • The way his leg is smashed up against her...
  • Look how he's painted the blouse, sort of translucent,
  • You can make out her breast, and it's sort of touching him...
  • It's really pretty torrid, don't you think?
  • And of course you have the onlookers peeking out like they're all shocked.
  • They wish.
  • I must admit, when I see a painting like this, I get emotionally...Erect.

Re:Cue scene from L.A. Story. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#34028736)

That movie is awesome.

Re:Cue scene from L.A. Story. (1)

Dabido (802599) | about 4 years ago | (#34036752)

Without remembering the movie, I'd guess he was looking at a Mark Rothko painting. He made great big square patches of paint famous.

Make them live in a housing project for a week... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#34027652)

...that will refresh the sense of inquiry much, much better.

Re:Make them live in a housing project for a week. (4, Insightful)

Shark (78448) | about 4 years ago | (#34028140)

I'd go even cheaper: Make them read the constitution they swore an oath to defend.

Re:Make them live in a housing project for a week. (3, Insightful)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | about 4 years ago | (#34031842)

Reading the constitution isn't nearly enough to understand even the hundredth part of it, much less to understand why it matters that we defend it.

One simple example: we tell kids it takes a simple majority of Congress to pass a bill into law, then a 2/3rds majority to overrule the president's veto, and we give them the constitution to read. But technically, Congress can pass laws any way it wants for the initial passage--it can deem them passed, or require sixty votes to end a philibuster, or require a unanimous vote. Just reading the constitution without thought isn't enough, and even with thought isn't enough, unless you're actually studying it.

Another example: Miranda rights are NOT in the constitution. The Supreme Court made them up a few years ago as a way to protect constitutional rights and has been slowly taking them away since.

Another example: There is a debate over changing the language of the Fourteenth Amendment to not grant citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants. The sentence they're thinking about changing is the one we insisted on writing in because of the civil war--it's what we fought the civil war over: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." To the casual reader, it just seems to make people born here citizens of the US--but in reality, it granted black northerners *federal* citizenship, as opposed to merely state citizenship, meaning the federal government now had a legal avenue to fight discriminatory state action.

It would take a year of a *good* school for most of us to begin to understand the constitution.

Re:Make them live in a housing project for a week. (1)

Shark (78448) | about 4 years ago | (#34034164)

Reading the constitution isn't nearly enough to understand even the hundredth part of it, much less to understand why it matters that we defend it.

I mostly agree there and with the rest of your post too. But I still think someone who swears an oath to the constitution ought to *at least* read it.

As it stands, current trend seems to instruct law enforcement that people who mention the constitution too often might be domestic terrorists. See the MIAC report among several other examples of that.

If you teach police to think, do you (3, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | about 4 years ago | (#34027780)

end up with thought-police?

Re:If you teach police to think, do you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#34028904)

No, you get taught police.

Re:If you teach police to think, do you (2, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | about 4 years ago | (#34029120)

Only in Brooklyn.

Faux pas (5, Funny)

Alsee (515537) | about 4 years ago | (#34027866)

The program will be canceled about 12 seconds after the first officer on the witness stand describes a rape victim as "Rubenesque".

-

Re:Faux pas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#34030052)

Why? What women wouldn't want to be told she was like a grilled pastrami and Swiss cheese on rye?

Your rights online? (3, Insightful)

BatGnat (1568391) | about 4 years ago | (#34027988)

Why is it labeled your rights online?

Just like with the Apollo moon landing... (2, Informative)

HockeyPuck (141947) | about 4 years ago | (#34028198)

Looks like the NYPD is taking a page out of NASA's preparation for the moon landing. Where Apollo astronauts worked with geologists to better be able to describe what they saw while they were on (or flying above) the moon's surface. Instead of calling something a gray rock, they could give it a more scientific and accurate description.

Re:Just like with the Apollo moon landing... (1)

adamdoyle (1665063) | about 4 years ago | (#34028718)

So your analogy is...
      geology:moon_landing :: art:crime_scene
or more specifically,
      rocks:moon_rocks :: art:dead_bodies

I think that's a bit of a stretch

oh look (1)

trb (8509) | about 4 years ago | (#34028216)

I think this will lead to a rise in the arrest of moonwalking gorillas.

"Your Rights Online"? (2, Insightful)

JimTheta (115513) | about 4 years ago | (#34028366)

Why is this filed under "Your Rights Online"?

Because it involves cops...?

Re:"Your Rights Online"? (0, Troll)

BeanThere (28381) | about 4 years ago | (#34028480)

Maybe it's about taxpayers' rights not to have their money wasted on crap like this?

Re:"Your Rights Online"? (1)

synthesizerpatel (1210598) | about 4 years ago | (#34028692)

Take any person you consider 'brilliant' and do a bit of digging on what makes them brilliant. You'll probably find they have a wide breadth of knowledge outside their focus area. The other thing you'll find is that by absorbing new ideas that you get new perspective on your old ideas by being able to make connections between seemingly disparate concepts or see patterns in your old ideas by seeing them through a new lense.

So, while you see this as 'money wasted on crap', I think it's a good idea. Take people out of their element, stimulate their minds with new ideas. There's no harm that can come from this, only benefit.

The argument that money is wasted on art or music education always strikes me as myopic.

Re:"Your Rights Online"? (1)

BeanThere (28381) | about 4 years ago | (#34029062)

Something tells me the most brilliant cops didn't get that way because someone dragged them to an art museum one day, but because of their own internal drive, motivation and breadth of interest.

The rest don't need to be 'brilliant' intellectual masters of diverse knowledge, they just need to be good at catching bad guys and filing reports.

Let's face it, this is little more than a glorified day off. If there's any value in it, it's that they're getting a paid break.

But hey, if this precinct suddenly churns out a large percentage of brilliant cops in a few years time, I'll be willing to admit I was wrong. Something tells me neither of us will be holding our breaths for that.

"The argument that money is wasted on art or music education"

If only money was infinite. In real life you have to make choices and prioritize spending, and I'm guessing there were better ways to spend this money. Now you might say it's a small thing, but that's the problem, we have a flood of millions of such 'small things'.

Re:"Your Rights Online"? (1)

synthesizerpatel (1210598) | about 4 years ago | (#34029788)

Yikes.

Re:"Your Rights Online"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#34028808)

Actually, I think it is very important...
 
I used my local community college for my prerequisite classes back in my college days, one one thing stick out the most: We were given a reading on this story relating to the right to die movement. A man, described by his nurse going from a strong man, to a man begging for death as the lung cancer tore away at him. How whenever he stopped breathing, he was resuscitated by the doctors despite his objections. And how he took far longer to die because of this. It was one of the stories that lead to the adaptation of the DNR. Though the two students who were reading an associates in criminology, both police officers, discussed how the paper showed the revenges of smoking.
 
Problem was, the paper never mentioned if the man was a smoker. And you couldn't convince them that there were other ways one could get cancer. Or that the paper was focusing on the pain being forced upon the man by a system that would not allow him to die when he wished, even though there was no way to save his life. Just that "Smoking Kills". They couldn't understand the ethics problems the class was discussing, and would just restate different boildowns of "Smoking kills".
 
That was honestly the most terrified I have been when I thought of my states police department...

Absolutely (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#34029420)

Because it involves cops...?

As a member of a city police department for over 15 years, I can tell you that in many cities there exists a real problem with relations between law enforcement and the public, and that problem is that in any urban or suburban department of any real size, the officers are all ultimately gravitating towards a world in which there exists only cops and criminals. If you're not a cop then you're a criminal and a citizen is just a criminal who hasn't got caught yet. This nation is on a downward spiral to becoming a police state and this trend must be reversed.

Programs like this one sound like they may be of some benefit towards that reversal. I even personally believe that full time career LEOs should have to periodically take an extended sabbatical away from the law enforcement environment in order to qualify for remaining in the field. Something like you get to work as a cop for four or five years in a row, then you must take two years away from any kind of LEO position during which time you're a complete civilian with none of the privileges or protections offered to LEOs, then when your two years are up, you can carry a badge and a gun again for another four or five year stint. This would help drive home the fact that the citizens are really your boss.

Re:Absolutely (1)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | about 4 years ago | (#34030916)

Interesting idea.. The same should apply to career politicians, or any other profession involving a great deal of power over others..

Wish it would, but ain't never gunna happen... (1)

jeko (179919) | about 4 years ago | (#34031614)

As much as I love this idea, it'll never happen for the same reason my other favorite plan won't.

Every time we hear the police complain that "Civilians don't understand what it's like, it's a lonely dangerous job, you could never do it, you could never understand" I offer the following plan. Fine. Take every able-bodied, responsible, solid-citizen who's willing, and train and deputize them.

I'm talking serious people with gravitas. Former military officers and chiefs, ER docs, SAR team leads, Red Cross disaster coordinators, CAP fliers, VFD officers, airline pilots and the like. Put them through the Academy on a night shift. They'll sign whatever waivers you require.

In any major city, we could triple the number of boots and guns on the ground, and give the professional police force the breathing room they require. Any full-time uniform outranks and directs the volunteers just like we do for fire-fighting.

This plan is always immediately rejected, no matter what level of training is offered for the volunteers. I once offered to get a squad of triathalon-running judo-black-belt attorneys who could pass the shooting requirements for SWAT together. No dice.

There is a reason our police are chosen from young, poor people with a legally-tested IQ cap. They don't want our cops to know any other life. They don't want our cops to have any other experience than taking orders. That's why they love hiring ex-marines, young people of limited experience who will follow orders without thinking. The city fathers never want to hear a uniform tell them, "I'm sorry sir, but that's an illegal order and it is my duty to decline."

Making cops take a couple of years off of the force would give them the experience and perspective to grow a backbone. The people who hire them would never tolerate that.

Re:Wish it would, but ain't never gunna happen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#34032578)

"Civilians don't understand what it's like, it's a lonely dangerous job, you could never do it, you could never understand"

Fun fact: statistically speaking, you're more likely to be killed as a carpenter, electrician, or miner than as a cop. Being a cop is only slightly more dangerous than childbirth.

Re:Wish it would, but ain't never gunna happen... (1)

Quothz (683368) | about 4 years ago | (#34033538)

Every time we hear the police complain that "Civilians don't understand what it's like, it's a lonely dangerous job, you could never do it, you could never understand"

This is no dig on you, but it's worth pointing out at this point that cops are civilians. And likewise worth pointing out while I'm here that cops are citizens. Folks on both sides of the badge have a nasty tendency to forget that. I'm not sure why.

Amen (1)

jeko (179919) | about 4 years ago | (#34033984)

cops are civilians.

Civilian: [merriam-webster.com]
2a : one not on active duty in the armed services or not on a police or firefighting force

But I get your point in that they aren't military. The problem is that the police have forgotten that in the "War on Drugs/Terror/Liberals."

Head over to the forums on "Officer.com" to hear some truly hair-raising smack talked by people we trust with guns and badges. We've tolerated a police culture that thinks of everyone out of uniform as -- officers' own words, mind you -- "sheeple," "peasants" and "children" for far too long.

Re:"Your Rights Online"? (2, Insightful)

Baby Duck (176251) | about 4 years ago | (#34030742)

It would be more apt to file it under "Your Rights Deniers Offline"

Plot to next Police Academy Movie? (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about 4 years ago | (#34028768)

The setup sells itself!

Cops learning about colors (1)

Bezultek (1109675) | about 4 years ago | (#34028810)

Yet another scene from the Simpsons, accurately predicting where this all will go:

Agent Johnson: [on speaker] This is Agent Johnson from the FBI. Be on the lookout for a 1936 Maroon Stutz Bearcat!

[A 1936 Maroon Stutz Bearcat whizzes past.]

Chief Wiggum: [lazy] Ahh, that really was more of a burgundy.

From The Trouble with Trillions

Never Too Late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#34028844)

You're essentially trying to retrain an already adapted mind, against the same environment. I'm not saying it can't be done, but I'd like to think we have the proper educational instructors at these types of places that could better implement the necessary policy and training changes before the fact, rather than after.

Or perhaps, it is not an important enough improvement to the personnel in the field as they think it is. Who am I kidding, right? This is the FBI and CIA we're talking about here.

Excellent idea (2, Interesting)

Mad-cat (134809) | about 4 years ago | (#34029578)

Observation is a learned skill, and anything that makes police better observers is great in my book.
I train my fellow officers in some simple observation exercises. My favorite takes place during meal breaks.

When sitting down at a restaurant, I instruct them to maintain eye contact with me, but describe every article of clothing the person at the table next to us is wearing. By forcing them to use their peripheral vision to gather details, they slowly learn to better use their unfocused vision and not get easily distracted. It's also a lot of fun.

For the less-than-willing male officers, I tell them it means they can check out women without actually looking at them...

Probably even more effective... (2, Interesting)

toby (759) | about 4 years ago | (#34030278)

Would be teaching them to DRAW.

Which is also about learning to see.

Re:Probably even more effective... (1)

TimSSG (1068536) | about 4 years ago | (#34033600)

I think they already practice drawing and firing. Tim S.

Greatness (1)

firewrought (36952) | about 4 years ago | (#34031394)

Let's give a round applause for two groups of people thinking creatively in order to get better at doing what they do: the law enforcement folks for considering new approaches and the art folks for doing more to make their profession relevant to society.

Reminds Me (1)

Quothz (683368) | about 4 years ago | (#34033588)

That's reminiscent of a Mexican mayor who required his officers to regularly read books (and write short reports) in order to be eligible for promotion. I've been curious for some time how well that worked out. The LA Times story is archived here [pqarchiver.com] (behind a paywall but there's an abstract).

Hmmm, isn't this redundant? (1)

kmoser (1469707) | about 4 years ago | (#34034270)

The Art of Perception hopes to improve an officers' ability to accurately describe what they see during an investigation by studying art.

Er, wasn't the whole point of studying to be a police officer so that they could, among other things, accurately describe what they see during an investigation? If they're no good at that, they shouldn't have been hired in the first place; and if they were hired, they should be fired after the fact.

Wouldn't work... (1)

teachknowlegy (1003477) | about 4 years ago | (#34035796)

They would probably feel as though the constitution was falsifying a police report.

Smithsonian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#34038762)

It took a year for this story [smithsonianmag.com] to get to UK and back? Sad.

Mrs. Clinton also said that Washington (1)

aotian (1915400) | about 4 years ago | (#34045108)

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