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GoPro Project Claims Technology Is Making People Lose Empathy For Homeless

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the look-straight-ahead dept.

Technology 320

EwanPalmer (2536690) writes "A project involving GoPro cameras and people living on the streets of San Francisco has suggests technology is making people feel less compassionate towards the homeless. Started by Kevin F Adler, the Homeless GoPro project aims to 'build empathy through a first-hand perspective' by strapping one of the cameras onto homeless volunteers to document their lives and daily interactions. One of the volunteers, Adam Reichart, said he believes it is technology which is stopping people from feeling sympathy towards people living on the street as it's easier to have 'less feelings when you're typing something' than looking at them in the eye"

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First Post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775157)

Gaotse 4eva! G N A A is cool!

No, just gives us a new way to hide it (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775167)

I wasn't giving pandhandlers money before, either, now I just have my phone to look at instead of nothing.

perception (5, Insightful)

globaljustin (574257) | about 6 months ago | (#46775179)

I usually don't blame "technology" in the abstract for anything...IMHO it's too reductive of a concept to be useful and always glosses over the actual technical details

This, however, strikes me as different. This is a good thing because it communicates a *need* in a way that our modern society has made obsolete.

In the 18th Century, cities were so small and mixed that the rich **had to see the poor** daily. They had to see how they lived, open on the streets.

Today, for several reasons related to technology, the rich are able to go about their business completely obvlivious to the struggles of the poor.

Those struggles become nothing more than another voice in the din of TV/internet media...in the endless news cycle...easy to marginalize and ignore, even for a really civic-minded rich person...it's just not on their radar screen

This project aims to correct that with technology...I think it's valuable

Helping the poor (4, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 6 months ago | (#46775225)

In San Francisco you "have to see the poor" daily as well. Hows that working out for them?

The trouble with the homeless is that they are not just poor, there are usually multiple problems at work including mental issues... so seeing them and giving them money is usually not helping much.

If you really want to help the poor I suggest going to Modest Needs [modestneeds.org] , that is the best place I've found to help the truly poor directly before they fall off the bottom rung of the ladder.

good info (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 6 months ago | (#46775315)

thanks for the link!

and yes, I see your point about SF today...

Re:perception (3, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about 6 months ago | (#46775239)

In the 18th Century, cities were so small and mixed that the rich **had to see the poor** daily. They had to see how they lived, open on the streets.

And so a common solution at the time was to occasionally have the cops beat all the beggars out of town with cudgels. No more problem with seeing the homeless.

The issue isn't seeing, the issue is caring. (And personally, my charity goes to people around the world with much worse problems than America's "poor", people whom I will never see, but that's just me.)

Re:perception (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 6 months ago | (#46775349)

The issue isn't seeing, the issue is caring.

right...i get your point (another poster said the same)

what I mean is, today there are good people who see homeless out the car window just bumming around under a bridge and that's all...that gives the perception that *all* homeless people are that way by choice

when our cities were smaller homeless families couldn't hide...

but yeah, i agree that the will to care has to be there in the first place

Re:perception (5, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about 6 months ago | (#46775387)

The biggest problem as I see it is that so many people think it's the government's job now. After all, we pay a lot of taxes and the government has a lot of social programs. Why do more? I used to think that way myself.

But these days, I just accept my taxes as a total loss, and only count as charity what I give to good charities that I trust. I also prefer charities focused on fixing the underlying issues, over the merely palliative.

Re:perception (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775415)

Isn't it something we *want* the government to do? I'm not saying the current plan is working out, but isn't a reasonable idea that the government can and should deal with the issue?

Re:perception (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775911)

No. When the government is doing it, then it becomes a right to a resource that the person is entitled to. They will abuse it and rob the tax payer blind if they are allowed. Charities are more direct and people know that it is being done because people actually care, not because their funds have been confiscated under threat of imprisonment. Not to mention that charities will deny services to moochers and freeloaders who are just out to scam others.

It is interesting that in the US you will see people standing by the road with some short sob story on a piece of cardboard wanting you give them money. In Mexico, the poor are by the side of the road selling stuff, or doing something entertaining to earn your donation. You can guess which one I'd be more inclined to select as the recipient of my donation.

Re:perception (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46776065)

[citation needed]

Re:perception (1, Insightful)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about 6 months ago | (#46775667)

I think the government is certainly in the best position to help the poor.

the government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46776143)

I think the government wants the homeless to die as as soon as possible so they won't be a drain on their paycheck.

Re:perception (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 months ago | (#46775553)

Shanty towns were made illegal, the homeless would not be all over the streets if we allowed shantytowns down near the river or elsewhere.

Re:perception (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 6 months ago | (#46775721)

Shanty towns were made illegal, the homeless would not be all over the streets if we allowed shantytowns down near the river or elsewhere.

I suppose concentration camps or snipers might fit your "I don't want to see the poor ppl." That would be kind of evil though.

Shantytowns are symbolic of failure,

Re:perception (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775361)

In C18 the rich may have seen the poor but that doesn't mean they cared or did anything about it.

Re:perception (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775399)

When we went to SDCC we took the yellow line through Lemon Grove.
I've never seen so many homeless.

Re:perception (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775707)

Poverty in the 18th century was far more "general" and the degree of poverty far greater. Poverty in the US is different than Third World poverty by a long shot.

Modern street people often do NOT inspire sympathy when seen in person. Drunks, the mentally ill, and others either voluntarily sefl-destructing or abandoned by the system aren't very good company. Even worse when they demand your money.

There is a reason that "drunks and bums" were referred to as such before euphemism took over.

"Today, for several reasons related to technology, the rich are able to go about their business completely obvlivious to the struggles of the poor."

I worked in Jersey City and Hoboken before they gentrified. I was never rich, but I avoided street people because most of them were nasty motherfuckers and too bad if that's not a PC viewpoint because it's based on experience over time.

Let's do accuracy a favor and sort the poor out in a more granular way instead of lumping them together. Poverty is diverse! Street people less so, and yes I know there are many exceptions which still prove the rule.

How long before (1)

fred911 (83970) | about 6 months ago | (#46775183)

The cameras get traded for food...or worse.
   

Re:How long before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775375)

What could be worse than food!?

Re:How long before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775487)

Drugs? Alcohol?

Spare Change (1, Flamebait)

vortex2.71 (802986) | about 6 months ago | (#46775201)

Yeah, but looking a homeless person in the eye and then giving them spare change is worse for them than donating to a charity on your computer since the spare change just goes to alcohol and drugs.

Re:Spare Change (2, Insightful)

FudRucker (866063) | about 6 months ago | (#46775409)

the homeless have a right to drink some booze just like anybody else, maybe they have arthritis or a tooth ache and a little booze is the only way to find some temporary relief, so fuck you if you think having a home qualifies you to have a drink while being homeless disqualifies someone from having a a little temporary relief from the pain and struggles of life.

you might find yourself homeless someday, with no opportunities to improve your situation, then what?

Re:Spare Change (4, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | about 6 months ago | (#46775557)

That may be true in some countries, but not in America.

In America you have to actively refuse help in order to be in continual pain or homeless.

I HAVE been poor, there is no excuse for hunger or suffering in the US, there are programs to help.

The problem is not that they are poor, its that they don't want to be helped, the reason for this could be any number of things from simple depression to severe mental disorders, but it IS NOT because help is unavailable.

A severe tooth abscess can be handled by the ER if its that bad and no publicly funded ER will turn down you down, its illegal. I know, I've been in EXACTLY that spot. And for reference, alcohol does pretty much nothing at all for tooth pain, you're far better off packing clove powder around it to numb it and treat the infection than drinking yourself silly, unless you drink enough to pass out ... in which case you have to stay drunk or the sobering up process will be FAR worse.

Re:Spare Change (3, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 6 months ago | (#46775987)

100 percent. Been there, done that.

There are four basic types of "homeless" -

1. The mentally ill.
2. Drug users and alcoholics that don't want to "get off the street" enough to do something about their habits.
3. Homeless people who lived too close to the edge and became unemployed, drug addicts and alcoholics who want to change their lives.

And here is Seattle - "Nicklesville" ...

4. People who feel that society should support their homeless lifestyle.

There are in fact many services for all of these groups except Number Four. The rest, if they work hard, give up the heavy booze and drugs (there are in fact programs), they can lift themselves out of homelessness.

And don't fool yourself, Number Four exists in great numbers, dragging the "real" homeless down to their level.

Re:Spare Change (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46776009)

That may be true in some countries, but not in America.

In America you have to actively refuse help in order to be in continual pain or homeless.

You don't know that. You cannot conceivably know what every single homeless person's story is in America. Maybe you're just trying to rationalize your callousness.

I HAVE been poor, there is no excuse for hunger or suffering in the US, there are programs to help.

You do not speak for poor people, nor is your anecdotal experience reflective of the struggles others go through. Sorry. And whether the programs we have in the United States are adequate to help those in need is a serious question. Many more people than you think do go hungry and suffer. The fact that you cannot see it firsthand does not constitute evidence that it isn't happening. Do some research, and stop making assumptions and drawing hasty conclusions about other peoples' lives.

The problem is not that they are poor, its that they don't want to be helped, the reason for this could be any number of things from simple depression to severe mental disorders, but it IS NOT because help is unavailable.

Untrue. Again, you're just pulling nonsense out of your arse. You don't have any idea how much help is available, nor the quality of the help people receive. This is just the narrative you want to hook yourself to.

A severe tooth abscess can be handled by the ER if its that bad and no publicly funded ER will turn down you down, its illegal.

Since when does something being illegal prevent it from happening? Are you seriously that clueless?

I know, I've been in EXACTLY that spot. And for reference, alcohol does pretty much nothing at all for tooth pain, you're far better off packing clove powder around it to numb it and treat the infection than drinking yourself silly, unless you drink enough to pass out ... in which case you have to stay drunk or the sobering up process will be FAR worse.

That's not the only reason people choose to consume alcohol, but okay.

Re:Spare Change (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775563)

Dude you haven't ever witnessed someone swirling down the drain addicted to alcohol (or drugs) have you? Alcohol IS the pain and struggle in their life and not a temporary relief.

Re:Spare Change (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 6 months ago | (#46775587)

Hasn't marijuana been proven to be significantly less of a life destroyer (in terms of addictivity and physiological damage) than alcohol?

Re:Spare Change (1, Funny)

mythosaz (572040) | about 6 months ago | (#46775619)

...and in a couple more decades, we'll be done decriminalizing it.

Except in Alabama, because Jesus.

Re:Spare Change (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 6 months ago | (#46775653)

The homeless have a right to drink. They do not have a right to empathy.

Tell me again why a homeless person (who qualifies for a healthcare card and thus free trips to the doctor and insanely discounted drugs in my country) would buy a $50 bottle of scotch every other day for his pain rather than spend $5 on drugs that will last them all week.

They can drink as much as they want. Just don't expect me to fund it with my lunch money.

With the amount of social security many countries doll out the only reason homeless people are homeless is because they want to be, not because they have no opportunities.

Re:Spare Change (1)

The123king (2395060) | about 6 months ago | (#46775751)

Try being a single 20-40ish male in any first world country and try and get social housing, it's not gonna happen. Why? Because those houses are filled with single mums. Social security can't help everyone, and those who need it least (read: any male who's of working age) are unlikely to get social housing because of the huge demand for it. Of course there are ways and means of working your way back into housing, but if you've been made redundant, lost your house and most of your possesions, it's understandable that people will just be dragged into a pit of depression. If drink helps them get through their day (and most importantly, they don't act like an asshole when drunk), that's fine by me. I like my drink too, and if a homeless guy can get a 4-pack for the same price as i'd buy a pint at the pub, at least he's being more economical with his money than i am.

Re:Spare Change (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775757)

>you might find yourself homeless someday, with no opportunities to improve your situation, then what?

I sure as fuck am not going to waste money on alcohol. Drinking doesn't make things better, it makes things worse.

Re:Spare Change (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 6 months ago | (#46775765)

Yeah, but looking a homeless person in the eye and then giving them spare change is worse for them than donating to a charity on your computer since the spare change just goes to alcohol and drugs.

And the Charity has a lot of expenses that dilute the hell out of your "donation". I'll bet you get pissed off at the homeless people outside the McDonald's near me, and people buy them a meal. The ignorant bastards! That money could have gone to the CEO of the United Way!

Bite me, if I feel like giving the homeless dude some money, and they get their drink on, that's not what I wish, but it's their money then, not the CEO of your charity.

Re:Spare Change (3, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | about 6 months ago | (#46776097)

And this brings up charity versus philanthropy.

Charity is something you do because you believe you are wealthy enough to give someone money with no strings attached. This is what the salvation army wants you to do during Christmas. Not thinking that your money is going to be used to promote hate, teach people that science is bad, and generally ruin the minds of children. But many people still give because charity is good.

Then there is philanthropy. That occurs when people with money want to control the world. They decide what is best for everyone, and use their funds to make it happen. It is no better or worse than charity, just different.

Which "Homeless?" (4, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | about 6 months ago | (#46775203)

Will it be one of the part-time homeless who make a full days' wage standing a few hours on the corner and then retreating to their suburban home because they have a juicy location?

Will it be a "gutterpunk" who has chosen homelessness as his lifestyle - playing the ukulele on "college" street between heroin injections?

[Panhandling, apparently, nets about $8/hour, depending on where you live -- more than enough if you aspire to only shoot up and go back to your crappy hotel after a few hours.]

...or will it be the genuinely if-only-I-could-bootstrap-myself homeless, the mentally ill, or someone who's on the streets because they're out of options?

I can see this (3, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | about 6 months ago | (#46775213)

which is stopping people feel sympathy towards people living on the street as it's easier to have 'less feelings when you're typing something' than looking at them in the eye"

If you are not looking them in the eye, then you are not experiencing the Identifiable Victim effect [youtube.com] .

Wrong, it's not the tech (4, Interesting)

cbybear (256161) | about 6 months ago | (#46775215)

It's having to step over trash strewn everywhere around refuse cans. It's having to avoid unknown streams down the sidewalk and then getting a lung-full of the reek of old urine. It's the constant begging. That is why people are less empathetic. After years of this and nothing working, you have to ignore it or go crazy with the constant assault.

Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775217)

Why didn't I think of that. It can't possibly be that they're overly agressive, bordering on violent when demanding spare change/cigarettes and tell you to eff off when you have none.

Re:Of course (1)

Sentrion (964745) | about 6 months ago | (#46775509)

But they are nowhere near as bad as those passive-aggressive homeless folks that just sleep quietly on a park bench. I can't stand how they dig through trash cans looking for food or scrap metal - right in front of me! I can tell they do it just to put me through a guilt trip in an attempt to trick me into offering them some kind of help. What nerve!

What really makes me mad though is when I'm feeding pigeons at the park and some homeless guy starts picking up and eating the crumbs that were meant for the pigeons. Homeless people in the park these days just take all of the fun out of enjoying open space that my taxes pay for.

Um no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775221)

Using an iPhone has no bearing on my dislike of professional aggressive panhandlers who lie, manipulate and intimidate women with children for handouts illegally as a lifestyle choice.

Re:Um no (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 6 months ago | (#46775249)

...but you see, I'm an honest working man, driving home to see my family, and I only need 73 more cents to buy the part I need for my car, and I'll be on my way.

Re:Um no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775701)

Exactamundo - I had the same guy hit me up 3 times in two weeks with a similar story.

First it was the car part, then it was a greyhound bus ticket, the third time I have him the hand.

So I filmed him with my iPhone blocking a woman with his BS, confronted him and posted it on youtube, and gave it to the store who's parking lot he was targeting.

Re:Um no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775727)

I should have included the link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QscxDDVyWtc

plastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775233)

because of technology less and less people carry cash and there are few homeless who take square or paypal

Re:plastic (2, Informative)

mythosaz (572040) | about 6 months ago | (#46775261)

Also fewer and fewer people know the difference between less and fewer.

Re:plastic (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 6 months ago | (#46775311)

People are continuous, you insensitive clod!

Re:plastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775711)

It's an idiomatic distinction. Those have a tendency to change...

Re:plastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775279)

Guess they'll just have to make due with hundreds of billions in welfare benefits.

Re:plastic (1)

Sentrion (964745) | about 6 months ago | (#46775597)

Hold on - are you saying the government will PAY you to be homeless? Or is it just one of those programs that is only available in blue states? Do you just have to be homeless to qualify, or do you also have to be an honorably discharged disabled vet with minor children?

Fatal flaw (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775245)

They'll sell the cameras.

Let me be the first to say. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775255)

What a shameful marketing campaign.

Strange.. (4, Insightful)

The123king (2395060) | about 6 months ago | (#46775265)

As someone who walks around with earphones in most of the time, believe it or not, it makes me more empathetic to the homeless.Nothing says "disposable income" more than having headphones, and as such, i'm very self-conscious about that fact. Instead of aimlessly walking on by when a homesless guy tries to chat or ask for money, i'll often stop, have a chat, and give them my spare change. Sure, they might spend it on Special Brew or hard cider, but at least they'll spend all of my change on getting though their day.

Only 30% of the money you put in collection boxes actually goes to doing charitable work, the rest is spent on administrative costs, advertising, and other costs. When I give change to a homeless guy, i know that 100% of my money is going to do that homeless guy some good, and there's nothing like the feeling of making someone's day. Put that money into a collection box, and only 30% is going to go to good causes, and you'll probably never meet the guy who's day you made.

All in all, i believe charity should start at home. And for the people who get my spare change, a home is something they can only dream about.

Re:Strange.. (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 6 months ago | (#46775321)

When I give change to a homeless guy, i know that 100% of my money is going to do that homeless guy some good...

Well, 100% of it goes to the homeless guy, but based on your own description, it sounds like none of it does any good.

At least the 30% in the collection box might go to permanent solutions, halfway houses, transition solutions, job training and education, etc.

Re:Strange.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775463)

There's this widespread assumption that simply giving poor people money somehow won't work. It's not a new idea, and in certain instances I'm sure it's true.

But it's not well-supported in the general case. A lot of good can be done simply by giving people who need money access to money. As it turns out most people are perfectly capable of determining what they need most and making efficient use of the resources available to them. Studies suggest that spending on alcohol, gambling, etc. do not increase significantly when poor people are given money, and in reasonably functioning economies longitudinal studies suggest that even small, one-time grants can result in significant long-term improvements in quality of life.

Re:Strange.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775551)

There's this widespread assumption that simply giving poor people money somehow won't work. It's not a new idea, and in certain instances I'm sure it's true.

But it's not well-supported in the general case.

Counterpoint: the "I'm white trash and I won 80 million in the lottery last year, and now I'm broke again" cliche. How many times has this played out exactly the same way?

Giving more money to people who are irresponsible with money simply enables them to be irresponsible at a larger scale. This also applies to the government.

Re:Strange.. (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 6 months ago | (#46775921)

you both are talking absolutes.

group one: some poor people, if given access to more money, to 'kickstart' them so to speak, would be able to at least better attempt to reintegrate into 'regular' society, as in get a job, pay bills, send kids to school, etc...

group two: other poor people, if given access to more money, would just 'waste' it on short-term wants, such as drugs, partying, even being generous and giving it away to others [I know people who were working at decent jobs, enough to support themselves, but semi-regularly give away so much of the money they earn that they had to borrow to support themselves].

and just as a gross generalization, democrats would rather give at least some from group two money to try to give everybody from group one a chance, while republicans would rather give nobody any money from the gov't, and have both groups depend on handouts from private charities.

Re:Strange.. (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 6 months ago | (#46775351)

Actually, nothing says disposable income like smoking. Ear phones are nothing in comparison, unless you've got them plugged into one of those diamond encrusted bling phones. I can't afford to smoke, there's no way I'm going to give money to someone who can.

Many of the genuinely homeless are that way because they have addictions or other mental disorders that make them waste money on drugs or other bad decisions. If you want to help, vote for social treatment and rehabilitation programs. If you can't do that, donate to a decent charity that has a low administrative overhead.

Re:Strange.. (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 6 months ago | (#46775435)

Actually nothing says, "I'm stupid" like smoking.

I've never, ever, been shocked to see a homeless man smoking a cigarette. No money for a razor and shampoo again today, but hey, American Spirit!

Heroin I understand. :/

Re:Strange.. (1)

The123king (2395060) | about 6 months ago | (#46775471)

As a smoker, i know the urge and desire for a cigarette, and when you cannot afford them, it's a really really tough time. In fact, most of the time, if you give a homeless guy a cigarette, they'll be more glad of that than a handful of change. There is nothing worse than watching a homeless guy sift through cigarette butt in the gutter because he can't afford to buy their own, so i like to help out in that way too.

And sure, many of the genuinely homeless do have drug habits, mental disorders and such, but that doesn't mean we should marginalise them for it. Voting for social housing, rehabilitation and retraining is great and all, but it still doesn't buy that guy a sandwich. He's still got to eat, and by giving him a few coins, he can go buy a fresh sandwich instead of looking for one in the dumpster.

Re:Strange.. (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 6 months ago | (#46775501)

An open letter to you and the smoking homeless:

Stop smoking, idiot.

Yours in FSM,
mythosaz

Re:Strange.. (1)

The123king (2395060) | about 6 months ago | (#46775795)

i appreciate your concern, and i know how unhealthy it is, but if i wanted to quit, i would. Smoking is a lifestyle choice, and like millions of other around the world, i made the choice. I'm not advocating it, and if you've never smoked, i wouldn't recommend starting now. But

Regardless of your view on tobacco, i respect it. but i'd also like you to respect my choice to smoke.

Re:Strange.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775887)

You troll. Respect my wish to not share your health care bills then.

I'm sorry but "respect my choice to smoke"? "Respect my choice to jump off of this bridge" or jump in front of this train. It's the same fucking thing.

Re:Strange.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46776089)

Fuck You!

I never fucking asked you to pay for my health care so why don't you go take a leap of that bridge instead. I pay my own way and make my own choices. Maybe you should learn to mind your own business jackass.

Re:Strange.. (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 6 months ago | (#46776127)

Giving him change to buy cigarettes or alcohol with doesn't help him eat either. Neither does giving him cigarettes to feed his addiction. You can afford to be an addict. He can't.

Donating (or volunteering) at the local soup kitchen, THAT helps him eat.

Re:Strange.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775381)

Citation please. Most charities the ratios are reversed or better compared to your example. Few reputable charities exceed 30% for all costs, the better ones are under 15%. A nice place to check out your favorite charity is Charity Navigator http://www.charitynavigator.org/

Re:Strange.. (1)

number17 (952777) | about 6 months ago | (#46775411)

I think giving money to homeless and charity don't do enough to prevent this in the first place. I would rather my money go towards things like health care or programs that help the struggling [peelregion.ca] before they become homeless.

Tech is a refuge (3, Insightful)

Lije Baley (88936) | about 6 months ago | (#46775269)

We're being driven from our humanity by various forms of corruption in civilization, and technology is helping us escape...inward.

Another city, perhaps? (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 6 months ago | (#46775281)

Perhaps part of the problem is that San Francisco is overloaded with homeless. So people become desensitized to the plight of the homeless there. Obviously this is pure speculation on my part. But I know that hospitals from other areas, and even other states bus their mentally ill to San Francisco [nbcnews.com]

Re:Another city, perhaps? (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 6 months ago | (#46775405)

That headline and your a ref= are astonishingly sensationalist.

..the Sacramento Bee newspaper reported that hospital staff had given as many as 1,500 patients one-way bus tickets to California and 46 other states between 2008 and 2013.

Over 5-6 years, Nevada offered bus tickets (home?) to former mental patients without providing good enough post-care documentation for them. They went to 47 of the 47 possible states you can take a bus to without a passport. They went at a rate of 250 a year, and, in total 24 of them ended up in SF over those 5-6 years.

There's no direct evidence that those 24 ended up homeless, or were even homeless! ...just that the some of them then availed themselves of state medical care and shelter.

In summary -- liar, liar, pants on fire.

Re:Another city, perhaps? (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 6 months ago | (#46775903)

Regardless of how they got there, it's a very visible and obvious problem in San Francisco. While there are other cities in the US that have higher homeless populations, SF is often sited as the on with the most visible and obvious population. Which was my entire point to begin with.

Re:Another city, perhaps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775617)

It seems that would be true. I don't live in a big city, but when I visited them (Chicago once and SF once), I only needed to be there for a few hours to become desensitized to the homeless myself. The sheer amount of panhandling is a bit overwhelming. I don't know how to handle dozens of panhandlers asking me for money every day except for ignoring their pleas and moving on. You will get begged on almost every block. I feel sympathetic, but I can't afford to hand fistfuls of money to everyone I pass every time I walk outside. I dislike the aggressive ones that follow you, incessantly begging and trying to talk up their story or "level with you" in some way. It's like I'm getting a PR pitch. Again, I feel bad for them, but what am I supposed to *really* do?

Reality has an unfavorable bias? (2, Insightful)

supernova87a (532540) | about 6 months ago | (#46775295)

Maybe, just maybe, showing how many resources and $ are being spent to give homeless people options, especially in San Francisco, only to have that money pissed away and people still soiling our streets and public transport systems, tends to decrease how sympathetic you feel towards the chronically homeless?

Wrong! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775297)

I never cared about those bums!

Keep your eye on the horizon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775307)

It was just as easy to ignore homeless people before I had a phone to stare at.

i have empathy for the homeless (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 6 months ago | (#46775367)

but there are many more homeless than i can afford to feed or give money to, as a matter of fact i may end up being homeless myself someday. who is going to give me something to eat or a few dollars so i can have an occasional pint of whiskey

GoPro makes dubious claim... (0, Flamebait)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 6 months ago | (#46775371)

...in yet another marketing stunt.

Re:GoPro makes dubious claim... (1)

PsychoSlashDot (207849) | about 6 months ago | (#46775693)

No, no, you missed it... a homeless guy makes a dubious claim. Seriously, a guy who has been homeless for six years is the basis for this thing, with him concluding that technology is desensitizing non-homeless.

It's an even bigger chunk of turd than you thought. This guy isn't a long-time homeless person who might plausibly be able to compare today to the golden yesteryear of homelessness. He doesn't provide anything even resembling evidence, just "you know, e-mail makes people lose their empathy".

I call bullshit. Being homeless makes you notice that people are today - and always have been - insensitive to the plight of the homeless, on average. This dude just never noticed how homeless are treated six years ago when he had a mother, a wife, a house, and a rip-roaring drug habit.

Where's the raw data (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 6 months ago | (#46775433)

How many homeless volunteers took off with the camera and sold it to buy booze?

as planned (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775445)

Isn't that the plan for humanity? We slowly recreate everything organic as inorganic, including ourselves, passing through cybernetics into full synthesis. Emotions will have no place in our world once we get there. We can't possibly hope to colonize the solar system, and eventually the galaxy, as organic organisms so the only logical avenue is to shed our corpuscular prison and become robots. Immortality and galactic imperialism is the goal, and this was the plan from the beginning. It's too costly to build a robot factory on every planet in the universe, but what could be easier than just infecting billions of planets with DNA seeds and letting us roboticize ourselves? But you say the timescales are too large to make sense. To a human, yes, but a race of immortal robots could easily wait as long as they need to. Make no mistake, we will soon be cyborgs, and once that happens the cyborgs will have a distinct advantage over humans and that is the tipping point, from where there is no return.

What? (1)

onproton (3434437) | about 6 months ago | (#46775447)

Let's be honest, people rarely even think about the homeless until they are looking them in the eye.

Stossel on the homeless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775455)

I don't give money to the homeless on the streets for several reasons.
1. I used to eat at the same restaurant every day. Saw homeless people come every couple of days with a new sob story every time.
2. See the Stossel report or any other investigation of the homeless. Usually, you can make enough in a medium density area to hire a hotel room and people will give you decent free food if your not to picking about having eaten from it first. Or just get your food and housing from the government...

When I do feel bad about the homeless, I reach in to my pocket and send a couple of bucks on paypal.....

Traveling to third world killed my empathy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775457)

Many of our "homeless" are either drug adicts unwilling to change, choose that lifestyle willingly, or are cons. Also, the standard of living for a "homeless" person in the USA is usually much better than a normal person in a place like Africa, not mention the services offered and opportunities available here vs an underdeveloped country.

Good Luck With That (1)

Crypto Cavedweller (2611959) | about 6 months ago | (#46775465)

Nothing persuades technically competent people like an argument that something is true because you "really feel that way" based on no empirical data at all.

And last generation it was rock music... (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about 6 months ago | (#46775469)

"And just for fun, he says 'Get a job'"

That's just the way it is, some things will never change.

Maybe there's something else going on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775497)

I live in in a urine- and feces-infested landscape where the homeless regularly shout racial slurs at every race and threaten to cut the throats of neighborhood children, and the cops don't care. SF bay has problems, and I feel like I'm losing my mind when I'm around them. I feel sorry for the homeless, but we need serious mental health facilities with involuntary imprisonment to help them.

Blame the tool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775499)

Technology is just a tool, it's the people, us.

Define homeless.... (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 months ago | (#46775515)

The hustling scammers, the druggies and drunks, the mentially ill, or the real homeless that are down on their luck and actually trying?

Because the first two I ignore completely. The mentially Ill I feel really bad for, and the onesthatare really down on their luck are not on the street corners hustling for money. Those people are helped by my donations to homeless shelters and to women and children shelters.

The fake hustler that is claiming they are a veteran standing there with a sign? Or the one guy I see push his wheel chair up to the corner then get in it with his hand out? they can stuff it.

Never lost empathy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775561)

Never had it.

Get a fucking job.

The best one has an early retirement at government expense.

Beat a cop almost to death. It's even better if you rape them after.

3 squares, a cot, free hellcare, sweet.

I don't think it's technology (5, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 6 months ago | (#46775579)

I think it's 30 years of declining wages. Half of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck. We're too busy trying to keep ourselves afloat to worry about anyone else, which is probably the whole point.... Keeps us at each other's throats :(.

What is the point of empathy though? (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 6 months ago | (#46775585)

Look, what homeless people need is to not be homeless.

And there are various ways of dealing with that.

1. Rehabilitate them if possible. A lot of them can't be but some can.

2. Get them off the streets and into institutions.

3. Consider alternative social arrangements we could create... communities apart from society that are more healthy for homeless people then our current one.

4. etc...

There is no cure for what causes homelessness but there are probably better ways to deal with it then just letting them shamble around towns begging for money.

Empathy is not really the issue here. We have a lot of empathy. We just don't want to spend money enabling bad choices.

Are they spending the money they get begging on booze, drugs, etc? Well then why would we give them money? Are there lots of free shelters that offer food, clothing, and medical aid? Yes.

Then where is the lack of empathy?

What we are rather is beaten down and apathetic about the situation because we don't think we can do anything. But that doesn't mean we don't feel. It means we've given up.

Its ache that hurts every day and we put up with it.

There are better ways to deal with it but it involves thinking outside the box.

Wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775599)

I ignore homeless these days because they are assholes and scammers. Seriously; there's this guy in my neighborhood I used to give money to multiple days per week. He reminded me of myself; i could be in his situation if I had fallen on hard times as well. A few years later, I find him on a news story where it turns out the asshole makes 60K a year doing nothing but panhandling for 5 hours a day. He never got another dime from me. But this is just a one-off, right? They're not all like this?

Wrong.

I was pulling into a drive-thru a few weeks back, and some guy in a wheelchair is sitting near the place panhandling. He gets mad that people are ignoring him, and pulls his wheelchair out into the middle of traffic. Its a 2 "lane" road to get in where the two cars going in opposite directions have to barely squeeze by each other to make it through. This asshole pulls his wheelchair in the middle of the road and makes people try to drive around him and up on the curb to get past him, wrecking their alignment just to avoid hitting his ass.

I felt sorry for the guy right up until I saw him trying to cause thousands of dollars in damages to other peoples cars. That guy got a damn earful, and he sure as hell didn't get any change. Fuck these people. You deal with enough scammers and shitheads and you start avoiding them like the plague they truly are.

Lots of hate in SF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775705)

I see lots of hate in this thread for the types of homeless commonly observed in SF. I visit the Bay Area often and recognize the descriptions.

OTOH here in my midwestern hometown, where we always have winter and just had a doozy, only the tough ones stick around. I don't claim to know what their deal is, but they certainly seem more dedicated than the bums in California.

Nope, it's the homeless (4, Interesting)

russotto (537200) | about 6 months ago | (#46775783)

There's one guy who is constantly begging on the New Jersey Transit trains in Penn Station NYC, he claims he just needs a few bucks for a ticket to get home (common scam actually, this guy is just more regular than most). Of course he's full of shit, as another guy on my car proved by offering him a ticket to where he wanted to go, and when he refused it, lit into him about how he was a pathetic loser who was making his race look bad.

Then there's the "Why Lie, I Need a Beer" guy also in Penn Station NYC. Though I think he's actually not homeless at all but a cop of some sort, he seems a bit too healthy.

And the bunches who fake some sort of deformity. They seem to have shifts worked out; maybe there's an organization who controls it. Anyway, they get in their contorted positions and hold out a cup or a sign or whatever. Then when their shift is up, they straighten up, pick up their stuff, and go.

Not true at all (1, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about 6 months ago | (#46775793)

What makes people ignore the homeless is the fact that there are hundreds if not thousands of them roaming the streets of major (and not so major) cities. When I was in Regina, you couldn't walk 4 blocks without being accosted with demands for money, cigarettes, etc.

After a year or so of living there I used to just give them the finger and keep walking. It's not that I'm heartless -- I just don't care to be badgered everywhere I go when these lazy fucks could go on welfare and be housed like anyone else. Aside from that, I'm on disability -- I have no more money to spare than someone on welfare after I pay for my meds. Adding to that, I'd actually stopped to talk to and gotten to know a few of them, and found most of them were *on* welfare and did their begging to pay for booze and drugs, not because they needed the money to survive.

Sympathy. You'll find it between "shit" and "syphilis".

Technology is making people lose their grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775841)

"has suggests", really?

Um, no, the problem is the helpless/hopeless/homel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46775883)

Um, no, the problem is the helpless/hopeless/homeless crapping and camping on sidewalks. These people need to be institutionalized if they cannot live in society without endangering the rest of us. Personally, I look forward to even more development and gentrification. It's apparently the only way to dislodge these parasites.

some kind of basic income better then jail / priso (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 6 months ago | (#46775905)

some kind of basic income better then jail / prison

yes some homeless people are in and out of local jails alot some even use them as there doctor

Cell Phones (0)

Sir Holo (531007) | about 6 months ago | (#46776005)

I live in a beach community, which attracts the homeless for its nice weather and numerous tourists.

A few years ago, I watched a visiting friend's mother give a fiver to a "homeless" couple, living in a park with an ocean view.

I stepped in and berated the homeless woman for having a cell phone that she deigned to stop talking on while she accepted the pity-money, after which she went back to the phone. It was quite a scene, and I did my best to impress upon this visitor that she should not "feed the bears."

I also get tired of seeing their dirty laundry on the sidewalk. This occurs when they get a new, free, donated set of clothing from some charity. Not even an effort to put them in the trash can 10 feet away!!!

Homelessness, a symptom of the squeeze on the middle class, is indeed a problem. But why should the homeless get to live in a beach paradise for free, while I pay extra taxes for social services, recycling collection (which they thieve from), and so on? It's not right.

Sounds like a rigorous study (1)

sootman (158191) | about 6 months ago | (#46776037)

So if they say technology "is making" things worse, I assume they have videos from 10 or 20 years ago to compare to this new footage?

I've lived near and worked in SF and have plenty of experience ignoring the homeless. You just have to. As a friend of mine -- who has a degree in theology -- once said, "If I sold everything I owned and gave all the money to the homeless, the end result would be that there's one more homeless person in the world." I've given money to some and ignored others.

Homelessness is a very complex issue with many sides. Some people are homeless by choice, some due to losing a job/house/etc., some due to mental issues or addictions. Some are benign, some are dangerous. And the #1 issue for anyone who thinks homelessness can be easily "solved": Some would work if given the chance, some wouldn't.

Empathy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46776113)

I have empathy for the homeless. I help some of them through donations, in-person or through an agency. Unfortunately I can't help everyone. So to the people who I can't help, it seems like I'm an uncaring jerk. To the ones I help, I'm a generous person. You can't please everyone.

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