Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Take the FBI's Geek Profile Test

JonKatz posted more than 14 years ago | from the if-you-are-reading-this-you-may-be-dangerous dept.

United States 639

Thanks to the miracle of e-mail and a few administrators outraged at the latest law enforcement intrusion into American schools, we present below the FBI's Geek Profile, the agency's secret checklist of potentially violent characteristics being distributed to educational institutions in the United States and Canada. I'm turning myself in.

Do you have above average intelligence? Are you sometimes a loner, a part of a small circle of friends perceived as outsiders?

Do you have "unstable" self-esteem? Are you fascinated by cults, weapons, games with themes of violence and death?

Do you come from a dysfunctional home? Resent authority? Reject criticism?

If the answer to most or all of the above is yes, then congratulations and welcome to the FBI's Geek Profile, its checklist of dangerous or potentially violent characteristics in school children.

In recent weeks this psychological "tool," polished by the FBI and other agencies and now being distributed to a school near you, has been creeping across the country.

Federal and local law enforcement authorities have used this sort of profiling for years to spot potential assassins, criminals and terrorists.

Now, following a small number of horrific school shootings, it's being made available to educators in the United States and, according to a number of northern e-mailers, Canada as well.

And it's not alone out there. Last month, the federal government announced that Mosaic-2000, a computer profiling system developed by the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (AFT) Division and a private celebrity - security agency, was being deployed to 30 or more U.S. schools to "target potentially dangerous people."

Neither federal nor school officials have said how this material will be stored, or to whom it might be made available. Nor is it clear whether students will be made aware of the fact that they are being labeled potential murderers, or whether they and their parents will have any opportunity to respond.

Such geek -profiling tools are increasingly popular despite the fact that the violent crime rate among kids in America has been plunging for years and is virtually non-existent in Canada.

This doesn't seem to bother educators much, perhaps because even if there isn't much violence to contain, geek profiling is proving an invaluable tool against rebellious, offensive, individualistic and outspoken students. Many participate in Net and Web culture, where they have vastly more freedom and creative experience than in schools, and who report the goal of this war on the non-normal isn't safety, but conformity and silence.

But why be deterred by truth or logic? Since the Columbine shootings in Colorado last year, students at American schools have reported an epidemic of suspensions, expulsions and forced counseling sessions for various offenses: wearing "inappropriate" clothing like trenchcoats or Goth make up, playing computer games like "Quake" and "Doom," spending too much time online, responding honestly to questions about whether they like school, making what administrators consider threats against classmates or teachers.

This week, more than a dozen principals, administrators and geeks e-mailed me a chunk of the FBI report circulating through U.S. and Canadian schools, purporting to detail some of the characteristics of "potentially violent" kids.

"Your term 'geek profiling' is dead on," wrote one principal. "The kids we are all beginning to look at are those that play violent video games, who are on the Internet all the time, and who don't participate in 'mainstream' school activities. Or who are seriously disenchanted with school or the structure of school. Of course, now, we can just label them as psychos rather than listen to what they say. But I can tell you, kids who spent a lot of time on the Net or playing computer games are prime suspects for evaluation and observation. Because we all know what they can get their hands on."

Here are the specific FBI characteristics, according to several principals. Potentially violent or dangerous students are:


Usually boys of average or above-average intelligence.
Often loners, or have small circle of friend who are outsiders.
Experience unstable self-esteem.
Often fascinated by cults, Satanism, weapons, themes of violence and death.
Experience a decline in schoolwork and marks.
Come from dysfunctional homes.
Have experience with chronic bullying and drug use.
Engage in attention-seeking behavior, and don't accept criticism.

In addition to the e-mail sent by disturbed principals and guidance counselors ("there's a fine line between bright and unhappy adolescents and mass-murderers," e-mailed one counselor. "I don't see it spelled out it in this FBI profile.") the FBI's "geek profile" was outlined to a Halifax, Nova Scotia newspaper (http://www.hfxnews.southam.ca/NatStory3.html) by an official of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The FBI's checklist is as revealing for what it doesn't say as for what it does. Bullies and predators who prey on kids who are different or "non-normal" aren't considered dangerous, nor are teachers and educators who preside over uncreative, hostile and, to many kids, suffocating classroom environments.

No group of students, parents or citizens anywhere in the United States had been given an opportunity to vote - or even comment -- on the practice of injecting federal law enforcement investigative tools designed for responding to the most serious imaginable crimes committed by adults into daily classroom life.

Kids who call themselves geeks and nerds vary widely in social skills, emotional characteristics and family and class background. But many have experienced differing degrees of boredom, alienation, and experiences with bullying. They may like forms of gaming that might be branded violent. Many are often seen as loners, or rely on small circles of friends who share their culture.

Now they may have to deal with the suggestion that they're potential killers as well. It's possible - though statistically just barely - that some of these kids will turn violent and hurt themselves or their classmates.

But what's certain is that in the wake of the Columbine killings, they are the targets of ignorant and unfounded hysteria from the very people who are supposed to be protecting them, with the willing co-operation of those who are supposed to be educating them.

cancel ×

639 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Geek Testing for fun and profit? (2)

DGMage (19496) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497001)

Couldn't this also be used as "Run of the Mill Programmer" Profiling Test?

Mage

Dangerous as an Adult! (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497002)

Even as a mature 36 year old I meet over half the requirements. What does this say about me ?

Good job I'm in the UK!

bye bye privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1497003)

we ll say eventually...

if there weren't those unbelievable killings the system would find another "reason" to crash our personal rights...

good luck friends, we re gonna need it :(

Bullying (2)

Adam Da Man (43405) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497004)

They forgot to include "Is bullied mercilessly by others."

This is actually kind of scary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1497005)

Literally ALL the characteristics in the profile fit me perfectly (or at least, they fit the person I was in high school). The difference is that I was never violent and eventually I grew out of it and went on to college where things got better (really I don't know how anyone can think of high school as anything resembling a civilized society...my memories mainly consist of ritualized humilation and physical abuse).

-W.W.

This sounds too much like facism.. (1)

xtal (49134) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497006)

If this stuff was around when I was in grade/high school, I'd be locked away with no possibility of parole, for life. (Reminded of Megadeth tune, "Captive Honour"). I mean, lookit the freaks, let's expel them, toss them in for some re-education (Hell, let's even call it the "Ministry of Love, *chuckle*).

Nevermind that this is also the profile of some of the brightest students with the most of offer society, that for one reason or another aren't in a good situation.

I didn't fit in with my peers; It didn't take a rocket scientist to see that I was different. Sooner or later I found some more people like me (that would be the "group of outsiders" and I turned out all right.

Why not address the problems that are causing these people not to be accepted? If you replaced "geek profiling" with "miniority profiling", there would be riots in the streets.

Rant off..

Kudos..

Bullying (2)

CaseyB (1105) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497007)

Have experience with chronic bullying...

To which end of the bullying do you suppose they are referring?

Mosaic up North (4)

DanaL (66515) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497008)

I heard in the news a week or two ago that Mosaic 2000 is being presented to some school officials in Canada (in the Toronto area IIRC).

I'll be interested to see what is done with the results from these profiles, once someone is labeled a pontential killer, I wonder what they will do with them. Force them to become jocks?

Incidently, there has been a few incidents of school violence up here recently. One shooting incident in Canada that made the national headline. A little while after Columbine, a kid in Alberta shot 2 of his classmates. More recently, in TO, there have been a couple of kids beaten (one to death). Another gang-beating in BC last year and 1 kid stabbed over a box of Pokemon cards a month or so ago in Montreal. That's about half a dozen deaths, probably way less than the number killed in car accidents. Haven't seen any Bad Driver profiling being proposed!

Dana

Well, that's me. (5)

Amphigory (2375) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497009)

I was fascinated with cults and the occult. I was beaten at home. My family was highly disfunctional and I still, ten years later, seek counseling. I was a geek, a nerd. Whatever. I was bullied at school.

And I was dangerous. That's right: I spent most of my high school years with a tenuous grasp of "killing people is just wrong" being the only thing that kept me from blowing the join up. I knew how. I had explosives. I had no reason to love anyone. All I had was a vague realization that there was a supreme morality and if I 'killed them all' as I wanted to I would have just reduced myself to their level.

The problem is not the profiling: that's normal prudence. I desperately wish that someone had realized just how dark my world was and tried to help. I wish they would have locked me up in a mental institution and some of what was going on in my home would have come out. But it didn't. And I still pay the price in emotional anguish. I wish there had been a chaplain in my high school instead of a "guidance counselor". I wish someone had loved me enough to intervene.

But no one did.

Bottom line is that I have no problem with this "profiling" you whine about Jon. But I wish they would concentrate more on what to do with the kids once they find them. It comes down to love. And no one in our society is ready to make that kind of commitment.

Now we can jail that psycho kid... (3)

meckardt (113120) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497010)

We should all thank the FBI for providing educators with such a valuable tool for identifying that 1 in a million kid who will kill his classmates. Now, we can throw him in jail before he perpetrates his deed.

Oh, we can tell which one of the million kids is really the potential killer? Let's treat them all like potential killers, just to make sure!

Mike Eckardt [geocities.com] meckardt@yahoo.spam.com

I'm safe (2)

cloudmaster (10662) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497011)

Boy, good thing I don't come from a dysfunctional home, or I'd be a dangerous criminal waiting to destroy my town instead of making a valuble contribution to society in my current job as a computer tech. I'll have to tell my co-workers.

I think I'll call my parents tonight and thank them. :)

What's actually quite intersting is that... (1)

slashdot-terminal (83882) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497012)

if someone actually wants to break the law it can be done without too much fuss or muss. Really most of the greatest criminal minds are usually people who have maticulously honed minds and who have an uncanny ability not to get caught. A great many people in this world really get sore about not being able to find out criminals because all the easy types are already caught. All the mass murderers are pulled over for speeding tickets before they can take that Uzi and take out a building full of people. So what does the FBI and others do? They go looking for "potentially dangerous" people so they can look good.

hey wait (1)

TheCodeMaster (101307) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497013)

they say fascination with Satanism, cults, and death like there's something wrong with it.

Re:Dangerous as an Adult! (1)

Nik Picker (40521) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497014)

Well as long as you lack the propensity towards Naturist SwordPlay in local places of worship then I think we might all be quite safe. Still its so nice to see that no matter how well defined the minority are they can still be segragated, defined and penalised for being other than the norm.

Oh my. (3)

Mandoric (55703) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497015)

>>Usually boys of average or above-average intelligence.
Check.
>> Often loners, or have small circle of friend who are outsiders.
Not only that, but I know them over the 'net.
>> Experience unstable self-esteem.
Yep... Been there, done, that, and hate myself for it half of the time. ^_^
>> Often fascinated by cults, Satanism, weapons, themes of violence and death.
Well EXCUSE ME for being into swords. =p
>> Experience a decline in schoolwork and marks.
*nodnod*
>> Come from dysfunctional homes.
Dunno if _dysfunctional_, but it sucks.
>> Have experience with chronic bullying and drug use.
*Not drug use, but has been mocked derisively for years*
>> Engage in attention-seeking behavior, and don't accept criticism.
Lemme see here... I'm posting this long thing about myself, and I'll probably post an angry reply if someone flames me. =p

Maybe this is why they were so freaked out the called the FBI and expelled me just because I said "remember... may 15..." a few times. =p

Do we deserve this? (2)

Bill the Cat (19523) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497016)

There's a saying that goes something like, "People usually deserve the government they have."

Do we deserve actions like this?
Do people care about attacks on our civil liberties?

Hmm, let's innocent... (2)

God I hate mornings (110205) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497017)

Tell ya what. I'm the father of a 7 week old baby boy. Now with myself being a 'second generation' it professional (both my mother and father were programmers during the punch card era). Does this mean that my son will be singled out because the first day he was home from the hospital, he was on my lap as I was putting the finishing touches on a pc? I wonder if he'll be subject to profiling because I'll encourge him to think for hisself and to question everything. Will he be labeled as a threat because I have taught him to be an individual, and not a sheeple?

If so... I'm moving to a remote island somewhere where seashells are legal currency. The hell with a country like that!

Typical (1)

locrian (90575) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497018)

This is pretty much typical on the short-sided minds of most of the people in this country, especially in the southern states. It's no secret that they've always disliked anyone different from themselves, but now they have to harass them too? I mean come on, the very children they're labeling as potential murderers and troublemakers are probably going to end up their bosses one of these days. Just because someone is of a higher intelligence doesn't mean they're gonna go out here and empty a local taco bell with an uzi. No, the *REAL* troublemakers here are the FBI and the school administration, for being short-sided. The *REAL* potential murderers here are the FBI and the school administration, for the potential murder of individuality and creativeness, which are what make interesting enough to live.

Twilight Zone to come true? (1)

SpiceWare (3438) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497019)

One of the creepiest Twilight Zones I'd ever seen was one from the short-lived new series(in color). It's following the life of a young boy in a slightly futuristic society. He's about to "come of age" and must take a government mandated exam. The boy is busy reading and persuing other intellectual activities, and yet the parents are trying to get him to go out and play. The day of the test comes, and the parents reluctantly take him down to the government center. At the end of the episode they are called with the results, "we regret to inform you that your son's intellegence quotient has exceeded government regulations, would you like the body returned for burial?"

Re:This sounds too much like facism.. (0)

TheCodeMaster (101307) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497020)

as opposed to the correct amount of fascism?

Is that your final answer? (3)

merky1 (83978) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497021)

There needs to be a "If you answered no to all of these questions just because you don't want to be carted away" type of question. Anyone serious enough to want to kill would have no problem skirting this 'test'.

I personally like going for the Charles Manson profile.

Distributed to schools, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1497022)

Well, I happen to work for a school district doing the whole BOFH thing, and that document has not circulated around here. I'm sure that anyone that got a copy would have sent it my way, since they would find it amusing, as do I.

I'm taking a huge grain of salt with this one.

Genetic Pre-disposition (1)

OtterpopX11 (112041) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497023)

What if told you before a child was born that it was 99% more likely to be aggressive and over 96% more likely to end up in jail? Would you abort the child (or have your wife abort it)? But then, what if I told you if your child is a MALE, it would be 99% more likely to be aggressive and over 96% more likely to end up in jail? Just think about it. This is just more Big Brother, I can't think about this too much or my head hurts. I can't believe some of the shit this government does. I strongly encourage you all to write your senators and representatives about things like this. They do listen.

Something's fishy here... (1)

miscellaneous (14183) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497024)

That quote from the principal, the one with the "label psycho" bit, it seems very very very unlikely to me that that's non-bogus.

What's on the net... (5)

rde (17364) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497025)

But I can tell you, kids who spent a lot of time on the Net or playing computer games are prime suspects for evaluation and observation. Because we all know what they can get their hands on.
Yeah, there's some nasty stuff out there. Anyone with a web connection can have their mind polluted by such pernicious crap as...

Thoreau's Walden

The complete works of Shakespeare

Pretty much all of the surviving philosophical writings of the ancient Greeks

Government legislation, bills being prepared, what congress has to say every day...
I could go on all day, but I'm sure you get the point.

I'm amazed (1)

Camelot (17116) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497026)

Most of the time I think that it cannot get any worse. And, yet, I'm never cease to be amazed by the level of stupidity of the US.

Incredible.

That says it all really..... (1)

dr_labrat (15478) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497027)

The orwellian future of the US seems to be gradually taking shape.

How "strange" that the US government seems to be focusing its efforts at what is effectively intended to be its own ruling class of the future.

Little or no effort seems to be placed in identifying those who are already troublemakers. i.e. drug dealers, gang bangers and first posters.

This troubles me, because trends set in US usually make their way over here (UK) in a few years.

Luckily you guys have a constitution, or you would be in real shit, eh?

Hmmm.

Re:hey wait (1)

slashdot-terminal (83882) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497028)

A lot of people would be soiling their pants if the ancient Egyptians were still in thier prime. Their entire culture reveolved death and the afterlife. Generally no culture since has been able to boast that level of involvement with the beyond. Close to the millenium we have a great deal of this fascination with material such as this.

PS. On a side note was anyone else a little disapointed with the outcome of the X-files/Millenium cross over? I thought it was a rather ignoble end of Frank Black and what he did. Still I think he got off lucky. He would have been put in jail for being too "into" death and murder anyway.

Re:Geek Testing for fun and profit? (1)

oren (78897) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497029)

Couldn't this also be used as "Run of the Mill Programmer" Profiling Test?


Yes. Programmers are dangerous (I don't know about violent, though). In fact, in school, everyone who concentrates on thinking (as opposed to, say, girls and sports) is considered dangerous :-)

Don't blame the educators.. (2)

swdunlop (103066) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497030)

As usual, Katz never cites any hard sources for his assumptions. For statistics and analysis of crime rates among students, please take a look at the NEA's [nea.org] School Safety Facts [nea.org] . Please keep in mind that the NEA (National Educators Association) is a teachers' lobbyist concern, and does have some slant in the favor of public school teachers.

That said, I find Katz' immediate implication of 'educators' as proponents of the Mosaic 2000 program offensive. I can't think of many teachers who would support such an idiotic proposal, and also resent the implication that educators would support such an abomination to suppress free speech outside the classroom, using such media as the WWW.

While I agree that there /has/ been a failing of late for teachers to meet the needs of some of their brighter students, there is only a finite amound of work these people can do in the course of a day. When you have a class of at least 20-25 students, it is very difficult for the teacher to focus on just /one/ student. What these people need is support, not half-informed pundits shooting their mouth off.

Steps to fight back (1)

The G (7787) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497031)

Jon has a gift for explaining the problem, but none for putting together solutions. We need to start looking at this as what it is -- a continuation (not a new thing) -- of long-standing social attitudes toward mental differentness ("illness").

The same set of checks was almost verbatim what my high scholl pshrynk described as ways of finding suicide risks. Why is suicide like school shooting? The threat of either can get you tossed out of school and even locked up.

We need to start rejecting the "right" of school administrators and pshrynks to discriminate on the basis of mental "stability" real or perceived. We need to stop defending ourselves as "geeks are still stable, unlike these people" and start saying, "yes, geeks are unstable, just like most great achievers and great people."

Just like school adminstrators insist on equal treatment of hormone- and violence-addled football-bashers, they should accept that they must also provide equal treatment for the pallid, shy, sociopathic geek in the corner. Certainly the truly exceptional of the former have beaten, knifed, and raped a hundred times as many students as the truly exceptional of the latter have ever shot or bombed.

We need to stop fearing the mentally unstable -- the mentally unstable are the ones who will grow into the brilliantly creative. And without those, well, the dark ages were a more violent time by far than the renaissance.
--G

Self Esteem (1)

CaseyB (1105) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497032)

Experience unstable self-esteem.

Perfect, now we can concentrate on helping those rare teenagers that suffer from unstable self-esteem.

The complete uselesseness of profiling (1)

mumblepig (68757) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497033)

Any chance of getting a link or post of the text of the profile?

I recall attending a pro-marajuana legalization rally once. They detailed the California Highway Patrol's profile of a person driving under the influence of grass:
- Obeys speedlimit
- Comes to complete stops
- Courteous

Of course this is a horrible simplification from memory, but you get the point. Perfectly legal and (and otherwise sociable) behaviour becomes reason to harrass and annoy, as is driving while [black|latino] in certain neighborhoods.

This strikes me as a "COTS" approach to law enforcement, although the more paranoid side of me tends to think this is just a way for "the man" to bring more people under control of "the system".

(Incidentally, I think I may have fat-fingered and accidentally posted an incomplete version of this post.. My bad... I'll go moderate it out...)

Re:Geek Testing for fun and profit? (1)

slashdot-terminal (83882) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497034)

Then how do they succeed? I mean there can be only so many pimps, gigolos, and pro football stars in the world. Since they are so aggresive maybe we should profile all of the football, track, and cheerleaders.

1. Do you like sports
2. Do you play sports more than 5 hours at a stretch.
3. Do you have feelings of concentration when you play a sport like nothing else matters.
..
..
..

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1497035)

Oh please let's not have a load of replies saying "oh that's just so me! I fit almost all the characteristics! no-one ever loved me ... sniff sniff". just don't embarrass yourself like that. please. go and see a psychiatrist if you really have problems.

and another thing, isn't America meant to be the land of the free? or was that Canada (one of the two). you don't sound very free, anyway.

Depends on how this information is being used... (2)

MurrayTodd (92102) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497036)

I agree that the recent witch-hunting has been overboard and reactionary. The stories I've heard recently are horrible. But for the administration of a school which is responsible for the student body, I imagine some sort of profiling is necessary to identify those students who might need some counceling or intervention.

There were some items on the list that would make me take note if I were a school counsellor. Especially things like use of bullying, drug use, not responding to critisism, etc. Although a good half of the items on the list would target "geeks", the other half made some good sense.

It's not the use of profiling but the blind misuse of profiling that needs to be examined. I know that a stupid school admin might have noticed that I played Dungeons & Dragons and immediately assumed I was dangerous, but someone with half a brain would notice that I (and most geeks) would obviously apply.

Scape Goats (1)

SilverFate (113951) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497037)

When things happen people do not want to admit that it is their society at fault and so they choose scapegoats. With each group fighting and gaining their rights a new generation of scapegoats is born ... guess what, that's us. Who cares if [statistically] most of us are passifists or that we resent authority because it has given up on up? Not the government, not the society, not the people who want to turn a blind eye to the society of hate and fear against us.

Re:Bullying (2)

dufke (82386) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497038)

Have experience with chronic bullying...

Isn't that what they mean with this?
-

It makes me sad (1)

Ethan (9204) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497039)

I look at all these articles (both on /. and in mainstream media) about schools and classification and profiling... And I think "This won't happen in my community, they're much smarter than that."

Then I go to the school or I talk to the students or my brother (who is in HS), and it is happening. They have an officer in the halls every day, places to report "disturbed" students or students who "need help" are posted on bulletin boards, and teachers express concern about the safety of carrying backpacks or wearing heavy coats. This from a school that had one fight my senior year (two years ago). Not exactly a hotbed of violent activities.

The bottom line is that it is happening in the schools and communities you and I know and love, and we need to do something about it. Visit your schools and express your concerns. It sure doesn't feel like it's doing much good at the time, when the administrators smile and nod and say "It's for the kids' safety", but maybe sooner or later we'll make an impression.

Let's keep our youth and our society safe by making it what we want it to be with our own hands, not by sitting aside and watching the government mandate safety in ways that persecute youth that could have been you or I a handful of years ago.

I would say... (2)

jd (1658) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497040)

This probably fits:

  • At least 90% of everyone in Alchoholics Anomymous and Al-Anon
  • At least 95% of everyone in the Computer Industry
  • At least 75% of all councellors, therapists and psychologists
  • At least 50% of all scientists and academics
  • At least 75% of all explorers and adventurers
  • At least 75% of all environmentalists
  • At least 95% of all discoverers
  • At least 50% of all successful teachers

This is based on people I know, my own experiences and my knowledge of what these areas require of a person.

What this profile essentially says is: "We won't trust you if you threaten our over-bloated ego, whether that be by you taking care of yourself, helping others, or contributing something of significance to society."

Remember, we've only Jon Katz' word that this -IS- the profile used, and we're familiar with his rather partisan spins in the past. On the other hand, if this is genuine, whoever came up with the test should be put under observation immediately as a potential threat, for openly violent discrimination and inciting hatred based on discrimination.

Re:I'm amazed (1)

radja (58949) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497041)

I'm not. I have abandoned all hope of intelligence springing from the US. This way I am never unpleasantly surprised by US stupidity, but sometimes, just once in a while I am surprised at a slight sign of reemerging intelligence.

//rdj

Useless tests are hype. (1)

Rotten (8785) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497042)

I trust this kind of tests as I trust the tests my girlfriend rips off from Cosmopolitan and Elle.

A test that tries to link a single fact with a single source to made a biased conlcusion.

Let's say:
In highschool I was a Loner, because I could not integrate with the rest of the people because 70% of them were on drougs and I did not like that.
I formed a small circle of clean people and we where the target for jokes and the like.
My self esteem was dynamic, some weeks high and others low, as any adolescent.
I liked weapons, especially War Airplanes, and WW2 history...I readed many books about and I still do it.
I play Quake and Unreal in a weekly basis with friends (lan parties). The difference is that now some of them bring their wifes and babies, and we dring less beer and more bourbon.
My school marks were awfull since I started working, because I needed money.
My house, as every one I know can be labeled "dysfunctional".
No drugs...thanks god.
No attention seeking, but don't like clueless people, trying to take attention, to criticise my solids point of view.

Well, In this "Gilrlie Magazine" Test, I'm a psycho ready to kill...

And now I understand why agencies are so useless to prevent incidents, they think they can make a "Mosaic" of people, that everybody is a cloned entity and all act and react the same...
They are really clueless and I thank god that I graduated a long time ago...

Next week's FBI test will let us find "The Perfect Lover Profile Test" two pages after the "Millenium Linguini Recipe" and just before the "New Trends for next Winter"...Don't miss the interview with Brad Pitt!!


Labeling the wrong people (1)

_LORAX_ (4790) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497043)

I would just like to say, as with the majority of /.'ers I have fit into this profile for at least a decade. I can just hope that my childern can grow up in a more accomidating school environment, not one that labels them just for being who they are.

I find it very amusing to see this become such a big topic for teachers and principals. School age kids are killed every day. Now that the school officails feel threatened, we have to label kids.

And they are going about it all wrong. They are labeling the wrong people

The qeustion that keeps comming back to me is why are they not labeling the bullies, without which most "outcasts" would not feel so "putdown". Without this pressure, would the kids snap? What about the teachers that don't care enough about there students to approach them on occasion and ask them how things are going today. And we could never question why schools are always under funded these days, that would never be tolerated.

I just don't get it anymore. This is just one more Quick Fix(tm) for a broken system.

Re:Oh my. (1)

CYberPhreak (5569) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497044)

Christ. You too? It seems that this whole thing seems to be quite the common experience for most of us. I do tend to fantasize about planning elegant crimes, but on the other hand, I also do not have the balls to carry them out. (Yes, I am male) Peace

Re:Bullying (1)

crivens (112213) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497045)

Being on the giving end MUST make you more dangerous to the general populous at large.

Soemthing New? (1)

infodragon (38608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497046)

I for one have always believed that the home environment is the biggest factor in the potential for violence. Espically the repression of anger. If one is not able to effectively express anger it is going to come out in very destructive ways.

This is very evident in the serial killer Ted Bundy. He was the son of a Baptist preacher. With me being baptist and having quite a bit of contact with Baptist preachers. I have noticed all of them have in some way repressed or shut down the anger of their children. This is where you get the PK (Preachers Kid) syndrome. With Ted Bundy it was more extreme in most casese so his repressed anger came out in a much more extreme manner.

I am a geek by far. I inherited this from my geek father. I was an outcast in school and church. I am now a very well adjusted geek. At the age of 22 I make 82K a year with only 3 semesters of college. I still go to the same church and am an active member of it. I attribute my success to the way I was allowd to express my anger in my home without the fear of repression or judgement from my parrents. If it was not for the open environment of the home I WOULD be in jail for lashing out with my repressed anger and probably killing some if not most of my class mates.

Sorry about my ramblings but I feel strongly in this area.

Why so many problems in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1497047)

I've been through high school in Australia and see the FBI profile applying to Australian geeks as much as it would to US geeks. Yet we have so much less violence in our schools. I know the US has a much higher population, but we haven't got guns in our schools. The worst I've heard of is knives, and then only in the worst schools. Perhaps the FBI and your legislators should consider getting weapons out of your schools rather than targetting a group of intelligent people and their rights to free expression.

Violent Juvenile Crime: (3)

Rabbins (70965) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497048)

I would just like to point out that violent juvenile crime is down about 30% since 1994. In fact, this is the 12th straight year it has declined.

This is a statistic by the Justice Department which tracks murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

Also, firearm deaths in general are down more than 21% from 1993

Now, the crimes are just receiving a lot more attention and sensationalism.

Pisses me off when I hear all "These kids are unbelievable nowadays" attitudes. There are just more of them... bound to be bad apples in the mix.

Re:Bullying (2)

slashdot-terminal (83882) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497049)

Or more precisely uses violence as the first option when confronted in such situations. People can be defined by how they act and how they respond to various stimuli and actions. The "normal" response to bulling is to just break the bully's nose or something. People who are the more thinking type will automatically begin to apply techniques to allow them to get out of the situation before the bully can break their nose instead. Pople who feel violated now cannot not take action, but if you do you are punished it's a catch 22. What is a little disturbing is that there was a program on the WB network that was about violence. It tried to take the sterotype of various groups and claim that "violence is wrong kids" by illustrating the various problems with various factions involved. Needless to say I was unimpressed by the whole thing. Violence in it's primitive extends from things that society faults on that cause a break from being able to defend and win at. Homelessness, joblessness, dispair, crime, drug abuse, poverty, etc are all things that contribute to violence. Utopia will never be achieved so we have decided to pretend that they are gone and sweep them under the table.

Lawrence Peter would find this interesting. (1)

Captain Sarcastic (109765) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497050)

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Lawrence Peter, he was the author of "The Peter Principle." The principle, simply stated, says that "In a hierarchy, people tend to be promoted until they reach their level of incompetence." -- which means, they get promoted until they are out of their depth, after which promotions stop.

One of the sub-texts of this book talked about "hierarchal exfoliation" -- the removal of both the super-incompetent and the super-competent from the hierarchy, because these people tend to disrupt the orderly workings. In many schools, the "super-incompetent" students were often assigned to "special education" or other similar areas where they were no longer disrupting the "normal" classes. For that matter, they used to have "gifted" classes for "super-competent" students, but I think that this was discontinued because it suggested that the "mainstream" students weren't similarly gifted. (I use the quotes for terms that I personally question, but those questions range beyond the scope of this post.)

Now, if the above article is true, the FBI has just handed school administrators a tool for removing these "super-competent" students. In many of these cases, such students:

  • have been bullied
  • have had the handle "Teacher's Pet" hung on them and were subsequently ostracized

    have been exposed to "violent games" such as Doom, Quake, or that old standby bugbear of school administrators, Dungeons & Dragons

    have been subjected to years of ridicule and isolation from their peers that their self-esteem is often pretty fragile.

What this benighted "profile" does is tell geeks to develop camouflage -- in the same society where we quote Shakespeare's "To thine own self be true" -- all for the sake of beleaguered school administrators who want a quick fix to soothe panicked parents. Well, most of us on this board know what happens with quick fixes....

So... now what? (1)

X-ViRGE (44659) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497051)

What happens is my school sees this stuff? Do I answer truthfully, saying that I match their profile, except for the drug use and dysfunctional family part, and risk being expelled?

I go to a Catholic school because the public school near me isn't that great, and my parents wanted me to have a better education... but this is a Catholic school, it's pretty easy to be expelled...

I mean... why is it all of a sudden so bad to be a geek? Good points were made in that the bullies should be looked at as having something wrong, possibly...

I mean, a girl that hung out with a bunch of kids that picked on me in elementary school had a freaking baby last month! And she's 16! Yet, I'm the one the FBI is targetting as potentially dangerous... Isn't it somewhat kinda bad to have a kid at 16... especially when the person was doing drugs before and during pregnancy????

I don't like to flip out at nothing, but this seems as if it could get me expelled if my school sees it and I answer truthfully...

Should I just lie?

No surprise (1)

Chilli (5230) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497052)

Face it, main stream primary, middle, and high school education is nothing for us - your only chance is that a clever math or science teacher protects you somewhat because he or she recognises the technical talent. Its a pity that it gets worse in the schools, but on the other hand, the net makes it easier for todays kids to find out that there are many more geeks. It gets better at university, as the lecturers themselves are often geeks. Chilli

Re:Bullying (2)

dufke (82386) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497053)

In my experience they could only mean the receiving end... and thats how Katz read it too. Bullies and predators who prey on kids who are different or "non-normal" aren't considered dangerous...
-

Just one question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1497054)

What happened in the USA to innocent untill proven guilty? Just another post below my threshold.

Comments on the "areas" (2)

Saige (53303) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497055)

Usually boys of average or above-average intelligence.

Probably more often boys because they're taught more that violence is acceptable, and expected, for boys. Though I'd expect to see a girl involved in something like this soon.

Above-average intelligence because they're more likely to be independent, be themselves, instead of just following everyone else.

Often loners, or have small circle of friend who are outsiders.

The fact that they're often into things that are considered unpopular, and often not doing the necessary things to be popular (buying the "right" clothes, playing sports, especially the "right" sports). So they're usually forced to be outsiders, though some do it willingly, realizing how pitiful the popular crowd really is.

Experience unstable self-esteem.

Getting picked on, taunted, made fun of, etc, tends to create this. I'd be suprised to see an outsider without this problem.

Often fascinated by cults, Satanism, weapons, themes of violence and death.

My question here is: what is a "cult" or "Satanism" to the people judging this? My experience tells me that anything other than big mainstream religion would fit. Wiccan? Oh, you're in a "cult"/a "Satanist". Heck, an atheist would probably be lumped in here.

Experience a decline in schoolwork and marks.

Treated like crap at school? Then you're not going to like being there or anything associated with it, and less likely to do the work. And it never helps when it's busywork or things you know and have known for a while.

Come from dysfunctional homes.

What's NOT a dysfunctional home? The Cleavers?

Have experience with chronic bullying and drug use.

As someone else pointed out - it doesn't mean you're DOING the bullying.

Engage in attention-seeking behavior, and don't accept criticism.

But what is "attention-seeking behavior"? Is flaunting the social norms this "evil" behavior? If you go to school with, say, blue hair, are you just doing it for attention and not because you just like it and it doesn't hurt anyone?

Not accept criticism? How many people do that very well?

I agree that this is a pretty good profile for the type of person more likely to have problems, and do bad things in school. What worries me is that they're most likely going to use it to identify the likely problem kids, and then treat those kids like they're the only part of the problem, while ignoring the intolerance, bigotry, ridicule, and bullying that CREATES people like this in the first place. They're not going to use it to find what the REAL problems are.

I just wonder if we're ever going to have people with clues in the important positions that can do things about stuff like this. Too bad we don't see geeks getting into things like politics, school administration, etc.
---

Re:Well, that's me. (1)

Trebonius (29177) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497056)

I agree. I don't know if it would take a chaplain or a mental institution to accomplish what you're talking about, but you've got a lot of good things to say.

Too many of the guidance counselors you talk about are not prepared to help anyone deal with real life problems. I know. My mother is one.

Too many of these counselors are only capable of doing a horrible job of helping you find a college and figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life. They also seem to have no ability to see a person in anguish and distinguish them from your average student. Or maybe they can and don't care.

Why are the quiet ones always ignored if, as they say, "It's the quiet ones you have to look out for."
If only someone WERE looking out for them. Us.

Slappy JoJo (2)

adimarco (30853) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497057)


As one who pretty much exactly matches the profile explained (I'm hoping the real list is *far* more detailed), I can personally attest that 99.998% of the people netted by this kind of testing are harmless, at least in the sense that most of them aren't exactly likely to assault their classmates with automatic weapons and home made pipe bombs.

What this type of profiling will isolate is people who tend to think differently. People who don't possess the type of herd-mentality preferred by the powers-that-be. People less likely to simply roll over and follow orders without thinking about it. People who actually *think* from time to time.

Safety, threat to the popular well being, has been the traditional excuse that the powers-that-be have used to take away freedoms, one piece at a time. The "evil spectre" of communism is gone. The arabs don't appear to be all that menacing of a threat any more. Those pesky Yugoslavians appear to have calmed down a bit. All they have left to make us afraid of is ourselves.

So... Here's the game plan for the impending Immanentization of the Eschaton.

  1. The NSA^H^H^Hmedia will bombard us with a continual stream of incidents like Columbine.

  2. The people will begin to fear the only thing left to fear in the one-world/global-village mindset created by the internet, themselves.

  3. In fear of themselves, the people will *beg* the government to take away their freedoms, all in the name of safety.

  4. Checkmate.

Roughly speaking, it's as simple as that...

while(1){
print "I would rather be free than safe.\n";
}


Anthony

^X^X
Segmentation fault (core dumped)

nerds be cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1497058)

Mes thinks that list be hunky talk. Just because me and me friends are smarter than be the average white fool does not be meaning that me be dangerous. Me friends and me like to do computers because we want to make the dough. All we be caring about right now is the dough- once we be rolling then perhaps we will look to screw. you all be cool you be hearing me?

It's the school officials... (2)

QuasEye (98125) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497059)

I'm not sure what to think about this - I mean, the FBI is probably right about the characteristics that a potentially violent student might have. Katz seems to be damning the program one sentence, then goes on to quote a school official with a lukewarm opinion about it (at worst).

To me, it seemss that the most important thing about this program is the school officials. The FBI doesn't seem to be saying anything here but to give a certain set of qualities to be on the lookout for. They aren't recommending courses of actions over-reactionary or otherwise. (I could be wrong - I've never heard anything about this outside of Katz's articles) The school officials are the ones that will choose between helping the "out of the mainstream" students by listening to their concerns, and choosing to alienate them even more by persecuting them. This program will probably not change anything - if a school has a bad set of officials, they will be quite able to screw things up whether the FBI helps them or not.

Comments Welcome!

bp

------

Public Misconception... (1)

Panamon777 (78286) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497060)

The principal quoted at the end of the article says "The kids we are all beginning to look at are those that play violent video games, who are on the Internet all the time..."

Where in the FBI guidelines does it mention video games or the Internet? It doesn't. Perhaps the FBI is slow to update its guidelines, or perhaps they just realize something about video games that the world hasn't quite grasped yet...

Re:no problem with this "profiling" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1497061)

The problem here is, that they won't try and help these kids, they'll just ship them off to some where else.

The education systems in North America aren't designed to help the kids at all, their designed to meet minimum basic requirements of "education" and protect the teachers.

A lot of the high school kids that fit this Profile, probably fit the Attention Deficit Disorder category in grade school. Instead of realizing that these kids are bored with the level of stimulus given, and trying to find better material to chalenge these kids, they label them Problems, and recomend Rydalin.

I went through the Ontario schools system, and was part of the "Streaming" experiment of the late eighties. Where they put the bright kids together, in "Gifted" classes, and put the less scholarly students in "technical" schools and classes (read shop + woodworking). This was Abandoned as too costly right after I graduated.

I was one of the few that fit both categories; mostly because I was bored, and partially because I was used to coasting through the regular classes in grade school, and never had to realy work that hard.

Instead of trying to get me motivated, they repeatedly tried to say I had some "learning disibility" and ship me to a "storefront" school (basically, a class where you went to do corespondance courses) The only thing that saved me was the fact that the psyc tests came back says "very bright, no problems, just very bored"

Serial killers, while at it? (3)

Enoch Root (57473) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497062)

Here are the three symptoms in childhood that allow profilers to detect potential serial killers:

Mutilation and/or torture of small animals (frogs, etc.)

Pyromaniac tendencies (likes to play with fire and burn things)

Wet one's bed until an advanced age of childhood

Wonder how many /.ers that fit?

My point? Katz is kicking the bee's nest that is Slashdot to gather outrage. The fact of the matter is, this is not geeks he is talking about. He's talking about that bastard in highschool who collected knives and beat every kid around. He's talking about the guy who took it out on everyone else because his father beat the living shit out of him back home.

Sure, that can be some geeks. But it's not the profile of all geek. Where's the love for science? Where's the obsession for details?

Besides, it's ok to profile potential troublemakers. You indeed want to stop one kid from going to school and gunning down everyone, so the best way to go about this is to explain to teachers what's at stake; to give them an understanding that some people need support and help, and to be there for them if they need it, should they ask for it. What's wrong with that?

Trouble is, like I said, geeks are not the target here. And the geeks, who seem to suffer a major social stigmata while younger, go about their lives without help just because they don't kill everyone in sight. Well, not most of the times, anyway. We're just bullied, we don't bully others. We all dream of slaughtering someone at some point in our lives, but there's a nagging something that keeps us from doing it. As we grow up, we realise it's ethics.

"The wages of sin is death but so is the salary of virtue, and at least the evil get to go home early on Fridays."

Bad Driver profiling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1497063)

Bad Driver profiling. I have had 12 tickets and no accidents. My brother has had no tickets an 3 accidents!

Re:Twilight Zone to come true? (1)

slashdot-terminal (83882) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497064)

Is that the Outer Limits? Pretty good stuff there.
At any rate they can try to use tests such as these but I can't see how these are different from standard psychological tests for various things. With tests of any type consent must be levied in some form. You can fight testing for various things anyway: especially the psychological. I think that it would be impossible for a government to be able to actually impliment any such thing. People want to gain power right? They need leaders right? What kind of qualities do leaders need? Intelligence. What happens when all the intelligent people are gone? No strong leadership! The loose all the power they were trying to establish and they effectively put their regime out of power. It is self defeating. Unless they have a core group of pre-selected people who are intelligent to choose from they cannot replace them and such decline would be ineveitable.

they forgot one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1497065)

and never got laid.

where is thomas jefferson when you need him? (1)

skepticphilosopher (86109) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497066)

from time to time the tree of liberty must be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants. perhaps its time again?

Self-Fullfilling Prophecy? (2)

DJStealth (103231) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497067)

Now the real question is...

Now that these kids know that they are "potential terrorists," are they more likely to become terrorists? What if this "geek-profiling" was kept confidential?

Does anybody else think there is potential for self-fullfilling prophecy for those people who were borderline and would not become "bad" people to now move towards such a profile just because that's how they are labelled?

I personally do not fit into this profile, I do find myself spending hours infront of a computer though due to my great interest in technology and figuring things out, but I am interested to hear what others have to say.

Individuals With Disabilities Act VIOLATION!!! (1)

mattz (82905) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497068)

um, these traits are characteristic of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. If I am to believe them correctly, they advocate discriminating against a LEARNING DISABLED student who is COVERED BY THE IDEA!!! I have seen schools have to pay millions to install concrete ramps, and have whole classes relocated to accomodate disabled students. Boy, I hope the FBI realizes this before they allow themselves to be sued by concerned parents. Call CHADD!!!!

Here are my results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1497069)

yes, yes, yes, yes, no, yes, no

I guess I better get going. (1)

evileye (21679) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497070)

Hmmmm which crime first?

Re:Hmm (1)

Powers (118325) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497071)

> and another thing, isn't America meant to be the land of the free? or was that Canada (one of the two). you don't sound very free, anyway. From reading Slashdot, one would certainly get the impression that this is the case. Compared to many other democracies in the world, perhaps we're not particularly free. These things must be taken in context, however. Two hundred years ago, the amount of freedom outlined in our Constitution was unusual. Now, perhaps it is a bit antiquated, but it's held up surprisingly well. I, for one, have faith in our existing governmental systems to prevent severe abuses from becoming too prevalent in our society. The influence of the Internet and the global exchange of ideas certainly helps to check any potential trends toward limiting freedom. Most people in America are glad for their freedom; most just don't care unless it affects them directly. And many of us take it for granted. But that doesn't mean we'd just stand by while all of our freedoms are taken away. Powers &8^]

Re:Typical (1)

bubbasatan (99237) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497072)

I don't know what your beef is with southerners. I don't care what it is, either. I dare say that you learned everything you believe you know about the south from equally ignorant television and movie productions. Obviously you would not fit the profile in the intelligence category. Ah, but I digress. Do you vote? I'll bet I could guess which party you vote for, too. No matter. Most of these comments are no more interesting than a hearty session of watching paint dry. So many canned responses about 1984. So many people blaming every other person but themselves. Let's face facts folks, if we want change, we must be the orchestrators. No one else can do it. Left alone, things will only continue to decline. Are we the future leaders? The intellectual elite? Then let us take matters into our own hands. We do not lack the capabilities, only the will to use them. And that is something we can, for the moment, control.

Re: guidance counselors (1)

Pfhreakaz0id (82141) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497073)

With all due respect to guidance cousnselors (my sister is one), it amazes me that most guidance counselors are teachers who wanted to do something besides teach. In other words, they are not trained counselors.

My wife is a social worker who would love to be a counselor, but you know what? She can't. The teachers union in our fair state is fighting tooth and nail to keep anyone without an education degree out of the schools. It's just ridiculous. I'm sorry, but my wife is FAR more qualified to do counseling for troubled kids than my sister. I think they need to separate out the eduational/career counseling from the "other" counseling.

A few comments... (3)

tweek (18111) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497074)

On a few points:

"Your term 'geek profiling' is dead on," wrote one principal. ...., and who don't participate in 'mainstream' school activities.

Since when does lack of participation deem someone a target? I knew alot of people who didn't enjoy the mainstream school activities when I was in highschool. I participated in a few (french honors, prom committies) but hte rest I found to be uninteresting. Most people know I'm a network admin for a Quality Assurance Lab. Recently Rational (a testing tool company) came in and did a week long course on their products. At the end everyone got certificates. I was the only person in the entire office who didn't attend (other than the boss). My boss asked me if I wanted to go and I flat out said that I had nor will I ever have any interest in manual, automated or regression testing. I told him that I see no link between it and my job other than the performance testing that users were doing on our LAN. He agreed and I got some work-related (slashdot ;>) tasks done that week because everyone was out of my hair.

Schools nowadays have a ton of tasks to keep students busy but face it, there are going to be people who aren't going to be interested. Quite possibly they just want to get the whole thing out of the way and focus on learning so they can move on.


Or who are seriously disenchanted with school or the structure of school.

Let's face it, people who dislike school..simply dislike school. It doesn't make them irrational or insane. They just don't like it.

Have experience with chronic bullying...

Does this mean THEY do the bullying or are bullied themselves? This actually goes against what most of the slashdot community has been saying in the wake of the hellmouth series. Most of the people who fit this profile are usually BEING bullied.

strlen(&life); (2)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497075)

I have no problem with geek profiling. Infact, I didn't exactly hide the fact that I knew alot about computers or had information at my fingertips from everything to the correct dress a girl should wear at prom to how to build C5 from bleach. That's the power of information, and I was willing to share the entire gammit of it with my classmates. Naturally the so-called "normal" people were attracted to the latter. Guess who was the violent kid though?

You see, this has nothing to do with profiling. It has nothing to do with geeks, per se. It has to do with keeping the status quo - and that is that the "normal" kids - jocks, preps, and hip dudes can do no wrong. If they do, they're "just kids" afterall, and "boys will be boys". But when somebody who isn't defined as "normal" by the community is targetted, they'll take any excuse to get rid of him, isolate him, or otherwise punish him for not subscribing to the social formula They have laid out.

Katz, you're close here - but you didn't hit the mark. There's a much bigger issue here, and one that cuts to the very core of the definition of what a society is. This is the politics of being different. It's hard, it's tough, and it's unfair. I could tell you volumes about my experiences in high school - it was basically a prequel to your hellmouth series. Bombs, scared kids, an outraged community, and a kid on the run. I had ATF agents *in my house*. It wasn't fun.

Believe me when I say this: This has nothing to do with geeks. Anyone who is different is a target in this (and most every) society. It is the biggest fight you'll ever be in - the fight to remain yourself.

Re:What's on the net... (1)

Kinthelt (96845) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497076)

Pretty much all of the surviving philosophical writings of the ancient Greeks

Alas, but I wish that were true. Try and find Lysistrata, the Sex Play. I have a feeling that it is banned along with a few other "morally suspicious" writings (e.g. Canterbury Tales)

Re:Well, that's me. (1)

warpeightbot (19472) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497077)

Bottom line is that I have no problem with this "profiling" you whine about Jon. But I wish they would concentrate more on what to do with the kids once they find them. It comes down to love. And no one in our society is ready to make that kind of commitment.
Love is a strong word there, to require of a social contract. But I have to agree with the previous poster... it's not that these kids need locking up. They don't. They need to be shown that somebody who can do something gives a damn.

Hmmm. Perhaps it is that those that should really be profiled are the bullies themselves? But the bright ones that get ostracised are going to need help too, in a totally different manner... lest they get bored, and their minds wander to other things...

OTOH, I'm not going to trust any kid of mine to any government school anytime soon.... so there.

--
Boom tomorrow. There's always a boom tomorrow. -- Susan Ivanova

it says you weren't raised in a TV commercial (1)

zptdooda (28851) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497078)

btw I met all but 2 of them myself.

Good job I'm in Canada!

I score 7.5/8 and was dangerous (1)

rm-r (115254) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497079)

Well folks, I score 7.5/8 on that little test there, and to be fair I have always said that if I had been in a gun owning country Myself and possibly others would no longer be here. Simple. There are always going to be dysfunctional people in this dysfunctional society and although it is a noble cause to try and help them I do not beleive these test have helping those unfortuneant enough to be able to score highly in this test. As long as people can easily get hold of firearms there will be people who kill with them, purely through breaking down. You folks really need to sort this out. It's sad to say, but I think even the US- gun mad as it often seems to be to the outsider- is more likely to make weapronry harder to access rather than provide real and genuine help for these people.

and me and me and me (4)

rodentia (102779) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497080)

I'll wager a significant proportion of slashdotterii fit this profile. I know I do and committed my share of violent, primarily self-destructive acts. But the key here is that the profile is being used to identify potential violent offenders, the better to react swiftly with the full force of the law as necessary. It would be naieve to imagine that the FBI, BCA, or ATF are profiling individuals for some "love."

I was a principal suspect in a pretty serious local crime based on the heresay of a "concerned" law enforcement official. The BCA interviewed my parents and girlfriend while I was in school. The up-shot: come home from school to find myself homeless, my girlfriend no longer permitted contact with me. They apprehended the responsible party a few weeks later, but I didn't get the girl back and an already tenuous relationship with my parents deteriorated further. I won't bore you with the details of the black decade which followed, suffice to say there is a big hole where my twenties should have been thanks to the intervention of "concerned" adults.

Great Nerd Scare of '99 (1)

Dark Ramon (93377) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497081)

Whew. Well, thank God that the FBI has a new screening test to tell us that nerds, geeks and goths are outcasts from mainstream society. Now we can accurately identify these dangerous individuals before they get a change to upset the balance of power in the schools. We can't have our jocks and preps feel uncomfortable while harrassing those who are different from them. I shudder to think of a world where nerds walk the halls in safety without being beaten or mocked. Why on Earth would some students feel the need to lash out? Why can't they just sit there and take the constant harrassment like everyone else? Oh, this world would just be so much easier if everyone who was different would just stop being individuals and conform.

I meet about 75% of that little test and am personally disgusted that we're spending so much time treating the symptoms of a larger problem. But, I'm not one of the "in" crowd, so I guess my objections are just unintelligent ramblings coming from someone who is unhappy with the status quo. I'm not saying that those kids aren't responsible for their action in any way, but we also need to realize that something pushed them to that point. It's just that no one want to look at the deeper causes because those deeper causes are sometimes the victims, and America's big bleeding heart prevents the media from even suggesting that those poor jocks could have something to do with it.

Another hand raised... (2)

./ (13859) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497082)

Can't accept criticism? that's a new one to me -- but entirely true.

Bullied? Oh hell yes. Not for being smart, but aggresively and persistently harrassed for about a year and a half. To defend my best friend. Who promptly never spoke to me again. Fscker.

Nothing else to say except 'yes' to almost every single question.

Nerds are not threatening. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1497083)

The funniest thing about this is how inneffectual and non-threatening all you nerds are. Oooh no!!@ he's going to hit me over the head with his linux kernel!! Then he's going to tell me how IMPORTANT free source is!!@#1 -darwin

Re:Individuals With Disabilities Act VIOLATION!!! (2)

tweek (18111) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497084)

I honestly think ADD et. al are used entirely wrong most of the time. I have a feeling it is easier for parents and doctors to label kids this way instead of getting at the root of the problem.

Having said that...I have been diagnosed with ADD and believe it to be true myself. Even at 25. =)

The Profile Fits! (5)

A Big Gnu Thrush (12795) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497085)

Engage in attention-seeking behavior, and don't accept criticism.

Well, the profile fits Katz at least. It might not catch potential murderers, but it may help us find and contain future "journalists".

I support Katz profiling!

Doesn't anybody in the school know kids? (2)

hey! (33014) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497086)

In the past, I've volunteered with some programs for gifted children. Of course all children are gifted if you know them well enough, and every parent trying to get his kids into such programs knows his kid is gifted.

Very quickly we learned when we had a live, for real case of a G&T kid when you talked to a parent on the phone who was at the end of his or her rope -- the kid who'd aced the SATs as a sixth grader, had done original scientific, literary or engineering work, and was drifting aimlessly around middle school because there was nothing anyone there was teaching him.

It eventually dawned me that what we really mean when we say a kid is "gifted" is that he or she is a special needs case -- a euphemism we usually use to indicate there's something wrong with a kid. There are many bright students, but what really sets a G&T kid apart is that he can't be served by the standard curriculum.

Getting back to the FBI profile, I think it is fair to say that a kid who "meets the profile" given is probably not well served. In that sense, the profile is neither good nor bad; it is a tool. Ordinarily the key to such a tool would be what you do after you've selected out kids who meet the criteria. On the other hand, it seems pretty obvious to me that there is something extremely wrong if a school can't figure out on its wown that somebody should make it their business to get to know kids like this.

Go JonKatz! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1497087)

"a computer profiling system developed by the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (AFT) Division"

I swear it used to be the ATF :)

Re:hey wait (1)

nhowie (38409) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497088)

They missed out 'penguins' from that list.

Not that there's anything wrong with being obsessed with satanic penguin death cults [satanic.org] ... worship the penguin, or die!
--

Re:Dangerous as an Adult! (2)

remande (31154) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497089)

Well as long as you lack the propensity towards Naturist SwordPlay in local places of worship then I think we might all be quite safe.

"Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust. Don't pull it out, or it will rust"

--Highlander 2: The Sickening (There should have been only one)

Re:Why so many problems in the US? (1)

slashdot-terminal (83882) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497090)

Well one reason is that there is major legislation as far as the anti-gun crowd goes. I was watching a NRA informercial (yes it is biased but it illustrates the extreme of the point) and a group of Australians were talking about how they had basically lost almost all if not all of their gun rights. You probably haven't seen any guns in the hands of children because adults cannot get them easily and they don't have any spares to sell to children. If I pay $3,000 for a black market bee bee gun I will not give it to some kid to have it taken away from him and get me in the slammer.

Re:Why so many problems in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1497091)

Oh how stupid of us over here in the good 'ol US of A. And for years we've been handing out rifles, shotguns, and for the laidies, nice little 9mm handguns, right at the school entrance. Kind of like a library for weapons.

Sheesh, maybe we should rethink that poicy eh?

Good Lord! (2)

Our Man In Redmond (63094) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497092)

This thing reminds me of a list from the "Weekly World News" someone posted in their office window several years back, of "How to tell if someone is a space alien." The list included such warning signs as "seems out-of-place" and "uses objects inappropriately (e.g. trying to eat soup with a fork)".

I remember looking at that list and thinking I didn't know anyone I couldn't prove was from outer space based on that list, including myself and members of my immediate family (even the relatively normal ones).

Likewise, I think most of the people I would have voluntarily associated with in high school had at least a couple of these characteristics, not to mention half the people I work with now. I suppose it depends in some measure on how you define your terms. Are you going to say a kid is "fascinated by cults" because he's a Christian Scientist (yes, some people think they are a cult)? How about "interested in weapons" because he works out at a dojo after school? "Unstable self-esteem" sounds to me like as good a definition of being a high school student as any you could come up with.

OK, maybe the perpetrators of recent school violence fit this profile, but someone needs to run anyone using a profiler like this through an elementary course in set theory. Just because a few of the members of the intersection of SMART and DIFFERENT have decided to, um, take matters into their own hands doesn't mean that all, or most or even more than a statistically insignificant few, of the members of that particular intersection are going to do so.

I wonder if anyone has really looked at how likely people who fit this profile are to commit violence. I wouldn't be surprised to see a result similar to one found over a dozen years ago when someone decided to see whether role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons made kids more likely to commit suicide. Not only could they not find one single suicide that was directly attributable to roleplaying, they found that the suicide rate among gamers was actually less than for the control group! Someone should start looking into this. It might turn out after all that being a geek is good for you!
--

Re:This is actually kind of scary... Kind of??? (2)

Kyriani (105052) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497093)

Not just kindof scary... I cant believe this is happening. Except for being female (and that isnt a big except) I fit *all* the listed characteristics in highschool (and even now!), and so does my brother. Luckily I am now 24 and in the professional computer industry which (mostly) doesnt care about how you dress and what games you play (hell, Quake Tournaments are a Friday event for most of us programmers). But I have a step-sister and step-brother (yes I definitely did have a dysfunctional family and my mother finally divorced my father and is now happily remarried), and those step-siblings are still in HighSchool... I cant say how worried I am for them, for they take after my brother and I, they are always telling me stories about how they got suspended for wearing all black clothes to school or for having blue hair... I cant believe that this is happening without the public's permission! How are we just letting this slide? I dont want to have children in this kind of a society! (and I was kindof looking forward to bringing little geeks into this world...) =P

*sigh* Someone remind me why I live in the US?
-=Kyriani=-
(i use a handle because people dont believe my real name ;)
GeekProgrammerArtistGamerGrrrrrrl

I Wanna Kill! (1)

quonsar (61695) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497094)


I'm reminded of Arlo Guthries "Alices Restaurant", in which he discusses his military ambitions with an army selective service shrink.

"I wanna KILL!" he tells the shrink.

Looks like the "targets" of this profile will never actually confront anybody making the determination of their dangerousness. The teachers sit down with the list, and say "Oh, yeah, John X, and Billy Y..."

This is a very bizarre chapter in public education...

======
"Rex unto my cleeb, and thou shalt have everlasting blort." - Zorp 3:16

Re:Dangerous as an Adult! (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497095)

Don't worry, just remember to carry a piece of organ pipe wherever you go and you'll be safe.

I about choked to death when I saw that on the news last night.

Remember, if people don't use weapons, people will bite and scratch.

Re:A few comments... (1)

adimarco (30853) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497096)

Does this mean THEY do the bullying or are bullied themselves? This actually goes against what most of the slashdot community has been saying in the wake of the hellmouth series. Most of the people who fit this profile are usually BEING bullied.

I think this is semantic confusion on Katz's part. Other discussion here seems to support that theory.

'sup john? :)

Anthony

^X^X
Segmentation fault (core dumped)

Re:Well, that's me. (2)

Gurlia (110988) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497097)

It takes extra effort for someone to help a person in trouble. It's just way too easy to get turned off by someone's outwardly rebellious behaviour. But usually, if you cared enough to be friendly with that person, you'd discover that he/she is simply venting frustration that comes from deeper trouble, or just trying to keep the mind off more troubling things.

The problem is, there aren't that many people out there who cared enough to "dig deeper", so to speak. And unfortunately many people who don't care hold positions where they should care, like counsellors, and such. And because they don't really care, they may inadvertently "write off" the very kids who need their help, and as a result, the troubled kids are provoked to get worse and retaliate, which may cause them to become potential criminals, even though they wouldn't have been had somebody bothered to care for them rather than criticize or ignore them.

Re:What's on the net... (1)

sallgeud (12337) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497098)

Government legislation, bills being prepared, what congress has to say every day...
I used to be a HUGE CSPAN freak (still would be if I didn't have to work all day)... If you saw the democrats in action... you'd want to kill. There's nothing quite like a hypocritical group of communists. (If communism and/or socialism works, why then is the USA the most powerful nation both financially and influentially)

Re:Here are my results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1497099)

die

Off topic - Xfiles/Millenium (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 14 years ago | (#1497100)

PS. On a side note was anyone else a little disapointed with the outcome of the X-files/Millenium cross over? I thought it was a rather ignoble end of Frank Black and what he did. Still I think he got off lucky. He would have been put in jail for being too "into" death and murder anyway.

It wasn't what I wanted, but then again, what I want is to be able to spend those Friday evenings with the lights off, the TV on, and being totally creeped out every week by Milennium - IMHO, one of the best TV series I've ever seen.

I guess I feel it was worth it just to see Frank Black again, to hear that creepy Millenium-music, to hear them talk about the Millenium Group, and to see that cute little girl on the screen again. I actually thought for a little bit they might give us ex-Millenium fans a early Christmas gift of wrapping up the loose-ends that the series wasn't able to (because of it's sudden ending). Nope, no such luck - answered absolutely nothing.
---
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>