Thursday, October 18, 2007

The answer to everything?

The jury has to decide an outcome they are comfortable with. If not they are fired and replaced with a fresh trial.

Politicians craft legislations that they can pass, and make them look good.

Law enforcement, like everybody else, are paid to do something. They like to have enough resources to get things done, or don't bother.

Game Theory was developed to formally analysis situations with winners and losers, and to predict the outcome and equilibrium. GT has been applied successfully to economics where the markets aren't ideal; how about illegal negotiations?

Is it illegal to pick up a $100 bill on the streets? Who cares. It's unlikely someone will find out or you will get prosecuted.

You lock your doors, right? If you don't and you are broken into, your neighbors will think that you are stupid. And if you have valuable jewels or paintings in your home, the insurance company will be very suspicious.

1. Most people do (lock their doors)
2. You protect your valuables
3. What will the others think?

I have a religious friend who was overwhelmed by the new Christian country that he temporarily resides. Most of his friends in similar situations were very happy. It was so easy. They held wild parties often, where everybody got drunk. At the end the guys would decide who should take which remaining drunken body back to their dorm room. My friend recalled the conversations in one such instant. May be it was actually him who asked with disapproval, "what if those are your sisters?". The other guys just laughed, "want to take one?". The righteous guy left.

OK, so no means no. An unconscious person cannot say yes. But the law is one thing, jurors are just ordinary non progressive human beings. And there are the mitigating circumstances. Nobody want to ruin a guy's life because he made a mistake probably drunk. Even a mother juror will think that she raised her daughter well enough for her never to do such vulnerable things. It's more easy for her to convict the victim's parents. Alright, it's my conjecture, but do you know what a juror will think? Certainly, criminals and victims alike, don't put your fate on the jury's hands if you don't have to. [I mean prevention.]

So it is just a game, or at least the theory. The temptation is there. It's not protected. Most likely he's also drunk or half drunk. If he's not, and he thinks he can get away with it, GT dictates that he will do it.

The zero th law of Game Theory is not to enter a game that you don't even know how to play. (I made it up.) Emma Thompson is quite right to urge you to visit your local brothels to see for yourself. But if she actually does, will she be off the mark? This is more like the reality of trafficking(search for Sheffield trafficking). It's rather hard to hide a brothel in, say, a Surrey town, or LA (parts of) for that matter.

She is quite right that looking for suspicious activities at your neighborhood helps. But that brings out the problem of having something legal. In London, you have nothing to complain about if you neighbor has 40 clients a day - it could well be all legal activities. What is the chance of discovering illegal activities in a Sheffield housing project? Who bothers?

In comparison, when too many people pressed the wrong door bells in LA, something must be illegal enough to be reported. It's a simple matter for the police to talk to the johns coming out, threaten them with legal actions unless they confess what they have done. Then the police have enough to deploy decoys and get convictions.

It is urban legend that all prostitutes and johns know where all the other prostitutes are. They don't, but some play into the popular believe unconsciously. The market is not only highly segmented, but compartmentalized into many secretive zones.

According to the CIA, most trafficking victims in the US are from Latin America and South East Asia, with some recently from Central and Eastern Europe. The fact that it's pretty difficult for the general public, john included, to encounter trafficking victims because:
1. people stay away from no go areas, johns or not
2. no advertisement
3. simply a bad deal

From old news, the Latin American "agencies" are well hidden. There are underages but the whole thing are for those with nothing to lose. No normal people will risk going into unfamiliar areas in LA, which can be fatal by itself. If you become a sex offender you will carry the label for life, telling people where you live always and usually lose everything in the process. I bet nobody can find me a South East Asian of interest. There are very few, if any, in the open market. I can't. There were some obviously "Russian agencies" advertising on the major online malls a while back. They stood out from the crowd anyway, advertise or not. And nobody will go there if they don't operate in decent neighborhoods such as West Hollywood, not East, not North. I guess they never took off and disappeared.

I have been disappointed by journalists reporting on trafficking. Last time it was supposed to be an interview with a trafficked victim working in a San Francisco brothel, who got busted. There was this Korean woman who got lured into sex jobs and became a trafficked victim. OK, then the story skipped to the day after she worked enough and got freed from the traffickers. The story began when she decided to work at her free will at a San Francisco massage parlor. She earned enough to repay all her debts and left, getting a $1000 goodwill gift so she would recommend other any girls who need money to come and work there.

Actually the journalist was telling another story without knowing it. SF is a peculiar place where they want to ban the US navy from using the ports, and brothels are virtually legal at some point. The best ones are right on the main roads, decorated like luxury clubs, well, a little. They have rooms as good as decent motels. Any Korean girl who has huge credit card debts knows where to turn to get quick money, be it in Soul, LA, or San Jose. The money for them is good, and it's safe inside. The selection is rather good, indeed there's nothing quite like it in the CJK world, where you pay a lot for privileges of something like an exclusive golf club, while in SF you pay mostly for the girl and sex. There are spinners in sexy skirts, cute student lookalike in jeans, presentable OLs in smart causals, and bikini model lookalikes in bikinis. They don't pay for expensive fixtures, no management teams to handle the girls and clients. You go in and take your pick.

Back to Game Theory. These "agencies" don't easily let the general public in. It's simply too risky. You only need one wrong john who feel guilty enough to report to the police.

It's urban legend that you can do whatever you want to the trafficking victims. I'm sure they suffers but not from average joes. They are treated as objects and goods. Any smart "owners" will protect their investment with care. They lose a lot if their goods are damaged and are taken out of service even for a day or two. No violent sex, no unsafe sex.


The Player said...

I have been awarded a license for rudeness. If you want to verify I can dig it up.

Game theory, as if I know anything about it, brings out another angle, focusing on the outcome, and the prediction of it.

It might come across that I have no sympathy for some rape victims or trafficking doesn't exist.

It's far from it. Punishment should be harsh for those rapists who are friends of the victims or somebody the victims trusted, and violence, threats. Also, any premeditation, or take advantage of the victim when she is drunk.

I only have reservations when both parties are drunk. Can you prove it or otherwise? After a while the blood alcohol are gone. Though it never happened to me, but I think I understand the temptation when all of a sudden my date is drunk. My action would likely be determined by how likely I would get away with it, and how harsh I would be punished if I didn't. Does it sound like game theory?

If all rapist are appropriately punished, there won't be that much passionate debate in CCG's comments. So, obviously some rapist get away lightly. For example, the case where a prostitute is gang raped at gun point. The judge argued that it's not rape, rather, force to use service without paying. That's my point, it's not good to leave it to the judge and jury. It's better to avoid being raped, assuming that the deterrents aren't as good as they are supposed to be.

The point of prevention is not to walk alone in high crime areas and being robbed. CCG has a good point that in such case you feel unwise, but you feel violated just the same and will call the police without hesitation.

But my experience told me otherwise. I brought a brand new bicycle for commuting on campus. It was stolen very soon. I reported to campus security and they sent a policeman over so I don't need to go the police station. But the policeman asked me very detailed questions about the feature of the bike, when I have the model number and the manual if he asked for it. I was not sure if he's doing his job or he's trying to make sure that I wasn't lying.

I claimed insurance at the bike shop and nobody came back to me. I checked a month or two afterwards and a good staff told me that I shouldn't wait that long and soon I got my replacement bike. I downgraded a bit because I didn't know I could also claim all the accessories on my bike at the time it was stolen.

Then the front wheel was stolen in no time. I didn't remember whether I claimed insurance or I replaced it out of my own pocket. Then the whole bike got stolen again, but I was relieved. I didn't want to go through the reporting and insurance claim again. I didn't do a thing. Campus isn't that big anyway. There's no point fighting a losing battle.

I was angry about campus not warning against serious bike thefts. If only I knew I would not have brought a brand new one, the prime targets. They bring in cutters cutting bike locks like noodles.

Now I recall that I was sexually abused too. When I was old enough for public transport to school, a man sat next to me and touched my leg. I was frozen, didn't know what it was, and didn't know how to react. I didn't even know that some men are interested in boys! I didn't think too much about it afterwards, and I didn't think it would happen again. But it did. I was unprepared the 2nd time just as the 1st time.

Life is about learning from mistakes. You have less sympathy when you are drunk and being raped the 2nd time. And if the victim is a child, I would blame the parents.

In my case I wish we were taught at school or at home that we shouldn't let strangers touch us, and that they are bad, and that we should run or tell somebody.

As for trafficking, does a call girl charging $300 a puff know anything about trafficking? No. Does Emma Thomson know anything about trafficking in her neighboring? No. I'm sure trafficking exists as the statistics suggested, and they suffered a lot of abuse. But I have doubts.

I don't know about London, but a little search let me to a case in Sheffield, high up in a housing project/estate. Average joes don't go there. I know about San Francisco, and I have genuine interest how trafficking occurs there when it's so illegal. The news article with title "trafficking" disappoints me. There's no details and just one sentence saying that the woman is a trafficking victim, that's it.

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