Map of the Most Racist Places in America
Poverty In America
Once about Knowledge and knowledge systems, especially knowledge applied to economic development, but since I retired branching into politics, music and whatever catches my attention.
|Statue of Father Serra in the|
Mission San Diego de Alcalá
|Internet source for map|
|Tupac Katari, Ayo Ayo's most famouscitizen, leader of an Indian revoltin the 1780s.|
|California Lakes, Streams and Water Resources|
Arriving as one of the first European settlers in the Americas, he participated in, and was eventually compelled to oppose, the atrocities committed against the Native Americans by the Spanish colonists. In 1515, he reformed his views, gave up his Indian slaves and encomienda, and advocated, before King Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, on behalf of rights for the natives.......
Bartolomé de las Casas spent 50 years of his life actively fighting slavery and the violent colonial abuse of indigenous peoples, especially by trying to convince the Spanish court to adopt a more humane policy of colonization. And although he failed to save the indigenous peoples of the Western Indies, his efforts resulted in several improvements in the legal status of the natives, and in an increased colonial focus on the ethics of colonialism. Las Casas is often seen as one of the first advocates for universal human rights.The suppression of the Jesuits
in the Portuguese Empire, France, the Two Sicilies, Malta, Parma and the Spanish Empire by 1767 was a result of a series of political moves in each polity rather than a theological controversy. Monarchies attempting to centralize and secularize political power viewed the Jesuits as being too international, too strongly allied to the papacy, and too autonomous from the monarchs in whose territory they operated. By the brief Dominus ac Redemptor (21 July 1773) Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Society of Jesus.The Mexicans
By 1845, the province of Alta California had a non-native population of about 1,500 Spanish and Latin American-born adult men along with about 6,500 women and their native-born children (who became the Californios). These Spanish-speakers lived mostly in the southern half of the state from San Diego north to Santa Barbara. There were also around 1300 American immigrants and 500 European immigrants from a wide variety of backgrounds. Nearly all of these were adult males and a majority lived in central and northern California from Monterey north to Sonoma and east to the Sierra Nevada foothills.
A large non-coastal land grant was given to John Sutter who, in 1839, settled a large land grant close to the future city of Sacramento, California, which he called "New Helvetia" (New Switzerland). There, he built an extensive fort equipped with much of the armament from Fort Ross—bought from the Russians on credit when they abandoned that fort. Sutter's Fort was the first non-Native American community in the California Central Valley. Sutter's Fort, from 1839 to about 1848, was a major agricultural and trade colony in California, often welcoming and assisting California Trail travelers to California. Most of the settlers at, or near, Sutter's Fort were new immigrants from the United States.The Russians
From 1812 to 1841, the Russians operated Fort Ross, California.........By the 1830s, the Russian monopoly on trade was weakening. The British Hudson's Bay Company was leased the southern edge of Russian America in 1839 under the RAC-HBC Agreement, establishing Fort Stikine which began siphoning off trade.And Fort Ross:
was the hub of the southernmost Russian settlements in North America between 1812 to 1842......In addition to farming and manufacturing, the Company carried on its fur-trading business at Fort Ross, but by 1817, after 20 years of intense hunting by Spanish, American and English ships - followed by Russian efforts - had practically eliminated sea otter in the area........
Following the formal trade agreement in 1838 between the Russian-American Company in New Archangel and Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Vancouver and Fort Langley for their agricultural needs, the settlement at Fort Ross was no longer needed to supply the Alaskan colonies with food. The Russian-American Company consequently offered the settlement to various potential purchasers, and it was sold to John Sutter, a Mexican citizen of Swiss origin.Russian expansion into the west coast of what is now the United States, and especially its fur trade in Alta California was apparently one of the important reasons that the Spanish sought to reinforce its sovereignty over the region by establishing pueblos, missions, and military establishments.
a 2,200-mile (3,500 km) historic east-west large wheeled wagon route and emigrant trail that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon. The eastern part of the Oregon Trail spanned part of the future state of Kansas and nearly all of what are now the states of Nebraska and Wyoming. The western half of the trail spanned most of the future states of Idaho and Oregon.
The Oregon Trail was laid by fur trappers and traders from about 1811 to 1840 and was only passable on foot or by horseback. By 1836, when the first migrant wagon train was organized in Independence, Missouri, a wagon trail had been cleared to Fort Hall, Idaho. Wagon trails were cleared further and further west, eventually reaching all the way to the Willamette Valley in Oregon.Later the Oregon Trail was used in conjunction with branch trails for the early settlers from the United States to California, notably after the discovery of gold in 1848 and during the gold rush starting in 1849.
On June 15, 1846, some thirty settlers, mostly American citizens, staged a revolt and seized the small Californio garrison, in Sonoma, without firing a shot and declared the new California Republic government.On hearing of this revolt, John C. Fremont and his small exploratory force -- which had been in California -- returned and declared that California was henceforth United States territory. The "republic" never exercised any real authority and only lasted 26 days before accepting U.S. government control.
In 1846, the U.S. Navy was under orders to take over all California ports in the event of war. There were about 400–500 U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy bluejacket sailors available for possible land action on the Pacific Squadron's ships. Hearing word of the Bear Flag Revolt in Sonoma, California, and the arrival of the large British 2,600-ton, 600-man man-of-war HMS Collingwood flagship under Sir George S. Seymour, outside Monterey Harbor, Commodore Sloat was finally stirred to action. On July 7, 1846, seven weeks after war had been declared, Sloat instructed the captains of the ships USS Savannah and sloops Cyane and Levant of the Pacific Squadron in Monterey Bay to occupy Monterey, California—the Alta California capital. Fifty American marines and about 100 bluejacket sailors landed and captured the city without incident—the few Californio troops formerly there having already evacuated the city. They raised the flag of the United States without firing a shot.California became a state in 1850.
The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.The FBI has spent decades seeking to establish a reputation for expert analysis of evidence and fairness in the presentation of its results. The halo effect on juries is not accidental.
The handful of studies of fingerprints show a troubling pattern of errors. Since 1995, Collaborative Testing Services, a company that evaluates the reliability and performance of fingerprint labs, has administered an annual and voluntary test. It sends fingerprint labs a test that includes eight to twelve pairs of prints that examiners confirm or reject as matches. The pairs usually consist of complete, not partial prints, making identifications easier than the real situations examiners face. Nevertheless the error rate has varied from 3% to a dismal 20%.
Equally troubling is a test conducted by the FBI. During Byron Mitchell’s trial for armed robbery in 1999, his lawyers questioned the reliability of fingerprint identifications. In response, the FBI sent two prints taken from the getaway car and Mitchell’s prints to 53 crime labs to confirm the agency’s identification. Of the 39 labs that sent back their results, 9 (23%) concluded that Mitchell’s prints did not match those from the car. The judge nevertheless rejected the defense’s challenge and accepted the fingerprint evidence. Mitchell was convicted and remains in prison. The FBI has not repeated the experiment.Lie Detector tests were once used widely by police and as evidence in courts. Here is what one source says about them:
In past times they were often used by police and government agents to interrogate suspected criminals, but as they have been proven to be extremely unreliable indicators of lying, their use has lessened in recent years (usually because of court rules prohibiting their use).How about eye witness testimony? I draw this from an American Psychological Association website:
"Like trace evidence, eyewitness evidence can be contaminated, lost, destroyed or otherwise made to produce results that can lead to an incorrect reconstruction of the crime," he says. Investigators who employ a scientific model to collect, analyze and interpret eyewitness evidence may avoid incidents like Olson's potentially flawed identification of the Fairbanks suspects, he notes.
In fact, Wells says that other evidence techniques, such as police lineups, are similar to scientific experiments. In lineups, the police have a hypothesis, they provide instructions, collect responses and interpret the results. As such, the same factors that can bias the results of an experiment can bias an eyewitness's performance in picking suspects out of a lineup, he says.
In a 2000 American Psychologist (Vol. 55, No. 6, pages 581-598) article that dovetailed with the Department of Justice report, Wells and his colleagues outlined a number of ways police can avoid biasing eyewitness testimony, including warning the witness that the actual perpetrator may or may not be in a lineup, maintaining a double-blind lineup environment so that a detective cannot influence a witness's judgments and securing a statement of the witness's certainty of their identification.
"To a research psychologist, the changes seem obvious," he says. "But to law enforcement officials they are very different from how they've tended to do things in the past."I wonder how many jurors understand that testimony that they hear in court, even expert testimony, may not be accurate. How many are prepared to recognize that even FBI testimony may be flawed and may not in itself "prove" culpability.
Mount Tambora....., a volcano on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa, was once similar in stature to Mont Blanc or Mount Rainier. But in April 1815 it blew its top off in spectacular fashion. On the 10th and 11th it sent molten rock more than 40 kilometres into the sky in the most powerful eruption of the past 500 years. The umbrella of ash spread out over a million square kilometres; in its shadow day was as night. Billions of tonnes of dust, gas, rock and ash scoured the mountain’s flanks in pyroclastic flows, hitting the surrounding sea hard enough to set off deadly tsunamis; the wave that hit eastern Java, 500km away, two hours later was still two metres high when it did so. The dying mountain’s roar was heard 2,000km away. Ships saw floating islands of pumice in the surrounding seas for years........
The year after the eruption clothes froze to washing lines in the New England summer and glaciers surged down Alpine valleys at an alarming rate. Countless thousands starved in China’s Yunnan province and typhus spread across Europe. Grain was in such short supply in Britain that the Corn Laws were suspended and a poetic coterie succumbing to cabin fever on the shores of Lake Geneva dreamed up nightmares that would haunt the imagination for centuries to come. And no one knew that the common cause of all these things was a ruined mountain in a far-off sea.The article goes on to suggest that while huge volcanic eruptions such as those described above are rare, they almost certainly will reappear. The global food system is now more global, and if food production is disrupted on one continent, production on other continents might help make up the shortfall; indeed, if production in the northern or southern hemisphere is disrupted, the shortfall might be partially made up on the other. Still, more greenhouses and hydroponic production capacity might be advisable.
In 1785 the Marquis de Condorcet, a French mathematician and philosopher, noted that if every voter in a group has a better-than-even chance of choosing the preferable of two options, and if voters do not influence each other, then large groups of voters are very likely to make the right choice.* The bigger and more diverse the group the better: more people bring more information to the table which, if properly harnessed, leads to improved decisions. But ever bigger meetings imply more time spent in them: few workers would welcome that. And even with more people in the room, all manner of behavioural flaws stand in the way.
One problem that obstructs sensible decision-making is the “halo effect”—“owning the room” in the parlance of Silicon Valley.......A second problem is called “anchoring”. In a classic study Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman secretly fixed a roulette wheel to land on either 10 or 65. The researchers span the wheel before their subjects, who were then asked to guess the percentage of members of the United Nations that were in Africa. Participants were influenced by irrelevant information: the average guess after a spin of 10 was 25%; for a spin of 65, it was 45%. In meetings, anchoring leads to a first-mover advantage. Discussions will focus on the first suggestions (especially if early speakers benefit from a halo effect, too). Mr Kahneman recommends that to overcome this, every participant should write a brief summary of their position and circulate it prior to the discussion......
Tom Gole of the Boston Consulting Group and Simon Quinn of Oxford University studied the votes of judges at international school debating tournaments. In these tournaments, three judges are randomly assigned to each debate (with some controls to ensure each panel has a mixture of experience, gender and so on). Judges watch the debate, then immediately vote on the winner before conferring. Crucially for the experiment, the participating teams are seeded. Using some whizzy statistical modelling, the authors find that if a judge disagrees with her fellow panellists in a given round, she is more likely to vote for the pre-tournament favourite—the higher-seeded team—in later debates. That suggests, say the authors, an unspoken desire to avoid “too much” disagreement.
Career concerns may distort incentives even if votes are secret. In a 2007 paper Gilat Levy of the London School of Economics noted that observers can work out how likely it is that committee members have voted one way or another from ballot rules. If unanimity is required for a measure to pass, and it does, then outsiders will know with certainty how every member has voted. A simple majority rule means that observers can assign at least a 50% probability to any one committee member having given their assent; if a majority of two-thirds is required, the probability that any given member has supported the proposal goes up. The incentive to vote against controversial measures rises the greater the likelihood that each member will be blamed for its passage.I have posted a number of times on peer review (check the "peer review" tag to get them all. What we did to get good results in the peer review of research proposals was:
|Source: The Economist|
|Source: The Economist|
|Source: The Economist|