Thursday, January 29, 2009
I just watched the TED talk below by Steve Levitt. In it he highlights some of his work with Sudhir Venkatesh (who regularly posts on the Freakonomics blog) about gang membership and the extent to which economic theory and the performance of crack-cocaine selling gangs coincides. Very interesting. HT: Mind Hacks.
Two points that brought it home for me, as a crack-selling foot soldier you have a greater chance of dying than someone on death row. Second, any black teenager living in the area (in their research inner city Chicago) has approximately double the probability of dying that a US soldier in Iraq has.
These statistics make me shudder when thinking what the equivalent probabilities must be for teenagers living on the Cape Flats.