Today I’m giving a talk a USI in Paris. It’s unbelievably swank, the very first time I’ve been part of something that is, for example, taking place in the Carrousel du Louvre. I’m also staying at a ridiculous hotel with this view from my balcony:
And yes, it’s bizarre to be in such a nice place so I can go complain about how poor people are being surveilled and mistreated. I accept all cries of “hypocrite!” that you might want to throw at me, but know that at least I’m a self-aware hypocrite.
And with that, I wanted to share a few things with you today.
First, did you know there were reparations to slave owners in Britain? Turns out, soon after slavery was abolished in 1836, slave owners in Britain got very seriously compensated, to the tune of 17 billion pounds ($24 billion) in today’s money, which was 3.5% of the government’s income that year.
Seems to me this should change our perspective on reparations. I learned this just now from the BBC, which is what I watch on TV when I’m in Paris (see also this). There’s a new project to map out the slaves and slaveowners that received money all over the world.
Second, thanks to Abe Kohen I found out that Wisconsin’s Supreme Court is considering whether recidivism risk scores deny criminal defendants due process and are discriminatory, given that they rely on proprietary source code. Very interested to see how this turns out.
And, yet again, they are relying on the fact that a defendant’s score is “one of many factors a court can consider at sentencing.” I’m not sure this makes any sense. If there’s a shit score, but it’s only one of many factors that are used in a process that’s supposed to be fair, doesn’t that mean the overall process isn’t fair?
Finally, I wanted everyone who’s interested in what it feels like to be a 40-something old lady rebel to read this essay. An excerpt:
It’s partially because I am “old” that I’ve stopped caring about what’s socially acceptable for me to do or wear. I got my first tattoo at 40. This year, I had my hair dyed teal. And you know what? It looks fantastic. My favorite pair of shoes are my Doc Martin boots, and I dare any child on the internet who’s probably younger than some of the underwear I own to try to tell me I can no longer wear them.
I mean, my hair is blue, not teal, but yes! Funny and true.