Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Is profiling moral?

By: Walter Williams 7/22/2013
We can think of profiling as a method to economize on information costs by using easily observed physical characteristics as a proxy or a guess for some other characteristic more difficult or costlier to observe. For example, say you seek to hire people to manually unload trucks containing heavy merchandise. I’m guessing that most would use sex as a proxy for strength and select men over the women. That can be called sex profiling. Of course, if you assumed that men and women have equal strength, you’d hire randomly…….As early as 1999, D.C.’s taxicab commissioner, Sandra Seegars, who is black, issued a safety advice statement urging the city’s mostly black cabbies to refuse to pick up “dangerous-looking” passengers. She described “dangerous-looking” as a “young black guy … with his … shirttail hanging down longer than his coat, baggy pants down below his underwear and unlaced tennis shoes.” Would anyone argue that black cabbies who turn down black fares are racists?
A law-abiding black person denied a taxi is rightfully angered, but to whom should his anger be directed, at the driver who’s trying to protect his life or at the people who’ve instilled fear by robbing and assaulting cabbies?
By the way, God, unlike us mortals, wouldn’t have to do any kind of profiling, because he knows everything. We mortals, with our imperfections, must find substitutes for his omniscience.....To Read More....
 

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