Des Moines, IA, United States: In this Midwestern town, one of the first cities which experimented with a new method of deterrence, the local city government today made illegal the new/old practice of public shaming. If you haven’t read the stories on this trend that has been sweeping the country, a number of smaller cities have begun using a form of public shaming as punishment for offences in lieu of a more and more burdened local government which is increasingly unable to prevent crime. When a person commits a crime, their picture is posted with the details of their crime, allowed residents to treat that person accordingly. Chad Michaels, President of Take Responsibility (Des Moines Chapter) says “People think that this is an outmoded and uncivil practice, but in reality, it works. When someone lives in a community, they forget how often they need to interact with other members of the community. When they commit an offence against one person, they offend the community. This just lets the community know what the offence is, and allows the community to decide how to react. It’s amazing how people get in line when they think their crime isn’t private” The group has seen a very small number of inappropriate postings and or repeat offenders. Chad is not surprised that the Des Moines government has decided to ban the practice. “Governments can’t handle things that work and don’t cost anything. This won’t stop us though, it works too well”
About 6 years ago, I wrote a set of predictive stories about what life would be like 10 years out. Really interesting to go back to that time and see how much of that is on the way to actually happening: some of it – like 3d printers, are definitely moving along at a rapid clip. Others, not so much. I thought that you might find some of these interesting, so I’ll send them out in addition to my regular scheduled programming. Hope you enjoyed, and that it spurs some new thinking!