Sam Lavigne, Francis Tseng and Brian Clifton released an app and searchable website Tuesday that made headlines around the internet.
It’s called White Collar Crime Risk Zones, and satirizes the concept of predictive policing by making a heatmap of likely areas for financial crimes. The trio created the app for The New Inquiry’s upcoming “Abolish” issue.
— deray (@deray) April 26, 2017
Buzzfeed wrote an article titled This App Warns You If You’re Entering A Sketchy Financial District:
To help citizens stay safe in our crime-ridden nation, programmers have developed a heat map identifying high-risk neighborhoods for a “rampant, but hidden” menace: financial wrongdoing.
Over at the Wall Street Journal, Miriam Gottfried notes the app in How to Protect Your Neighborhood From White-Collar Crime:
Smaller cities aren’t immune. Greenwich and Stamford, Conn. both look risky, as do some pockets of Boca Raton, Fla. and Palo Alto, Beverly Hills and Newport Beach, Calif., to name a few. Crime doesn’t pay, but those are some pricey addresses.
The Huffington Post takes a similarly ironic tone in Amazing New Tool Pinpoints White-Collar Crime In America:
The geography is shocking. Would-be tourists will want to think long and hard before traveling to midtown or lower Manhattan after reviewing The New Inquiry’s work. Equally impressive is the exhaustive quantitative study the team has compiled to accompany their visual storytelling. The team has even formatted a smartphone app that can alert citizens when they enter high-risk white-collar crime neighborhoods.
Well, guess what? There’s more where that came from! Neither Lavigne nor Tseng are new to this type of work.
We profiled Lavigne, the cocreator of the Stupid Shit No One Needs and Terrible Ideas Hackathon, last year; the piece was called “Sam Lavigne says there’s nothing good on the internet.” And we particularly liked last year’s meditation on consumer culture, Online Shopping Center. Headline: Buying stuff in your sleep is the next frontier of #sales.
Tseng is also the designer of the online game The Founder, which satirizes the tech world. We interviewed him last year about his thoughts on Silicon Valley and the culture of building startups. “The only incentive in the game is that you have a board of investors, and they expect you to grow your profits by a certain amount every year so you have to keep growing and growing and growing and eventually it becomes unsustainable,” Tseng said.
All of which is to say, if you liked White Collar Crime Risk Zones, there is plenty more to dig your teeth into.-30-