Recently the NYTimes.com said that a “Steady Decline in Major Crime Baffles Experts”. Andrew Sullivan also thinks that “there is a real conundrum here”. If you look through his blog for the posts titled, Crime Falls Further, you will see people offer many good theories for why this is.
My belief, ever since I read this book, Boom, Bust & Echo: How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Shift by David K. Foot with Daniel Stoffman, is that it has to do with demographics. Crime, revolutions, riots, even wars: these are all byproducts of countries have an excess of young men. When your national demographics shape up like that, you will have trouble. Likewise, as your nation gets older, you will have less of that.
I think there are other causes of these serious societal problems, but it needs that fuel, and the demographic analysis explains it. Older men equals less crime.
Even if you disagree with this idea, I highly recommend this book. It’s well written, easy to read, and very thought provoking, I recall.
While they were announced in 2010, I only recently paid attention to Amazon.com’s Kindle Singles (featuring journalism, novellas, essays, humor, and short Kindle eBooks), when two of my favorite authors released Singles: Mark Bittman with Bittman’s Kitchen: What I Grill and Why and Susan Orlean’s Animalish. The reviews of those books have been mostly good, with people pointing out the obvious limitations of this format. I chalk this up to growing pains, however, and I think in time these will come to represent a new format that is very successful. It is time that the eBook publishing business start pricing books (and magazines) based on the new eBook format, and not on a pricing model based on paper publishing. And it is time that publishers get used to people reading on mobile phones, tablets, eBook readers, big screen monitors, what have you. I would like to see more essays and shorter works made available this way and priced low. I would also like to see really good books published that take advantage of excellent quality monitors (think Art Books).
Here’s hoping this is the start of a big, good, new wave of publishing. And if the traditional publishing houses can’t manage it, no doubt Amazon and Apple can.