How Burglars Commit Crime and Take Advantage of Cities by Hacking Architecture | VICE | United States

At some point in everyone’s life, you think like a burglar. It’s when you’re trying to sneak out of the house as a teenager, or you’re trying to sneak downstairs to look at Christmas presents, or you’re doing anything where you’re trying not to get caught, sneaking in, out of, or through a building in any way.

How Burglars Commit Crime and Take Advantage of Cities by Hacking Architecture | VICE | United States

Cool Tools – How to Be Invisible

Suppose you wish to send $25,000 from Vancouver, British Columbia, to a friend in Helsinki, Finland. You would hand $25,000 cash to a Vancouver money changer (Hawaladar) in Vancouver, and receive code words (or an agreed signal such as a secret handshake) and a contact address in Helsinki. No actual cash moves out of Canada. Instead, when your friend gives the code to the correspondent hawaladar in helsinki, he will receive the equivalent in euros (less a commission) from money that is already there. To review: -There are no written documents. The exchanges are based on mutual trust (perhaps for that reason unpopular in the United States?). -Only local currencies are used. Thus, if you are sending money from the UK to Mexico, you pay in pounds and the receiver in Mexico collects in pesos. -This exchange cannot be traced because no money crosses a border.

Has this been done in a movie yet?

Cool Tools – How to Be Invisible

Who needs a plain old crime now? Crimes need endorsement, distribution, crowds.

Masha Tupitsyn on Steubenville | berfrois. Reminds me of William Gibson on terrorism:

You’re a small group with no reputation, and you start covertly blowing up or murdering the people of a big group, like a government or a nation-state or a whole race. And you can’t just do it and then go and do the next one. You have to do it, and then go and do your PR. “We just bombed your mall. It was us.”

One reason crime movies tend to be intrinsically interesting is that the supporting characters have to be riveting.

Roger Ebert in his review of Gone Baby Gone.

The Simple Art of Murder – Raymond Chandler

Chandler on the detective story and how it resists criticism. This bit reminded me of Joan Acocella’s recent article about Stieg Larsson:

The murder novel has also a depressing way of minding its own business, solving its own problems and answering its own questions. There is nothing left to discuss, except whether it was well enough written to be good fiction, and the people who make up the half-million sales wouldn’t know that anyway.

A bit cynical, but there you go. Also provocative:

There are no vital and significant forms of art; there is only art, and precious little of that. The growth of populations has in no way increased the amount; it has merely increased the adeptness with which substitutes can be produced and packaged.

And of course:

Everything written with vitality expresses that vitality; there are no dull subjects, only dull minds. All men who read escape from something else into what lies behind the printed page; the quality of the dream may be argued, but its release has become a functional necessity. […] I hold no particular brief for the detective story as the ideal escape. I merely say that all reading for pleasure is escape, whether it be Greek, mathematics, astronomy, Benedetto Croce, or The Diary of the Forgotten Man. To say otherwise is to be an intellectual snob, and a juvenile at the art of living.

See also Woody Allen on escapism. The next-to-last paragraph about the nature of the crime/detective story hero is also worthwhile.

The Simple Art of Murder – Raymond Chandler

Raymond Chandler – The Simple Art of Murder

Chandler on the detective story and how it resists criticism. This bit reminded me of Joan Acocella’s recent article about Stieg Larsson:

The murder novel has also a depressing way of minding its own business, solving its own problems and answering its own questions. There is nothing left to discuss, except whether it was well enough written to be good fiction, and the people who make up the half-million sales wouldn’t know that anyway.

A bit cynical, but there you go. Also provocative:

There are no vital and significant forms of art; there is only art, and precious little of that. The growth of populations has in no way increased the amount; it has merely increased the adeptness with which substitutes can be produced and packaged.

And of course:

Everything written with vitality expresses that vitality; there are no dull subjects, only dull minds. All men who read escape from something else into what lies behind the printed page; the quality of the dream may be argued, but its release has become a functional necessity. […] I hold no particular brief for the detective story as the ideal escape. I merely say that all reading for pleasure is escape, whether it be Greek, mathematics, astronomy, Benedetto Croce, or The Diary of the Forgotten Man. To say otherwise is to be an intellectual snob, and a juvenile at the art of living.

See also Woody Allen on escapism. The next-to-last paragraph about the nature of the crime/detective story hero is also worthwhile.

Raymond Chandler – The Simple Art of Murder