On Tue, 11 Nov 2008 16:00:45 -0500, Chris Ahlstrom wrote:
> There's another "broken-window" effect:
> "Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are
> not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more
> windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if
> it's unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside."
> Looks like Windows got some vandals.
Similar comments are made in, IIRC, "The Tipping Point". Cases cited
include items such as graffiti: while concerted efforts to clean up some
parts of town met with limited success, simply removing graffiti, litter
and other signs of "bring your junk here" had a somewhat greater impact,
the idea being that if a place _looks_ like the sort where unwashed
miscreants would hang out, it's going to end up _being_ a place where
unwashed miscreants hang out, and conversely, if it looks tidy, well-
maintained (and, by implication, well-monitored) it will be of less
Similar ideas led to cleanups of, among other things, subways. In a
particularly amusing case, it was noted that the graffiti "artists" took
two to three nights to craft their works: the first to stencil in the
designs, the next to do fill in and sometimes a third to do touch-ups.
So what's the transit authority do? Put more guard dogs in the yard?
Nope. It waits. It "lets" the guys come in and do their thing. Then,
on the morning after the third night, it runs the cars through an acid
wash, removing all signs of the tagger's efforts.
Net result? For the cost of an occasional wash, taggers have seen their
work blasted out of existence before the cars ever leave the yard... and
what's the point of doing it, if nobody will ever see it?