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世界上最安全的城市
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There are occasions where the Americans want to publish a list that demonstrates their innate moral superiority over the rest of the world, but they hesitate because the lies are too large even for them and would expose them to unlimited ridicule.

In such instances, they have a friend do their work for them, depending on a highly-regarded third-party reference in an attempt to make the hypocrisy more palatable. On this occasion, they enlisted the services of the Economist Magazine’s so-called “Intelligence Unit” to produce a list of the world’s safest cities. The results should surprise even you, with places like Chicago, Washington, New York and Los Angeles placing right up there near the top.[1]https://safecities.economist.com/the-worlds-safest-city

The methodology was innovative to say the least. To most of us 一个安全的城市 is one where we are safe; that means personal safety, with little or no likelihood of experiencing the normal events of daily life in America which would include being mugged, killed, raped, stabbed, framed by the FBI, or shot dead by the police.

But American cities cannot compete on these metrics so, with the help of their friends in the UK, designed new metrics in four categories, namely digital security, health security, infrastructure safety, and personal safety, each allotted 25% of the total ranking. So now getting shot by the police in New York or stabbed by one of the 400,000 muggers in Chicago or Washington assumes equal importance with losing your credit card or tripping on the sidewalk. Let’s take a quick look.

Digital security related to a city’s “cyber security teams”, whatever that means, probably the extent to which the NSA is recording everything you say, and, interestingly, the “frequency of identity theft”. By the way, did you know that London has one CCTV camera for every six citizens, and that the US is quickly heading in the same direction? Health Security was based upon things like the number of hospital beds, a nation’s life expectancy, and the incidence of cancers. Then we had Infrastructure Safety, based on things like the quality of its roads, bridges and dams, and the “number of deaths from natural disasters”. And lastly, we had Personal Safety, based on some kinds of reported crimes.

So how would American cities, especially those four listed above, possibly appear near the top of any list of safe places to be on earth? The US would likely top the list for spying on its citizens, no argument there, but “cyber-security”? This almost had to be some kind of a joke. The US is outstanding as the world’s leader in being hacked by almost everybody almost everywhere. The military, the CIA, the banks, the credit card companies, credit reporting firms, retailers like Wal-Mart and Target, Sony Pictures, Facebook, Twitter, major multinationals, are in the news weekly for having had their records hacked yet again and the personal information of tens of millions of Americans splashed all over the internet. Identity theft was born in America, and in no other country do we read so regularly of this occurring on such huge scales. Where could we find any evidence of security in the cyber realm in the USA? No place, but the Americans are at the top anyway.

Health security. In America? The US health care system is renowned for being the worst in the world unless you’re rich.

The number of hospital beds is of little concern when everybody is dying in the parking lot because they can’t afford health care.

The US has one of t he lowest life expectancies and highest infant mortality rates of all developed nations and many so-called developing countries as well. Except for places like Iraq, Libya, Serbia that have been flooded with radioactive waste from artillery munitions, the US is one of the world’s leaders in the incidence of cancers.

Infrastructure security is worse. It is the US – and only the US – where bridges are collapsing into rivers, where entire highway systems are suffering from decades of neglect and must be totally torn out and rebuilt, but cannot be because the country no longer has any money.

It is the US where dams are failing with frightening regularity, the last year having more than 1,000 “dam incidents” where a dam was in imminent danger of failure and collapse. American airports, railways and other infrastructure in America came fifth in a comparison with Guatemala, Angola, Kirgizstan and Nauru. Where is the safety in all of this?

Then we had Personal Safety. The Economist told us that “High levels of police engagement … are instrumental to security”. Well, not in America, they aren’t. In fact, the higher the levels of “police engagement” in the US, the more likely you are to be shot dead. Or strangled. And as to reported crimes, Chicago, Washington DC, Detroit, are the murder capitals of the world, many of these originating with the police forces. The entire South Side of Chicago is a place nobody goes unless they want to be killed, but this city ranks near the top in the Economist’s list of The World’s Safest Cities. The entire Economist staff must have been sniffing glue while writing their report.

But even these innovative metrics required adjustment and tweaking to get any American cities even into the top 5,000 safest places. The so-called researchers added one indication of their mentality by stating that “Being statistically safe is not the same as feeling safe”. I cannot imagine here what these people were thinking.

And this leads us to China, a country renowned for its low crime rates and very high levels of personal safety. I have travelled through almost every part of this country, from the largest cities to rural areas, in daylight and darkest night, alone and with companions, and in 15 years I can honestly say I have never once had the slightest concern for my personal safety, and in fact the thought had never entered my mind.

Cities like Shanghai and Beijing lead the world in personal safety in all respects. But China barely appeared in the entire long list, and mostly only to the tune of snotty references like “China has a mixed record on the safety of everything from buildings to rail systems. In 2011, for instance, a high-speed rail crash in Wenzhou”. The US has hundreds of rail accidents but these rated no mention. China’s infrastructure is mostly new and well-maintained, health care is very high quality, the country has no shortage of hospital beds, and life expectancy is higher than that of the US but rated a zero anyway.

Of course, this report was mocked and ridiculed mercilessly online by many people, some asking “Where can I order some of what the “intelligence unit” is smoking?”, while others noted that “Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington DC. Three murder capitals in the top 20.”

Others simply wrote “What a load of rubbish.”

But we should nevertheless credit the Economist for doing their best to help their American friends in a time of need. They even went so far as to encourage Americans by telling them that they really should feel safer than they do because – based on these foolishly irrelevant metrics – their cities are safe.

But the people at the Economist did at least have the good sense to realise that a great many Americans are ignorant enough to believe what they read, and might act on that belief to their immediate demise. So at the end of the report: “The Economist Intelligence Unit Ltd. cannot accept any responsibility or liability for reliance by any person on this report or any of the information, opinions or conclusions set out in this report.” Not hard to understand why.

It may be true that very few people in most Western countries, but especially in North America, have any understanding of life in a safe country. Here are three examples, two from my personal experience, the other related by a friend.

1. I was walking down a street in Monte Carlo, chatting with a policeman when, in front of an expensive apartment building, we saw a Rolls-Royce convertible with the top down, the keys in the ignition and the engine running, and what looked like a diamond necklace sitting on the seat. The policeman said he knew the woman who owned the car and, since we’d been discussing safety, he offered this brief commentary:

“她可能已经上楼去了她的公寓,忘记了自己的车,然后去睡觉了。 但是当她早上出来时,她的车仍会在这里,引擎仍在运转,她的钻石项链仍将留在她离开的座位上。”

2. China is still in some ways a cash society, having bypassed cheques and cards for mobile phone payment but surprisingly still using bills for many large transactions. In any city in China we see on a daily basis people standing in line at an ATM, patiently waiting while one person is feeding huge wads of bills into the machine, 10,000 RMB at a time, the pile of cash often exceeding perhaps \$US50,000. This is such a common transaction as to be completely ignored by everyone. In any city in North America this is begging for a ‘snatch and grab’ robbery, but I have never heard of such a thing occurring in China.

3.我在东京的一个熟人在离她办公室约100米的火车站等朋友时,想起了她需要的一些重要文件。 她的办公室将在几分钟之内关闭,但火车也在几分钟之内到达。 该怎么办? 在火车站出口外面的长椅上,她知道自己的朋友会认出书包,就离开了书包,然后回到她的办公室收拾文件。 这是她的钱包–带着钱包,护照,钱,信用卡。 当她回到车站时,她的朋友正坐在书包旁边的长凳上,等待着她。 盗窃在日本是未知的,即使在最大的城市中,也没有父母担心孩子会在深夜出门。

备注

[1] https://safecities.economist.com/the-worlds-safest-city

(从重新发布 全球研究 经作者或代表的许可)
 
• 类别: 文化/社会 •标签: 犯罪 
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