The Importance of Fully Quoting Chidike Okeem

As a criminologist and criminal justice professor, I occasionally get asked by people in the media to comment on issues of crime and justice. I have been invited on TV multiple times, but I always respectfully decline because—as most readers know—I have absolutely no desire to be famous. I prefer to do radio (the medium I have a face for) and to give quotes to media outlets because one gets the opportunity to flesh out points. As long as my words are presented fully, my points tend to come across fine. Some who desire to be extremely complimentary may go as far as to say that I am even insightful in long-form.


Comparison Without Context Is the Thief of Joy

The phrase “comparison is the thief of joy,” often attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, is considered, regardless of its actual origin, a truism. However, careful reflection would indicate that it is not entirely accurate. The phrase is incomplete. It is comparison without context that is the thief of joy. Comparison can be an effective tool to help understand where one is excelling and see where one has limitations and room for improvement. Comparison is very much a necessary feature in the lives of those who are committed to progress and improvement, and it does not necessarily have to diminish joy.


Fake Reading Breeds Fake Writing

A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. — Thomas Mann

Ever since watching the “White Christmas” episode of Black Mirror (Season 2, Episode 4), I have consistently thought about the prospect of having a digital version of myself that could be used to do my busy work, such as answering unimportant e-mails and other clerical work that does not require much thinking but takes up a lot of time—time that could be spent on truly rewarding work that requires creativity. The key here, however, is that it would have to be, like in that episode, a digital version of myself who does things exactly like me, not a random chatbot doing the tasks, and certainly not outsourcing my serious work to artificial intelligence. However, outsourcing intellectual work to artificial intelligence sounds appealing to some people, and it is unsurprising that artificial intelligence chatbots are exploding in popularity, the most famous at the present being ChatGPT.


Race, Police Brutality, and Tyre Nichols

On Saturday, January 7th, 2023, a 29-year-old black man, Tyre Nichols, was subjected to a traffic stop near his home in Memphis, Tennessee. As seen on graphic body camera footage published by the city of Memphis, Nichols was brutally beaten by multiple officers. Three days later, he succumbed to the injuries that he sustained from the beating. This particular case of police brutality has become national news particularly because the five officers responsible for the death of Nichols—Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr., and Justin Smith—are black. Because of the intraracial nature of this incident, there has been much discussion about whether or not race motivated the beating. Much of this discussion throughout the media is more ideological than it is illuminating.


Keep These Three Things in 2022

As 2022, which has been an utterly glorious and eventful year, draws to a close, it is necessary to assess two popular quotes and one phenomenon that would be best left in 2022—not carried over to corrupt the new year of 2023.

“Hurt People Hurt People”

That people who engage in bad actions towards others are often people who have been hurt themselves is not something that can be debated. It is true interpersonally, and it is also true with respect to academic victimology. However, while the concept of hurt people deciding to hurt others may be valid explanatorily, using this phrase as a justification for hurt people hurting others is something that needs to remain in 2022.