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Control looting with cloud seeding

Rain is the best policeman
  [vote for,

There has recently been looting in various English cities, including this one. Last night, there was less looting, allegedly because it rained hard.

If people feel strongly enough about something, they often take to the streets to achieve a particular aim. The police response to that can include rubber bullets and water cannon, but these can cause injury to various people, sometimes including those who are not otherwise involved but just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. If a concern is sufficiently strongly felt, it may not be damped down by these means.

Removing electronic equipment from shops without paying for it would need to be premeditated if it was raining and the shops were in the open. On the other hand, setting fire to vehicles, arranging barricades and all the usual stuff associated with conflict between the authorities and people who are dissatisfied with the current perceived state of public affairs could still continue in the rain.

Therefore, i suggest that a relatively safe way of sorting out the opportunistic looting from other kinds of looting and other behaviour which has been labelled as public disorder would be to practice cloud-seeding with terpenes. Not with silver iodide or dry ice because there are concerns which could lead to interpretations that the approach is harmful along the lines of the chemtrail conspiracy theory. Rain has the advantage that it makes it harder to remove electronic equipment from shops into the open safely, but still allows people to remove food and clothing without permanent damage and without premeditation, and also enables them to engage in other kinds of public disorder for whatever reason. Therefore, i would suggest that it is to a limited extent able to weed out behaviour which is materialistically motivated from behaviour which is more to do with getting hold of food and clothing for other kinds of need, or protest for other purposes.

So to sum up: in situations of public unrest, seed the clouds with particles which are generally recognised as safe in order to cause rain, as this is less likely to deter non- materialistic mass disquiet than similar materialistically- motivated behaviour. It would mean that removing easily water-damaged items would need to be premeditated in some way, which would both deter it and provide evidence regarding mens rea.

nineteenthly, Aug 11 2011

Cloud seeding http://news.bbc.co....ci/tech/8587725.stm
[calum, Aug 11 2011]

Bloody Code http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloody_Code
for 21 Quest, defender of property rights. [calum, Aug 12 2011]

Profile of the "righteous oppressed" forced to riot. http://www.dailymai...d-Stefan-Hoyle.html
This poor soul, what other choice did she have? It's either riot or go back to her mansion for a swim. [doctorremulac3, Aug 12 2011]


       So, the thrust of this is that we should find a way to enable people to burn cars or steal clothing, whilst preventing them from stealing electronic equipment?
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 11 2011

       Lovely, though I suspect that rain would deter any stripe of looting, be it for clothing or reset. Provided the rain lasts, this (hopefully) has the added advantage of sparing me the visual stink of broom-wielding entitleds the next morning.   

       What's also great is the idea of permenant rain over the Arndale Centre, adopted and perpetuated as a security measure.
calum, Aug 11 2011

       No, [MB], I think it's more elegant than that. I think it imagines public disorder as a mixture of two compounds, (namely, political protest and selfish criminality), and postulates that they can be separated, like salt and grit, by using the fact that only one of them is water-soluble.
pertinax, Aug 11 2011

       Won't they just start looting umbrellas and waterproof bags in which to carry off the stolen swag?
xenzag, Aug 11 2011

       Add a drop (a lot) of so called magic water to the mix, and the authorities will be able to identify who was participating, and to sit down with them, to find out the true nature of the grievance, and to work out solutions.
j paul, Aug 11 2011

       You're assuming, [21], that they think in a series of logically linked steps in the first place. To my mind, the crowd psychology of the riots is very similar to the crowd psychology of an asset price bubble. I'm reminded of that banker who said "as long as the music's playing, you've got to keep dancing". Looting is what the cool kids are doing this week. It reminds me of why I'm against cool.
pertinax, Aug 11 2011

       I've got to weigh in on this. I'm in rare 100% agreement with 21.   

       I grew up in the ghetto. I've seen the mob mentality at work and been in close proximity to the mob mindset so my experience is from the streets, not from "Sociology 101".   

       Nobody in a mob is thinking about social justice, nobody is throwing bricks through a window to help society, nobody is burning down a building because they carefully studied the Communist Manifesto.   

       Mobs rob, burn and destroy because it's fun, it's a rush, it's exciting, or as Pertinax said, it's "cool". Period. Anybody who grew up in East Palo Alto (or equivalent) like me knows what's going on in the minds of these people. And I'm really not interested in the musings on the matter of spoiled little rich kids who wrote a term paper on the ghetto at their ivy league university before their ski vacation to Vale.   

       Do people riot because they're poor? My family was poor, how come we didn't take to the streets wrecking shit? We worked hard, learned all we could about being productive citizens and got the fuck out of the ghetto LIKE ANYBODY WILLING TO PUT IN THE SWEAT AND EFFORT CAN DO!. I came from what the world wide news media called "The murder capital of the world" at one time. (I just happened to be in London watching the BBC when they did a story about my home town many years ago. I was very proud.) Despite having been raised in that shithole, I'm honest, peaceful (unless attacked) and would never think to take something from somebody because they're weak or vulnerable. This is because I choose to control my life and not let my circumstances give me an excuse to do otherwise.   

       It's not about the social class you're born into, it's about what social class you choose: civilized human being or barbarian.
doctorremulac3, Aug 11 2011

       Glooting - new word I invented to describe the action of looting whilst under the influence of evo-stick glue (or similar)
xenzag, Aug 11 2011

       21 and co by talk to them, I actually imagined the police giving them the kind of talking to that you might give them.   

       On the subject of just how evil they are. Look up Stanley Milligram.
j paul, Aug 11 2011

       No, better not. Milgram's point was that they are no different from us. Or vice versa.
mouseposture, Aug 12 2011

       Awareness of the obedience to authority thing can change how you behave. I know i tend to be an outsider relative to almost any group and that "outsiderness" is there in anyone.
nineteenthly, Aug 12 2011

       Yes, it did indeed show that under the circumstances of the experiment that was so, but has a similar experiment been carried out on subjects whose awareness of the tendency is being held in mind at the time or for that matter is at the back of their minds? The prison experiment, whose details i've forgotten, presumably was carried out on subjects who were aware of the Milgram experiment.
nineteenthly, Aug 12 2011

       I think any discussion which uses "protest" on the same page as "looting" is misguided. Protestors protest, and tell you what they're protesting about. Looters loot, and sell what they've looted on eBay.   

       Let the protestors protest. Meanwhile, lock up the looters and deny them any form of social benefit for life. Simple.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 12 2011

       Indeed they do, that's my point. If they're looting they will attempt to protect what they loot from the rain if it's liable to damage from it, so they will do something incriminating if it's premeditated, such as carry polythene bags, take a van and so forth. So yes, no disagreement there and that's exactly what i'm trying to achieve. People are much more likely to be put off by the rain if all they're doing is looting.
nineteenthly, Aug 12 2011

       Ah, [nineteenthly], I hadn't appreciated that I was actually meant to read the idea properly. I doff my cap to you.   

       Oh, hang on, some bugger's nicked my doffable cap.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 12 2011

       //You guys have cameras almost everywhere, don't you?//

       Just checking, 21 Quest, but you are being comical here, aren't you?
calum, Aug 12 2011

       I don't see the logic of putting shops full of stuff next to streets where people riot.
rcarty, Aug 12 2011

       Neither will people who might have otherwise opened shops in those areas at some time in the future.   

       Then the locals will say "Poor, us, we don't have any local shops for some reason. Must be those evil rich people causing all our problems."   

       There was a little shopping mall opened in my old home town called "Nairobi Village Shopping Center". No, I'm not making a racist joke, that's what it was named. The thought was that having a shopping center with a name geared towards the locals would instill pride in the community and keep people from ripping all the stores off all the time. Turned into an abandoned empty shell in about, oh, 3 years.
doctorremulac3, Aug 12 2011

       I think [calum] was trying to ask if your whole rant was intended to be comical, [21]. Which the answer is probably no.
daseva, Aug 12 2011

       // This lends me to believe we can use similar methods to breed out the naturally unharmonious from society. //   

       I disagree. I don't think it's possible to make people- friendly people, even through selective breeding. When it comes to social engineering, my rule of thumb is: if it won't work at gunpoint, it probably won't work at all.   

       For the record, yes, I'm joking.
Alterother, Aug 12 2011


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