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GoPro Project Claims Technology Is Making People Lose Empathy For Homeless 320

Posted by samzenpus
from the look-straight-ahead dept.
EwanPalmer (2536690) writes "A project involving GoPro cameras and people living on the streets of San Francisco has suggests technology is making people feel less compassionate towards the homeless. Started by Kevin F Adler, the Homeless GoPro project aims to 'build empathy through a first-hand perspective' by strapping one of the cameras onto homeless volunteers to document their lives and daily interactions. One of the volunteers, Adam Reichart, said he believes it is technology which is stopping people from feeling sympathy towards people living on the street as it's easier to have 'less feelings when you're typing something' than looking at them in the eye"
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GoPro Project Claims Technology Is Making People Lose Empathy For Homeless

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  • by cbybear (256161) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @07:59PM (#46775215)

    It's having to step over trash strewn everywhere around refuse cans. It's having to avoid unknown streams down the sidewalk and then getting a lung-full of the reek of old urine. It's the constant begging. That is why people are less empathetic. After years of this and nothing working, you have to ignore it or go crazy with the constant assault.

  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @08:42PM (#46775579)
    I think it's 30 years of declining wages. Half of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck. We're too busy trying to keep ourselves afloat to worry about anyone else, which is probably the whole point.... Keeps us at each other's throats :(.
  • by russotto (537200) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @09:16PM (#46775783) Journal

    There's one guy who is constantly begging on the New Jersey Transit trains in Penn Station NYC, he claims he just needs a few bucks for a ticket to get home (common scam actually, this guy is just more regular than most). Of course he's full of shit, as another guy on my car proved by offering him a ticket to where he wanted to go, and when he refused it, lit into him about how he was a pathetic loser who was making his race look bad.

    Then there's the "Why Lie, I Need a Beer" guy also in Penn Station NYC. Though I think he's actually not homeless at all but a cop of some sort, he seems a bit too healthy.

    And the bunches who fake some sort of deformity. They seem to have shifts worked out; maybe there's an organization who controls it. Anyway, they get in their contorted positions and hold out a cup or a sign or whatever. Then when their shift is up, they straighten up, pick up their stuff, and go.

  • Compared to when The Great Recession Started.

    "California, with just under 12% of the nation's population, has 22.43% of the nation's homeless population [willisms.com], giving it a homelessness quotient of 0.88. Quite high, in other words. Almost double the number of homeless people one would predict, given its population."

    "Texas, which has roughly 8.2% of the nation's population, only has 4.85% of the nation's homeless population (meaning: Texas has a quite low homelessness quotient of -0.41)."

    Growing economy = less homeless, contracting economy = more homeless.

    Go look at the statistics if you doubt it.

  • Re:Helping the poor (Score:4, Interesting)

    by s0nicfreak (615390) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @11:49AM (#46779777) Homepage Journal
    Having been homeless before, I saw that there are multiple types of homeless people;

    There are the type that are thought of when you think of "homeless people" - the panhandlers, the bagladies, the "hobos." Either they choose to live this way, or their mental or addiction problems are so severe that they can not get out of it.

    Then there are the ones you would never know are homeless. They are clean, and averagely or well dressed. They are either trying to get out of homelessness, or they truly prefer to not pay bills and a mortgage and such... or they have an addiction which forces them to spend their bill money on drugs, but it's under control just enough that they keep themselves looking good and able to do their job.

    I would not presume which type of homeless person someone is just by looking at them.

    Whatever type they are, though, they have to deal with people. Pretty much constantly. It's essential to survival; finding where you can eat and sleep each day, ensuring another homeless person isn't going to stab you, etc. You have to be friendly with other homeless people, the cops, and people at businesses around you.

    Though yes they are free from paying most bills, and (some are) free from the rat race, and there IS some joy in that... the grass is always greener and all that. Having lived both ways I will say I certainly would not have wanted to be searching for a shelter with an open bed in the -40 degree weather we had this winter. And I much prefer stressing about bills to stressing about if I'm going to eat today.

    The people that are homeless because they just prefer to not pay bills are definitely the minority. It's much more comfortable to get/build a house and live off-grid, where you'd have the added bonus of not needing to deal with people if you choose. If you want the freedom of being a vagabond, it's much more comfortable to get an RV than to be homeless. I would say that the majority of people that refuse to go back to the normals, do so because they prefer doing drugs to being normal. And there's nothing wrong with that imo (as long as they aren't stealing, robbing etc. to get those drugs); I'm not going to judge nor try to stop them from choosing that, so why judge me for looking at my phone instead of them?

    (Anyway, the ones that truly want/need help aren't going to ask ME for it if I'd just look away from my phone. They need long-term help, not the short term help of me giving them a few bucks. So there isn't much I can do for them, except maybe use my phone to google some resources for them. They probably know where the nearest library is and can google it themselves, anyway.)

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