From CSI to Criminal Minds to documentaries about serial killers, I don’t know why I’m fascinated with crime stories. Recently, whenever I hear about criminals, I’m like, “These people are pretty smart. Why don’t they use their intelligence for something good?”
In Steve Jobs: A Biography by Walter Isaacson, Jobs says that when he was a kid he didn’t respect authority and got into trouble. If not for a teacher who bribed him back into learning, he’s sure that he would have been a criminal. In this interview, Jobs says that it’s important for children to meet someone who will see the potential in them.
I wondered could it be that these criminals never met someone who believed in them, who saw their skills, and who told them that they can do better in life? If they haven’t realized their skills and potentials, let me try to make a short list of those things that I’ve observed based on TV shows and documentaries:
1. Social Behavioral Intuition
Criminals have incredible intuition when it comes to predicting what a human being will do given a certain situation. They know that if they do this, then that person will get distracted, and they’ll be able to swipe a wallet or a piece of jewelry. Instead of using this skill to harm people, they could use this to analyze market behavior and with their intuitive assessment of people, they can create a strategy that will entice people to do something like buy a product or avail of a certain service. They can work for human resources and analyze what incentives will make employees work harder. They can go into investigative work and be adequate predictors of human behavior.
2. Planning and Organizational Skills
A heist is a complicated job. This exhibits the criminal’s ability to make meticulous plans. They analyze blueprints, collect relevant data, familiarize themselves with technology, and the like. Figuring out which task to give to each person in the group requires an adequate assessment of each individual member and the skills and abilities needed by each task. If they can run a heist so smoothly and efficiently, what makes them think that they cannot run a more productive and socially-beneficial event?
3. Observation Skills
Criminals have to stalk people and observe their habits, observe the routines that people do, etc. If they use their observation skills for scientific research or for any kind of research, then maybe they can put their talents to better use.
Some of the greatest minds have been people who were not afraid to break the rules, and they ended up changing the world. The problem with criminals is that they subvert laws and damage people’s lives. Inventors and visionaries on the other hand, go against the rules to bring something good into the world. It might be hard to think of something that will change the world, but I think the hardest part is having enough nerve to actually challenge the world. It’s harder to be fearless than be a genius. I even think that the only reason why some people are geniuses is that they are fearless. Sometimes it’s not about talent or genius; sometimes it’s just about being brave enough to do something no one has done before.
I’m not an expert in criminology. I haven’t analyze the social inequalities that push people toward the desperation of crime. Thus, this is definitely not a comprehensive analysis of criminality. I haven’t factored in educational credentials that could limit the possibilities for these people. All I know is I’m a writer, and what I do best is re-imagine worlds and scenarios, and if criminals can re-imagine their world, then they can probably start a new life and contribute to our society.
More Analyze This:
- Dear Mr. Street Harasser
- Hey, sir! Hey, sir! Hey, sir!–said a female street harasser
- How many men feel that they have a right to harass?
- Is she white?
- Preacher on the Bus
- The American Messianic Complex in The Interview
- This anti-rape nail polish thing
- Why Americans Shouldn’t Get Angry about the Flavors of Negros
- Why I’m Going to Stop Using the Word “Crazy”
- Why Women Shouldn’t Sit Properly
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Note: For some entries in this blog, a few names and details have been deliberately and willingly changed by the author. This is a personal decision made by the author for specific reasons known to her and is not an endorsement for censorship.
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