Hate crime stats and what they say about NYC

Today there was a tweet about some hate crime stats in NYC:


There are several things that jumped out at me about these numbers:

  • Why are they comparing this year’s numbers to the attacked from 2015? It seems to me that the only reason they are doing that is because they can then show the much larger differences1.
  • The sample size of these numbers is very small. I don’t think you can make any points based on these numbers.
  • In what may be a surprise to some people anti- semitic crime is seeing the biggest increase. Again, these are small samples so your milage may vary.
  • These are only crimes the police classified as “hate crimes”2. How many more crimes were there when it was a question if it was a “hate crime” or not? I’d be interested in seeing those numbers as well.
  • Finally the total number of hate crimes in NYC is shockingly low considering the population of the city. This is a good thing and shows most people are tolerant of others. Of course the fact it is increasing is not good at all.

  1. I assume the they in this case is the NYPD, but no context was given in the tweet. 
  2. Yes the term is in quotes because almost all crimes of violence are hate crimes. No, I don’t like violence against anyone and I’d like to think I respect everyone’s beliefs. 

And Yet, They Keep Winning

They are ranked 41st in the world1. They are undefeated and have beat the number 3, 4, 5 and 9 teams in the world. Of course I am talking about the baseball team representing Israel in the World Baseball Classic for 2017.

The story is nothing short of amazing. Baseball is at best the 4th most popular sport in the country, with soccer and basketball running neck and neck for the top spot. There is no professional baseball league2 in Israel so there is no development of players in the country. The team consists of a few former players who have played Major League Baseball (like Ike Davis) but the majority of players are still playing in the Minor League system mostly at the A or AA levels.

And yet, they keep winning.

In the second round they have already beaten Cuba (ranked 5th) and will play Japan (1st) and the Netherlands (9th – that will be a rematch). If by some miracle they are one of the top 2 teams in their pool they will make it to the semi-finals in Los Angeles.

People have compared this to the famed Jamaican Bobsleigh Team from 1988. I don’t think the comparison holds up because the the JBST didn’t officially finish in Calgary3. This is more akin to Hoosiers as other people have correctly IMO) pointed out.

There are plenty of things not to like about the WBC but watching a team like Israel come out of nowhere and continue to win is one of the things the WBC has gotten right for the 2017 edition.

  1. As ranked by the World Baseball Softball Confederation 
  2. There was one for one season in 2007 and then it folded 
  3. There is also the irony of a country like Jamaica competing in the Winter Olympics