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robertogreco : mafia   9

The Sociological Eye: DRUG BUSINESS IS NOT THE KEY TO GANGS AND ORGANIZED CRIME: WITH A PROGNOSIS FOR THE MEXICAN CARTEL WARS
"Mafia organization dates from 1931 when Lucky Luciano set up the Commission, and its period of greatest dominance was in the 40 years after the end of Prohibition.

The Mafia families in Sicily, from their reestablishment after the fall of the Fascist regime in World War II through their demise in the 1990s, were involved in what Diego Gambetta [1993] calls the business of protection. In the absence of government regulation and in at atmosphere of pervasive distrust, all economic transactions needed a protector or guarantor, and this was provided by traditional secret societies of "men of honor" who received payoffs in return. The scope of businesses under Mafia protection was even wider than in the U.S., and consisted more of legal activities than illegal ones-- gambling was not prominent in Sicily, though an illegal source of income was smuggling cigarettes to avoid taxation, and turfs for pickpocket gangs were enforced in Palermo. Sicilian Mafia families did become important pipelines for heroin processing and smuggling from the Middle-East across the Atlantic. But this was not the key to the Sicilian Mafias; they existed long before the heroin trade, and their protection business remained centered on the local economy.



Symbol-based Alliances and Multi-gang Alliances: Diplomatic Peace Treaties

These are loose, horizontal alliances between gangs who adopt the same symbols. Symbol-based gangs, with their distinctive gang colors and signs (hand gestures, ways of strutting, etc.) are diplomatic peace treaties among those who belong. Instead of every local gang being the enemy of every other, half the gangs they encounter may be their allies. It is suggestive that the cities with the highest homicide rates--- Detroit, Baltimore, Philadelphia-- have no little structure beyond small gangs fighting each other every few blocks.



In Mexico, when increased border surveillance cut into drug deliveries to the US, crime-orgs expanded into extortion and kidnapping for ransom. The Zetas, because of their organization as Special Forces, were less directly connected with the drug business itself; when they became independent of the declining Gulf cartel, they have moved aggressively into more purely predatory use of violence against other cartels' territories. This is not so much an effort to monopolize the drug trafficking business, as a different political strategy, leveraging their special skill, highly trained military violence.

It follows that ending the illegal drug business-- whether by eradication or by legalization-- would not automatically end violence. Mexican crime-orgs could intensify other types of violent extortion (and so they have, with increased pressure on the US border), as along as they still held territories out of government control; and wars between the cartels would not cease. It is a non sequitur to argue that if the US would stop drug consumption, Mexican cartels and their violence would disappear."
drugs  gangs  violence  sociology  anthropology  history  mexico  via:migurski  mafia  policy  foreignpolicy 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Post by Robin Sloan: Thursday question 001: What's the future of offline role-playing games?
"had a fun Twitter back-and-forth…about Dungeons & Dragons…made me think about a few things:

* Board games like HeroQuest, which offered a sort of stripped-down D&D experience, played across a reconfigurable plastic-and-cardboard labyrinth.

* The fact that my friend +Robert Lavolette seems to enjoy the sourcebooks (detailing various monsters, locales, & lost civilizations) more than the games themselves.

* +Matt Penniman's love of new-school indie RPGs, many of which sport radically reduced rule sets—you can play some w/ just index cards.

So: What's the future of offline role-playing games?

Is the rise of a game like Settlers of Catan a sign that the mainstream is ready for nerdier fare? If there was going to be a breakout RPG (one played in person, around a table) what would it be? Do you have a dream RPG?

I'm interested to hear from folks who haven't played RPGs—who know them by reputation, or who have always been curious…"
robinsloan  games  rpg  arg  gaming  offline  play  cyoa  2011  settlersofcatan  larp  books  werewolf  mafia  interactive  fiction  if  interactivefiction 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Werewolf: How a parlour game became a tech phenomenon
"So Werewolf has come full circle. What started life as a psychology experiment has once again become a psychology experiment; an exercise in role-play which has more in common with the Stanford prison experiment than Dungeons & Dragons. What Werewolf has to offer is a perfect marriage of statistics and psychology, of mob rule and democracy, reason and emotion. Is it any wonder it's taking over the world?"
werewolf  mafia  games  psychology  gaming  tcsnmy  foocamp 
february 2010 by robertogreco
The Google Mafia // NoahBrier.com
"Was reading this article about Google's move into local search and how it's peaked regulator's interest and one quote in particular jumped out:
google  mafia  pagerank  law  politics  power 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Mafia Wars On The iPhone
"The other day I noticed my son Josh was playing a game called iMob on is iPhone. I said, "do you like that game Josh" He said "yes, it's fun". I told him he should wait a few days and get the real thing on the iPhone. His wait is over.
iphone  games  gaming  mafia  werewolf  videogames  applications  facebook  ios 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Avant Game: Memories of a Dead Seer: Werewolf at Foocamp08!
"Foo Camp, a.k.a "shangri la for geeks", is, among other things, the premiere laboratory for Werewolf hacks...We get to play A LOT of Werewolf. Typically at least 12 solid hours of Werewolf play, divided over two nights. This year, we played 10:oo PM unti
janemcgonigal  play  games  werewolf  mafia  foocamp  classideas 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Mafia (game) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"(also known as Werewolf or Assassin) is a party game modeling a battle between an informed minority and an uninformed majority. Players are secretly assigned roles: either "mafia", who know each other; or "townspeople", who know only the number of mafia
games  play  mafia  werewolf  social  classideas  gaming 
july 2008 by robertogreco

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