In a Black Mirror story, technology only provides a more effective way for people to torture each other and themselves in all the usual ways, magnifying ordinary passions and insecurities to an absurd scale. This is the paranoia at the heart of Black Mirror: we're building systems the full repercussions of which we don't yet understand, and the idea of opting out of them is a myth.
We seem to be at the beginning of a dark time.
It seems possible that we're looking at a decade or more in which we have a political system that is essentially unable to make any forward motion on major problems. It might be able to respond to a crisis, but it cannot affirmatively legislate.
The police union's phrasing -- officers shouldn't make arrests "unless absolutely necessary" -- begs the question: How many unnecessary arrests was the NYPD making before now?
The NY Post is reporting that the protesting police have decided to make arrests "only when they have to." (Let that sink in for a moment. Seriously, take 10 or 15 seconds).
It's wrong to put law enforcement in the position of having to make up for budget shortfalls with parking tickets, and it's even more wrong to ask its officers to soak already cash-strapped residents of hot spot neighborhoods with mountains of summonses as part of a some stats-based crime-reduction strategy. Both policies make people pissed off at police for the most basic and understandable of reasons: if you're running into one, there's a pretty good chance you're going to end up opening your wallet.
Talking to reporters is like talking to the police: ideally, don't. You have little to gain and a lot to lose, their incentives often conflict with yours, and they have all of the power.
Most people, and police most of all, agree that the best use of police officers is police work. They shouldn't be collecting backdoor taxes because politicians are too cowardly to raise them, and they shouldn't be pre-emptively busting people in poor neighborhoods because voters don't have the patience to figure out some other way to deal with our dying cities.
You're sitting there at these committee meetings; they seem to agree with you. Yes, we have to make investments in infrastructure. Yes, we have to do these things. But then they come around and say, "Well, where are we going to get the money?" And you sort of sit to yourself and say to yourself, "Well, we elected you to figure that out."