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drugs and crime replacing stars
I've read your marvellous paper till the end, I have just one objection,
apart from that with day/night burglaries in Eng+Wales.
It concerns the term FCO. If you don't mention the limit of 100cd/klm at
80 degrees from nadir, but just no light above horizon, a broader category
is meant in fact, an FS (fully shielded) one. It has the same demand for
90 degrees _and more_ (this is explicitly said), i.e., 0cd/klm (so
<=5cd/10klm), but no demands at all for angles below 90 degrees. From the
very construction of the luminaire it often follows that it is FS,
withhout any need to measure anything. To guarantee FCO, measurement at 80
degrees is necessary.
In some laws, the FCO is confusingly defined, not respecting the IESNA
definition, by identifying it with just ``no light upwards''. In the
Lombardy law, no name is used, just the demand of 0cd/klm (or 0-1cd/klm in
the more popular texts, as the newly available English translation
-- there are some very instructive images and texts).
The category of fully shielded luminaires has been introduced probably by
Chris Luginbuhl in his
Linkname: The IDA Outdoor Lighting Code Handbook
( http://www.nofs.navy.mil/about_NOFS/staff/cbl/ being his home page),
the discussion is explicitly at
Linkname: 9.16: Shielding and Cutoff Terminology
Now two comments:
One place is not readily understandable to me, the same sentence is in the
old version already:
``... of its effect on task visibility, legitimate or otherwise,...''
-- legitimate, does it mean terminus technicus of the vision
On the LPS, it would be perhaps interesting to mention their large
advantage in affecting as little as possible the newly found receptors in
retina, i.e. the circadian rhytm and melatonin production, as this third
kind of receptors has a maximum sensitivity at 464 nm. For lighting of
areas where people sleep, when prolonged even after curfew, they should
be preferred (very much dimmed HPS become almost LPS, so this is the
next-best option). It has little to do with crime, just perhaps through
that low-melatonin-> more drug abuse connection.
A possible another mechanism:
Your hypothesis about a positive feedback of crime and light seems to be
very well founded, I could add one possible mechanism. It's a hypothesis
I've mentioned just within some interviews but did not write yet in
English I think.
Everybody needs some escape from the everyday reality, from all the
problems and unpleasant experiences. A ceremony or another while inside a
church may bring it perhaps to many people. But a while under the starry
heavens, as a dominant object visible at the moment, brings it almost
sure. No wonder that such a view was among the vital sources of all the
religions, a spring which has dried almost everywhere in the last decades,
causing a decline in the traditional religiosity of people probably.
In each village forty years ago, at the central open space, teenagers
could experience such a touch of eternity most of the clear evenings. The
same was possible even in the city centres at the beginning of the 20th
century. Seeing the stars above moves people to think about love rather
than about damaging the nearest car or a lamp.
Natural or laboratory-produced drugs offer another refuge from the burden
of daily life. A violent attack still another one, with the hormones it
produces. They are sometimes perhaps but replacements for the ancient
extraordinary moments offered by the natural night, perhaps not only the
stars above, but the darkness itself -- not a dangerous thing, but
offering a feeling of danger, another one than thrillers and violence in
Nobody should be angry with children, teenagers and adults to seek relief
in alcohol, marijuana etc. The natural relief is less and less available.
Milky Way or Aurora are probably a lot nicer than hallucinations, but out
of the reach of the people in the ``civilised world''.
With seldom or never seeing the heavens, where all the church towers point
at, I perceive the rising crime as an inevitable outcome, each further
generation being more deprived of the beauty and grandiosity of the world.
The lit urbanised areas are like prisons: seeing the stars is an often
mentioned wish of imprisoned people, if I remember some poems on
them. People become true criminals when imprisoned, unfortunately,
esp. young people...
But, these are just my thoughts, I have nothing to back such a hypothesis.
Let's return its vital drug, the starry skies, to the mankind.
PS. I'm just storing this letter to the archive
-- so that the hypothesis could be referenced somehow. Quite probably it
is nothing new, I just don't remember having read it elsewhere.