Homeless people read code
Homelessness is an individual lifestyle and a collective culture. Life on the street is each homeless individual's personal story and is also the overall homeless population's combined stories. The circumstances originally contributing to one person's homelessness are not automatically duplicated in another person living the same street life, but, as is the case with other populations, the homeless have shared traits that make them malleable to outside influence.
Today's homeless people are more violent than the homeless of five years ago and beyond. There were the threatening Squeegee Homeless of the pre-Giuliani years, but at that time, there was also a homeless population that was unobtrusive, hiding like stage actors behind a curtain, not ready to enter audience visibility.
In the same way that target marketing toward suburban housewives differs from advertising or political speeches geared to small business–owners or C-level executives, there is a unique version of emotional coding marketed at the homeless. Violent behavior is being marketed to the homeless through cultural tolerance and legal leniency. Coded behavioral marketing, without any link to consumerism of a product or service, exists in an endless, relentless campaign promoting violence from those living on our streets.
Throughout the '90s and early 2000s, homeless people fit into one of three categories:
- homeless without addiction or mental illness,
- homeless addicts and alcoholics, and
- homeless mentally ill.
Since 2019, at the time of bail reform, there is a modernized major shift to a new additional category that all types of homeless fit under. This new category is violent homeless. Homeless people become violent by choice — but this choice is instigated by coded marketing.
YouTube screen grab (cropped).
Societal coding communicates that there are no consequences for harming people. Regular, mainstream people are the enemy target, and robbing, harming, raging gives homeless people a way of life, a purpose.
This code is not published the way computer code is, but we can determine these coders by identifying who is benefiting from the violence. Who is benefiting from the new homeless code?
Sometimes, to find out who is benefiting, you first must find out who is losing power. The stories of inhumane, random attacks are endless. We have the various subway beatings, rapes, murders, robberies, in addition to random violent behaviors involving urination and defecation. There are the reported and lesser known incidents of violent attacks, murder, and robbery happening in someone's home or apartment building. Finally, there are attacks in public places, including banks, grocery stores, and neighborhood streets while walking on an errand.
Whenever people engage in strong, significantly bold or provocative behavior, the therapist in me asks, "Why now?" At what point did the behavior start, and what else was also occurring in the environment within that very same time?
Next, I look for the messages communicated during that time and their meaning — on both a surface level and then in the deep subtext. Human psychology is a different metric from engineering, but they share code in common. Engineers write technical code for programs, and therapists interpret emotional code for people. Therapists find the code that people draw from (either consciously or unconsciously), which was set up within a person's environment.
Emotions were the first code. Instead of connecting to a computer program, emotional code connects to a person's behavior. The behavior is what makes the code exist. Actions prove the code to be functional or not. The theorem of emotional code is that emotions evoke thoughts which prompt actions. In deep relationships, thoughts often include critical thinking, careful analysis. But when emotional code is targeting groups, the critical thinking is bypassed, actions are reactions to the manipulations and persuasions that were sneakily installed. Computer code is enviable in its clear, trackable path. Emotional code does not have the same trackability, but its power exists undeniably.
It is the non-bodyguard population at risk from violent homeless, not the guarded bodyguard consumers. It is the middle class and working class who are stuck in the muck and mire of a legal system that now says a felony is a misdemeanor with the same cadence as Orwell's "Love is Hate." And it is the homeless directly experiencing this new coded meaning for felony and making more behavioral choices within the letter of the law.
Homeless are empowered by our legal system. They are weaponry against those designated as the ones to deplore. The zeitgeist code instructs them to attack. What remains tough to determine is which is more threatening: the physical threats to our safety from the homeless or the existential threats to our way of life by a legal system that is infatuated with its own reflection.