Prisons using foldit

Case number:699969-991078
Opened by:apdjbs1
Opened on:Friday, November 11, 2011 - 17:36
Last modified:Sunday, January 22, 2012 - 01:04

It would be interesting to see what would occur if the 7.3 million people under correctional supervision in the U.S. were to have access to this project, and perhaps given some additional incentive.

There will be obstacles to overcome, but everything to gain. Just a suggestion. Think about it. Pass it along.

(Fri, 11/11/2011 - 17:36  |  11 comments)

Joined: 06/17/2010
Status: Open » Open

spam. delete and ban user.

Joined: 12/06/2008
Groups: Contenders

At least this spam is less offensive than the Viagra ads I keep getting in my e-mail. :-)

apdjbs1's picture
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Deleting and banning this user is a bit harsh considering I believed my suggestion was just a brainstorming of possibilities, of which I labeled it as such with a status of lowest priority. I understand though that not everyone thinks the same way, and those that think the most different are the first to be persecuted and banished.

But consider this... Consider the raw processing power/ brainpower of even just 1% of the prison population whom have nothing else to do all day. I apologize if the mere mention of having them help humanity is deem so preposterous that it could not even be considered. If there isn't at least 1 out of 100 prisoners capable and willing then perhaps I'm wrong. This shouldnt be about gaining points but rather increasing output. Perhaps not for this project, but maybe the next. Perhaps not for this generation, and perhaps not even this country but maybe somewhere and some time it will be seen as brilliant.

anthunk's picture
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1. Playing the persecution card will not get you anything.

2. I know you have high hopes, but as seen in schools, forcing people to fold leads to unruly behavior and general ill-will among the populace. The results will be detrimental.

3. Please stop whining about how we're horrible and dull, and you're the savior of SCIENCE (tm)


apdjbs1's picture
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The internet is full of all kinds of people. Some have mental disabilities, some are very elderly or are just young children. Then there are others that genuinely are ignorant or simply have poor reading comprehension skills. Not sure which if any applies to the above comments so I'll not respond further.

My perception of this suggestion box was to offer a suggestion in the hopes of evolving an idea via the community. I do not believe I deviated too much with brainstorming this simple concept.

Happy folding. :)

infjamc's picture
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I'd say that this is an interesting attempt at thinking outside the box. But I have to agree with the other commentators that the biggest obstacle to this idea is implementation. Consider the following:

* How does this project contribute to the goal of "rehabilitation"? (Of course, the same could be said of manual labor that prisoners have to perform, but that's a separate issue.)

* Suppose that a prisoner is "lucky" enough to directly contribute to a major scientific breakthrough via Foldit. Should that person be eligible for recognition and/or monetary rewards? (Why, or why not?)

* Security issues. While not all prisoners are dangerous to the rest of the society in their current state, some might be-- so there has to be a guideline to determine who has access to the Foldit project (to minimize the chance that it would be hacked by those who are guilty of IT-related acts of sabotage, etc.)

* And then there's the issue that anthunk has raised: this shouldn't be forced. One theoretically possible option would be the "opt-in" (as opposed to "opt-out") approach, where prisoners would be allowed to play Foldit as a reward for good behavior. But even then, designing the guidelines for that option would be a challenge.

[Bottom line: The idea has potential, but it needs to be further developed.]

Huy's picture
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My first thought is, just because something is hard to implement, does not mean it's not a worthwhile goal. How many successful inventions were successful on the first prototype.

* How does this project contribute to rehabilitation? If they know the positive aspects of what they are doing, and are contributing to that voluntarily, does that not train in their mindset that they are a positive influence on society, instead of a negative one?

* Any human being, in jail or not, appreciates recognition by their contribution. There was a scientific paper recognizing the ones who contributed (Mimi, etc.). Why shouldn't prisoner get that recognition? This sure would contribute to an esteemed feeling for themselves, possibly changing their mindset on positive rewards, and rehabilitate their attitude about things. If no recognition is given, that'll just reinforce negatively.

* Stand along program perhaps? No connection to the internet or chat, etc.

* Possibly a reward program. But why limit it to that. They get to exercise and weight train. Have it as a normal option, where they can "just walk in"/opt-in to do it, thus not giving the negative connotation that "this is not a reward" type feeling.

Any idea with potential to assist the whole of humankind, using the power of a negative collective, is worth pursuing. I don't understand why this topic is changed from "rejected", to "worth looking at". So I invite all to reread my first sentence.

beta_helix's picture
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the main problem I see would be the chat. It is an integral part of the game, but there is no way we could allow that!

Consider this suggestion noted, but we'll just leave it at that.

Joined: 06/17/2010

Sorry apdjbs1, not want to offend you.
We have alot spam bots from time to time that are registering on site and not play the game just throwing less or more random posts and/or feedbacks.
When I look at your profile you have nothing on it from game, so I assumed it is one of that kind.
Lurked again, you not even load game to see it? Strange.

Huy's picture
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I can see how that could affect you. Know that I'm not a spammer, and I just got wind of this project. My idea on the penitentiary just came to me too, yesterday, and I too think it is a good idea. Yes, the chat feature would have to be disabled, and any other things IT and internet related. But like has been mentioned, if those that want to contribute to the betterment of humankind, let them have at it.

- Huy

ipatrol's picture
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Brainstorming means coming up with any idea that pops into your mind, no matter how bizarre. Organizing means pruning the ideas that don't pan out. I think this fits into that category. If correctional officers want to allow prisoners internet access, that's their prerogative, not ours.


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