The Profiler's Story — August 4, 2010
Courtesy of commercial television, we better be good. Or else the profilers will get us. It turns out that applied science and its sidekicks intuition and psychism (what psychics do) have our number. One step out of line and our number will be called, and we’ll be served our due comeuppance and just desserts. But is profiling more dessert or desert—or upon close inspection fated to desert us as a valuable tool in deterring or identifying perpetrators of egregious misbehavior? This article describes some implicit assumptions—as contradictory and interdependent as some may be—on which profiling often rests. For these purposes, profiling is defined as applying information presumed to be characteristic of a behavior for the purpose of deterring or identifying perpetrators of that behavior. Where will this profile on profiling lead?