Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, July 27, 2021

So I’m curious: Why no major reaction on the NHL’s cost-controlling labor deal from fans in Winnipeg, Hamilton and other locales that are pining for a team of their own?

Since many of the usual suspect cities are former homes of NHL clubs that left due to the league’s former economics, I’d think this new salary structure would be perceived to remove a major barrier to the viability of big-league pucks in smaller markets. Fans there should be convincing themselves that “troubled” franchises like Nashville and Carolina are ready to beat a path to their welcoming venues.

And yet, I haven’t seen much to suggest this is the buzz. True, Kansas City is continuing its mild push to convince the league to move in, and Canadian traditionalists are improbably praising the commissioner for securing the future. But beyond that, nothing.

This could be because the logic train suggests that if the salary cap makes NHL action manageable in Saskatoon, then by rights, it should make it fantastically lucrative in Columbus and everywhere else where it already resides. If the costs are controlled in the current dots on the map, why would any team bother to move? Arena wrangling is always a factor that could prompt suggestions of relocation, but most teams took care of that in recent years, so there’s no fuel for that fire.

A residual sour taste in hardcore fans’ mouths might be blunting speculation, too. Or perhaps a look at actual games being played, after a year of absence, is necessary to bring such thoughts to formation. In any case, the lack of what I thought would be a predictable (if ill-founded) assumption is curious.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 07/27/2005 11:40:52 PM
Category: Hockey | Permalink | Feedback (1)

We’ve all seen the examples of how blabbermouthy blogging can get you fired. So the local angle on this phenomenon doesn’t necessarily offer much new. (Although it does give some nice exposure for College Confidential, lucky gal.)

But a couple of scattered considerations:

- It’s notable that the focus is on the potentially damaging content — what a blogger says — rather than on when they’re saying it. Blogging on company time is apparently not as much a concern for companies. Or if it is, it’s only within the context of general cyberslacking.

Of course, it’s pretty easy to manipulate the timestamp on practically all blog management systems. Just because the time of post says 11PM, it doesn’t mean the writer didn’t jot those thoughts in the middle of the workday, and just postdated it to throw the boss off the scent. (It’s the one thing about blogs that makes them most suspect as records, actually.)

- The impression of invisibility on the Web is sneakily seductive. Even if you remind yourself that the nature of website publishing means your stuff is accessible by practically anyone, the low hit-counter tally falsely convinces you that no one’s looking, and the self-preservative defense mechanisms fail.

Then again, most people are just stupider than that. The figure the Web’s too big, Google’s indexbots will never find them, and simply don’t have enough sense or discipline to edit themselves. Then they irrationally get upset when they’re discovered. Typical.

- Anonymity is a tough act online. For instance, I can’t pull it off here: Even if I were to delete all the content on this site, it’s archived elsewhere for eternity (or close enough). Plus the URL is registered in my name.

Even if you go with the free services and cover your tracks with dummy email accounts and such, most people aren’t savvy enough to maintain it. It doesn’t take much to blow your cover, and then you’re screwedtwice, even.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 07/27/2005 11:04:07 PM
Category: Bloggin', Business | Permalink | Feedback (9)

Say what you will about trashing a sitcom before it even hits the air. But Chase Squires’ creative smackdown of “Desperate Housewives” knockoff “Hot Properties” is too good to not share. It riffs off of co-star Sofia Vergara’s original career path, in the dental profession:

Funny coincidence. Watching “Hot Properties” is like visiting the dentist: First it’s painful, then you get numb, and finally, you just sit there and drool.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 07/27/2005 10:30:53 PM
Category: Bloggin', TV | Permalink | Feedback

The Washington Post’s David Ignatius points out the many examples of upper-class Muslims, from 9/11 to Iraq to the London bombings, being at the center of the current Islamist terror campaign.

This is not Patty Hearst or the Weather Underground — it’s a far more deadly revolt of privilege. But people who were students in the 1960s will remember the phenomenon: the idealistic kids from elite public and private schools who went to college, felt guilty about their comfort amid a brutal world and joined the Progressive Labor Party to ally with oppressed Third World workers. There is a cult aspect to this jihad — an extreme version of the logic that has always drawn disaffected kids to self-destructive behavior.

It’s a theme more and more people are noticing, if not comprehending. This, despite ample historical precedent:

… And despite the rhetoric and mythologizing, revolutionary impulses and leadership pretty much always come from the upper strata of society — not the other half. Think about revolutionary leaders through history: John and Samuel Adams, Vladimir Lenin, Ho Chi Mihn, Mohandas Ghandi… all came from comfortable (at least) backgrounds. The revolution is indeed televised, and by those who can afford the big-screen TVs.

About the only difference I can see this time around: Most of the American/Euro countercultural radicals of three decades ago were slumming — even if they tried to convince themselves that they weren’t. Ultimately, they knew the cocoon of their upbringing was waiting for them to return; and so they did.

That’s life in the First World. I’m not sure that’s as assured in the Third World, even among the wealthy, even in transplanted cultures.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 07/27/2005 10:13:16 PM
Category: Political, Society | Permalink | Feedback

Bad news for those of us in the Tampa Bay area who are unattached (and looking): The area dropped like a rock in this year’s annual Forbes.com Best Cities for Singles rankings, to No. 36.

Along with culture and the number of singles, Forbes.com ranked cities by job growth, nightlife, cost of living and coolness, defined by [list author Lacey] Rose as the diversity of “creative workers” that include musicians, artists and teachers.

In job growth, Tampa dropped from ninth to 11th; in nightlife, it dropped from 20th to 25th; the coolness factor stayed the same as last year, coming in at 30th…

Rose said slight changes in the way Forbes.com conducted this year’s study played a part in some of the cities’ category rankings. The latest survey took into account entry-level salaries for the first time, she said.

“That really hurt a place like Tampa,” Rose said.

The change affected the cost of living category. Tampa ranked 10th last year. Generally, Tampa’s an economically reasonable place to live. But with the area’s low entry-level pay added in, it dropped to 37th this year.

“You may be able to spend a lot, but you might not be making it,” Rose said.

Also, last year’s survey had a “public opinion” category. Rose said Forbes.com eliminated that this year, so the rankings could be based purely on numbers. When it came to culture, for example, it didn’t matter the quality of museums and concerts. What mattered was how many venues there are.

Same old story, really. The lack of entry-level scratch is a bugaboo for the whole state. The thing is, you can generally tolerate it when you’re very young and fresh out of school (and, therefore, single and on the prowl); but as you get older, it gets to be a drag.

A list is a list, of course. It’s only supposed to give you the broad strokes; the details can tell you a whole different story. Believe me, places like Charlotte and Nashville are tons worse, because the focus is so overwhelmingly on family life that its practically hostile territory for someone who wants to remain single. Comparatively, Tampa Bay is a playground.

Still, this underlines the need for improvement.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 07/27/2005 09:40:12 PM
Category: Publishing, Florida Livin', Society | Permalink | Feedback (1)