Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, June 17, 2021

Yes, birthdays are handy guideposts to stop and reflect upon one’s life. And here it is, my thirty-fifth stab at reflection.

But I’m afraid I’m not in too much of a contemplative mood tonight. It’s not for lack of material: In this past year, I’ve changed my scenery both locationally and professionally: Going from a publishing/Internet professional in Tampa Bay, Florida to a marketing consultant in New York City. So there’s a load of new material to process, which is an ongoing process.

So maybe that’s why I’m not inclined — at this moment, anyway — to look back, not even in the lackadaisical way I did last year. Everything is still new and fresh to me. So for now, I’ll let it lie.

Not that I’m ducking the underlying issue here. Thirty-five is a significant demographic shift: I’ve gone from ticking off that “25 to 34″ agegroup box and moved onto the “35 to 1,456,958″ one. Because, y’know, after you’ve drifted out of the desired demographic range, the message from mainstream culture is: “You’re dead to me”.

How this jibes with my I’m-still-a-big-kid mentality, I don’t know. I do know that I’ll be viewing the upcoming Clerks 2: The Passion of the Clerks, which deals with the perils of this middle-30s shift, with more than casual interest, and more than a little empathy.

But given that, thanks to several life scenarios, it was touch-and-go as to whether or not I’d ever make it to this particular guidepost, I’ll take the 35th one with as much grace as I can.

Oh, and this post’s title? Don’t ask. But feel free to sing along, at least for the first few verses:

Deep within the womb of time,
A creature thus be born
The seed of life is united with
The egg of tyranny
Gestates forth from within the womb of life
For three-quarter and nigh a year
The creature thus be born!
The creature thus be formed!
And ye of years…
[Your current age] bells
Will chime!

Yes, you read that right: “The seed of life is united with / The egg of tyranny.” Maturity, shmaturity.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 06/17/2006 08:11:28 PM
Category: General | Permalink | Feedback (4)

Toward the end of the last wave of Wikipedia bashing about half a year ago, I predicted the very nature of the site would be changing soon enough:

So, as a result of [widespread article vandalism], and all the volunteer resources it’s eating up: What’s the over-under on when Jimmy Wales finally closes off Wikipedia completely to non-registered editing/writing? I’m going to say the hammer falls on or around August 1st, 2006.

This month’s institution of “protected” and “semi-protected” pages on Wikipedia, which are wholly or partially closed off from editing by anyone except a small cadre of volunteer overseers, isn’t a complete shuttering of the door. But, while the list of affected articles is currently small, and nominally temporarily designated, I have little doubt that this is the first step toward more of a closed system. Add in the already-implemented registration requirement for new article creation, and the site’s no longer the free-for-all that it still likes to bill itself as.

It’s an inevitable evolution that any media outlet undergoes. Ironically, from my personal viewpoint, this vetting movement goes a long way toward legitimizing the site as a reliable information source — the less chance of random (and potentially inaccurate) content manipulation, the better.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 06/17/2006 07:29:08 PM
Category: Internet | Permalink | Feedback

Curious week for Microsoft, as two notable denizens of the Redmond campus announced they were leaving — by different degrees:

First, Robert Scoble takes his blogging cache and moves to Silicon Valley, where he’ll be VP of content for PodTech.net, a corporate podcasting startup. (Didn’t podcasting already use up its 15 minutes of fame, last year?)

After that, Bill Gates himself decided to step down from day-to-day duties at his empire. Of course, he’s not leaving the company — he’s still the head cheese when all’s said and done. But he’ll presumably be putting in a lot less face time.

Hmm. Do these two know something the rest of us don’t? Is Vista going to be that much of a bomb?

Anyway, PC Magazine presents the tale of tape in how Microsoft will fare minus the two men. More similarities between the two than you’d expect, despite the different tiers.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 06/17/2006 06:55:58 PM
Category: Tech, Business | Permalink | Feedback

Fourteen-year-old Caitlin Campbell found the word “collyrium” to be her albatross at this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Lamar Outdoor Advertising found Caitlin’s surname to be a tricky spell, as it messed up the kid’s last name on a downtown billboard intended to honor the Amarillo, Texas native’s achievement: “Congratulations! Caitlin Cambell for making Amarillo proud.”

Lamar’s going to correct the billboard. I think the least it can do is to also give Caitlin a summer internship over the next few years, as its in-house proofreader.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 06/17/2006 06:08:16 PM
Category: Media, Comedy | Permalink | Feedback