Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, July 11, 2021

If this blog betrays nothing else about me, it tells you that I’m hardly the most grown-up 35-year-old around.

Then again, maybe I am, as that’s getting to be a highly subjective measure. Because Christopher Noxon’s “Rejuvenile” points out the obvious: Adulthood these days is supported by an less-structured environment that fosters the retention of what used to be considered strictly “kid’s stuff”:

At work, looser hierarchies have eased long-standing pressures to conform — witness row upon row of cubicles piled high with lunch boxes, action figures, and Beanie Babies. At home, changing gender roles have blurred traditional roles of authority, prompting many adults, both men and women, to identify with their kids in ways their parents would have found ridiculous. And perhaps most significantly, the fact that we’re living as many as seven to eight years longer than adults fifty years ago has kept us in tune with our childlike sides longer than ever. As our life spans stretch out, whole new stages of development are emerging — those periods of adult life that Gail Sheehy calls “bright new cities.” In the absence of uniform zoning laws, it’s perhaps not so surprising that many of us have reconstructed the carnivals, playgrounds, and nurseries that provided the backdrop for our most vivid early memories.

I think another strong contributor is the predominance of youth culture. Pretty young things are the most coveted images in media and popular culture, and inform the mainstream consciousness. Most people want to be at that party. Thus, Generation Xers (and even Baby Boomers) persist in keeping in touch with that scene as a hedge against inevitable aging. The logic is, it’s okay to look old, as long as you don’t act it.

Ironically, I don’t think the youngster set go along with that. It’s probably just as mortifying these days to see your 40-something aunt grooving to Lil’ Kim as it was in generations past. In fact, I can foresee a societal backlash to this once today’s tweens/teens hit their 30s: They’ll likely revert back to more old-fashioned “adulthood”, as a distinguisher.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 07/11/2021 09:42:58 PM
Category: Publishing, Society
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Here’s something I wasn’t aware of, and probably should have been: Some banks are now offering credit-card like gift points on their debit cards.

One example:

North Fork Bank, in the Northeast, gives a point for each dollar you spend. You can exchange the points for gift cards — 10,000 will get you $50 at such stores as Starbucks, Eddie Bauer or Bloomingdale’s. But you’ll get better deals for travel or merchandise — 20,000 points for $150 off plane tickets. There is an annual fee of $20 but at least one branch was offering to waive it for the first year, although a customer-service employee reached by phone knew nothing about the offer.

Not bad. As good a reason to open a new bank account as any.

Without delving too deeply into the banking and payment processing industries (areas I’ve been acutely acquainted with of late), this development was inevitable. Frankly, there’s less and less difference between using a credit card and a debit card these days. They’re practically indistinguishable for everyday use: If a business accepts one, it’s practically a sure thing that it accepts the other as well. Personally, I don’t even bother to worry too much about which type of transaction I run on an average purchase, whether it’s big-ticket or just a couple of groceries.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 07/11/2021 08:33:51 PM
Category: Business
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The evolution of online scamming continues. First there was spamming, then phishing, and now vishing, an identity-theft maneuver that combines email with the telephone:

Related to phishing scams, the new scheme uses cheaply obtained VoIP numbers as bogus credit card or financial services telephone numbers, said Paul Henry, vice president of strategic accounts for Secure Computing. The company has observed only two such scams so far, but it expects the practice to “explode,” Henry said.

With Internet users being warned about clicking on hyperlinks in unsolicited e-mail, the new scam includes a phone number instead, Henry said. “It’s a natural elevation of the art to move it to the telephone,” he said. “People are getting nervous about clicking on links.”

Not that it ever really was, but now the phone’s not even a secure communications channel. Granted, keeping on your toes regarding any personal finance communiques should be second nature by now. Still, I’m wondering just where all the obfuscation is going to lead.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 07/11/2021 08:23:36 PM
Category: Internet, Tech, True Crime
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el power play
All those morons who can’t abide the National Hockey League having teams in places like Tampa Bay and Phoenix will probably get mad-dog lathered over this one:

The Florida Panthers and New York Rangers are planning to play a preseason game in San Juan, Puerto Rico on September 23rd. It’s not official yet, but the Panthers have already accepted the invite, and the Rangers are “99 percent” sure they will.

I’m sure the ice will be soft as margarine. But it’ll be worth it to hear “La Borinqueña”, the Puerto Rican national anthem, sung before the game.

I can only hope the league will hype this to the extent it should be hyped. But this is the NHL — they typically flub on these high-visibility opportunities. I’m just hoping the game will be televised, either by the Rangers’ MSG Network or else by Versus, nee OLN.

The setting for this exhibition game will be Coliseo de Puerto Rico, an 18,000-seat barn that even describes itself as being NHL-ice configured.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 07/11/2021 06:23:55 PM
Category: Hockey
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populating til 2011
Today, mainly to cut off the nagging reminder emails that Dotster has been sending me for the past month, I finally renewed my domain registration for populationstatistic.com.

But instead of re-upping for just the year, I took the extended plunge: I locked up the domain for the next five years. Meaning I won’t have to worry about forgetting to reclaim it until after this current decade has rolled on.

Yeah, I know I could have taken my business elsewhere and probably secured this blog’s home for ten years, and probably for about the same money (just under seventy bucks). But this is the one and only domain I’m managing; if I were maintaining sites in bulk, I’d have more reason to find a cheaper and more flexible registrant. But as it is, this works for me with practically no effort on my part.

The real question is, will I still be blogging in five years? Heck, will the InterWeb still be set up for this sort of online activity in 2011? I’m not even talking about the Net Neutrality debate; rather, infrastructure evolution could lead to unforseen developments, like the phasing out of staked-out domain names as Internet content/data repositories. Who knows? By the time my registration expires, there may be nothing to renew.

And that’s not considering the willingness of yours truly to keep the light burning here. Right now, I’m still enjoying the blogging thang, nearly four years after commencing. But that’s no guarantee for future performance. Even now, I’m finding myself in a crunch most weekdays — life in the Big City tends to leave scant time for daily blogging (as if you couldn’t tell from all the 11PM posting lately). That’s something I’m willing to work through, but I don’t know if it’ll get easier or harder in the years to come.

But I’ll defer that for now. The main thing is that my dot-com digs will remain the same, regardless of activity.

And if some big studio decides to come out with Population Statistic: The Movie, I can look to recoup my investment — and then some…

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 07/11/2021 09:46:22 AM
Category: Bloggin'
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