Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, September 03, 2021

v for vamoose
Take the save-the-planet blueprint behind zero population growth one step further, and you’ve got the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (or “VHEMT” for short, except that that “T” doesn’t stand for anything, and seems to have been inserted solely to make the resultant acronym vaguely pronounceable as “vehement”).

Species self-destruction as a green act. It’s the chic approach, I’ll grant you. Not that anyone’s pushing anyone else off a cliff, as summarized in the VHEMT’s unofficial motto: “May We Live Long and Die Out”.

As for the story behind the group’s logo:

V stands for Voluntary - a value to keep foremost among us as conditions change. The V shape also depicts the confluence of logic and love to make a receptive and balanced point.

Our world is shown undergoing a revolution of 180 degrees: the opposite view of what we’re used to. Our direction must shift radically for us to preserve life and restore ecosystems. Also, upside down emblems are symbols of distress.

Very symbolic. I’d also like to point out that this is another example of a “V”-based logo resemblant of the one used in the 1984 film version of 1984. I observed the first instance years ago, on the packaging of Atkins Diet products. Maybe Atkins is in on this — stealth population-pruning via nutritionally-deficient no-carb self-starvation? As I said back then, draw your own conclusions.

To avoid that totalitarianist vibe, they should adopt this cheerier artwork as the VHEMT logo:
so long, sucka
It’s not as compact stylistically, but using cutesy artwork of a dinosaur and (I presume) dodo bird to get the self-snuffout message across is a better bet, I think. Heck, even the zero-pop folks wised up years ago and adopted a friendlier label to further their cause.

And yes, this post serves as a complementary companion to yesterday’s piece about the concept behind Alan Weisman’s “The World Without Us”.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 09/03/2021 08:26:03 PM
Category: Society, Science | Permalink | Feedback (4)

The jockeying for the next-generation digital-video disc format grinds on, with neither Toshiba’s HD DVD nor Sony’s Blu-Ray gaining the upper hand despite each scoring in content partnerships and hardware sales.

I’m wondering why this competition is still being characterized as a two-horse, zero-sum race.

Because it’s not. Not with the Internet as an easy-access repository of playable video, legal or illegal. Nor with the ever-expanding offerings from cable company video-on-demand (VOD). These represent a third option to waiting on the sidelines while disc-player standards are sorted out.

The quality issue looms: For most people, watching video on a tiny computer media-player window doesn’t compare to the clarity of a proper-sized television monitor. But bridges between online-acquired content and the living-room screen are coming — Apple TV probably isn’t it, but the critical-mass solution likely isn’t very far off. The visual clarity offered by the high-def discs is largely a canard, since video quality is at least tolerable in a lot of existing content (and besides, more and more high-def content is making its way onto VOD and the Web).

To me, all the HD DVD/Blu-Ray jockeying is doing is forcing consumers to look more actively beyond the disc player. Instead of dismissing the idea of porting the media files on your computer hard drive over to your entertainment center as something only for hard-core techie geeks, I imagine a deadlocked format war would prompt casual users to investigate what’s available in digital format.

I can’t say for sure if this is taking place already. That Toshiba and Sony are still looking for higher ground versus each other indicates to me that the consumer market is slower than usual in picking sides, and if I had to find a reason for that, the above scenario would be the likeliest. The next year or so might make things more apparent.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 09/03/2021 06:03:28 PM
Category: Media, Tech | Permalink | Feedback

Go to the tourist destination that is Hamilton Island, Australia (part of the Whitsunday Islands chain), and you’ll find this curious expression in stone:

A first look at the statue, I can say that it was created by a great sculptor. Don’t go too fast! If you look at the back of that statue, you can find a crazy alien. What is the alien doing there?!? We can read on the statue “You shall know the TRUTH and the TRUTH shall make you FREE”.

I don’t know how “crazy” that alien is. Standard universal depiction of the black-eyed, long-headed extraterrestrial, looks like to me. And does he need to be crazy to end up in a down-under tourist trap? Let’s not be judgmental.

Anyway, one to add to the global lineup of strange statue art.

(Photo from Flickr)

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 09/03/2021 03:51:42 PM
Category: Creative | Permalink | Feedback (2)

It’s true: Even in New York City, where foot traffic is intensive, some dog owners habitually neglect to pick up after walkies.

The stretches of sidewalk where you should keep your head down:

The Bronx:
Sedgwick Ave. and Aqueduct Ave.

66th St., Brightwater Court, W. 12th St.

Arion Road

No especially feculent streets in Manhattan, although anything near a park should be suspect. As for Staten Island — eh, who cares.

I’m surprised wayward canine turds stay on the pavement with any regularity. I thought the cops were pretty diligent about the pooper-scooper laws, given that people rely on clear walkways just to keep the urban crowds moving. It’s the equivalent of leaving debris on a metro-area highway.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 09/03/2021 01:24:08 PM
Category: New Yorkin' | Permalink | Feedback