Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, April 06, 2021

I don’t know what’s gotten into me lately, but I’m actually following through on intentions. Case in point: I managed to attend last night’s performance of “Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?”, like I said I would.

Never mind that it was a fairly last-minute affair, what with having to stand in line for rush tickets for an hour beforehand. And that both the play, with its strained-staccato dialogue, and my companionship were both lacking (although the night ended up surprisingly cheerfully, once I ditched her).

The rush-ticket experience did produce a noteworthy sideshow. At one point, a street person worked his way up the line, offering up a bag of Starbucks ground-roast coffee beans for sale for the low-low price of $4.

His non-stop spiel emphasized that the retail price on this gourmet package was around $24, which made it fairly obviously that he had freshly lifted his merchandise from the Lafayette Street location. And that was the funniest part about it for me: He wasn’t trying to hide that he had stolen the stuff. He was merely trying to unload it as quickly as possible.

At the time, I felt a slight tinge of sympathy for the Starbucks store that got ripped off. But a few minutes later, when I went there to kill some time before the play’s start, I got a mild shock from how much pricier their menu was from other locations around the City — probably a good 25 percent higher. Maybe that’s attributable to their higher loss rate from thefts — or maybe they’re just greedier. So at that moment, I was actually kinda glad that that hustler swiped his caffeinated stash. Stick it to the man, if he’s going to stick it to me for my usually-cheap Awake tea.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 04/06/2021 11:24:23 PM
Category: Media, New Yorkin', Political
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The economy’s in full recession mode. So it’s a good thing that more U.S. college students are opting for that classic non-practical major: philosophy.

Rutgers, which has long had a top-ranked philosophy department, is one of a number of universities where the number of undergraduate philosophy majors is ballooning; there are 100 in this year’s graduating class, up from 50 in 2002, even as overall enrollment on the main campus has declined by 4 percent.

At the City University of New York, where enrollment is up 18 percent over the past six years, there are 322 philosophy majors, a 51 percent increase since 2002…

Nationwide, there are more colleges offering undergraduate philosophy programs today than a decade ago (817, up from 765), according to the College Board. Some schools with established programs like Texas A&M, Notre Dame, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, now have twice as many philosophy majors as they did in the 1990s.

Not that philosophy majors are considered exclusively ivory-tower denizens these days. The critical thinking that this course of study instills is framed as a nimble business skill. Still, when grads go on interviews at leaning-and-meaning firms, having an ethereal major as the starting skill set doesn’t enhance a rookie’s chances.

Hey, I suppose the Phi majors could always fall back on that Sanskrit minor…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 04/06/2021 10:54:26 PM
Category: Society
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Professional blogging: It’s around-the-clock bleeding-edge journalism with a sudden mortality rate:

Two weeks ago in North Lauderdale, Fla., funeral services were held for Russell Shaw, a prolific blogger on technology subjects who died at 60 of a heart attack. In December, another tech blogger, Marc Orchant, died at 50 of a massive coronary. A third, Om Malik, 41, survived a heart attack in December.

Other bloggers complain of weight loss or gain, sleep disorders, exhaustion and other maladies born of the nonstop strain of producing for a news and information cycle that is as always-on as the Internet.

Good thing I still have a daytime gig. And as my of-late dwindling output attests (down from an average of 3-4 daily posts to maybe 2), I’m not exactly straining the blogging muscles to the point of exhaustion. Not that professionalism in the permalinking game was ever a goal for me.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 04/06/2021 10:11:29 PM
Category: Bloggin'
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