Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, August 26, 2021

The intent of self-proclaimed anarchists to orchestrate street demonstrations during the Democratic National Convention prompts some kind of joke about the compatibility of anarchy with large-scale mobilization.

And here is that joke:

If anarchists organize other anarchists to promote anarchism in some choreographed form, will the world explode?

Not much chance of that, if the haplessness of Denver’s generally clueless anarcho-loiterists is any indication:

“No pictures!” shouted an officer from behind a perimeter fence.

“Why not?,” asked Chas Robles, of Ridgecrest, Calif.

“Because the Secret Service says so,” the officer replied.

“That’s not right. You’re not my mom,” Robles said.

“Then go home to your mommy,” the officer retorted.

Robles, who leads a conservation crew in the Mojave Desert, and his compatriots moved on.

“Where are we going guys?” asked Brendan, a Norman, Okla., resident who asked that his last name not be used so he can’t be identified. “I’ve been antsy to see something all day, and we haven’t seen anything.”

“You’re not my mom”?? Some revolutionary cry of defiance that is. It’s less a metaphor against statism than it is a Freudian slip.

All in all, Denver’s looking like a piss-poor showcase for the political system of anarchism. These jokers remind me of standard-issue libertarians — perhaps not surprisingly, since their avowed political goals are actually pretty close (libertarians still want a state, just a bare-bones one). But in both cases, the labels wind up being co-opted by malcontents who simply want any outlet at all for their agendas, which often have nothing at all to do with the ideology with which they’re supposedly aligned.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 08/26/2008 11:35:22 PM
Category: Political Theory, Politics
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what's the deal with computers
So we’ve all heard about Jerry Seinfeld’s upcoming new gig as pitchman for Microsoft, starting this fall.

And the built-in joke that comes from his now 10-year-dead eponymous TV series:

After all, it’s a Macintosh that’s seen in the background of his apartment on “Seinfeld.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with that — especially in that instance. Fact is, that computer on the show was strictly a visual prop — there’s maybe two scenes out of the entire series that show Jerry actually sitting at the computer, plus another early episode where it was one of the items burglarized. In no instance was the thing ever specifically identified as a Mac, either. So overall, that’s not much of an issue.

Still, it’s fair to question why Microsoft and their agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky (with whom I’m well familiar from my Florida days, as they’re a Miami-based shop), would bet a $300-million campaign on the fading cachet of an aging sitcom. Toward that end, there are plenty of more contemporary alternatives for the face of MS and the Vista operating system.

Not that there’s much chance of Seinfeld losing this job. In fact, given his enthusiasm for salesmanship, I see this being the official start of his personal late-period prolific career as Shillmaster Supreme. Today it’s software, tomorrow it’ll be saltines, then life insurance, then fiber supplements… His famous rhetorical of “What’s the deal?” will eventually be superfluous.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 08/26/2008 08:55:13 AM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Celebrity, Comedy, TV, Tech
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The backlash over the proliferation of bottled water has been roiling for years now. The objections over the large resource costs that go into the product — chiefly the petroleum-derived plastic bottle, with the water procurement being somewhat secondary — are countered by the consumer preference for the packaging convenience (more than anything else, including water quality) that it offers.

I’m wondering why no one’s come up with a sensible solution: Packaging this water in aluminum cans.

It would eliminate the lack of biodegradability that the current bottles have. Cans aren’t quite as convenient to tote around and refill, but at least they’re familiar enough that they’d be readily accepted. Besides, a while back someone was developing aluminum beer bottles; if the ergonomics are that important, maybe that container experiment could be resurrected for the ol’ agua.

Aluminum is not a wholly “clean” ecological solution either, but as far as I know, it’s easier to recycle than plastic. And there are already so many beverage cans out there now, so it’s just supplementing the current supply.

All sorts of beverages are already available in can form, carbonated and non-carbonated (lemonades, sports drinks, juices, etc.). I think water is a natural fit.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 08/26/2008 08:17:27 AM
Category: Business, Food, Science
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