Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, February 25, 2021

As The Police once observed, when the world is running down, you make the best of what’s still around — and then you exploit the new openings by delivering new mass-market accessible products and channels:

It turns out that in a bad economy old ideas die faster, while socially driven technologies actually catch on more quickly. Movie theaters experienced a boom around the time of the Great Depression, [corporate technology anthropologist Genevieve] Bell says. And radios went from a hobby for geeky boys to mainstream acceptance, as families gathered in living rooms to hear the latest escapist programming. “Radio went from 10% of homes to 70% of homes in a five-year period when no one in America had any money,” Bell says.

It’s hard to figure which now-nascent device/medium is primed to burst during these lean times. The Internet isn’t quite ubiquitous yet, but it might as well be. Telephones have also spread to practically every corner of the globe now, mainly thanks the explosion of wireless infrastructure (consider that before the ’90s, when telecom rollout was keyed to landline networks, it took almost a full century for practically all U.S. households, rich through poor, to be telephone-equipped; that pace accelerated thousands-fold once the wires were cut). Is mobile Web the Next Big Thing for universal consumption? Probably not, but we’ll see.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 02/25/2009 04:49pm
Category: Business, History, Media, Society, Tech
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the skinny
Way back in the 8-bit day, the biggest health risk from compulsive videogaming was the carpal-tunnel scourge of Space Invaders wrist.

Nearly thirty years later, the physical trauma from console controller-clutching has skin-crawled down to the sweaty palms, and been dermatologically dubbed “PlayStation palmar hidradenitis”.

I’m not sure what the physiological progression is from here: Are we looking at bloodstream disorders next, from overexposure to Wii-ing?

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 02/25/2009 09:57am
Category: Science, Society, Videogames
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