Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, May 25, 2021

Survivalism with an upper-middle-class sheen has been in vogue for more than a year now. But the late economic collapse has encouraged a surge in food-and-security stockpiling in residential subdivisions:

Art Markman, a cognitive psychologist, said he’s not surprised by the reaction to the nation’s financial woes - even though it may seem irrational. In an increasingly global and automated society, most people are dependent on strangers and systems they don’t understand - and the human brain isn’t programmed to work that way.

“We have no real causal understanding of the way our world works at all,” said Markman, a professor at the University of Texas, Austin. “When times are good, you trust that things are working, but when times are bad you realize you don’t have a clue what you would do if the supermarket didn’t have goods on the shelves and that if the banks disappear, you have no idea where your money is.”

Those preparing for the worst echo those thoughts and say learning to be self sufficient makes them feel more in control amid mounting uncertainty - even if it seems crazy to their friends and families.

That’s all it comes down to: A hands-on attempt at peace of mind. Really just one more instance of conjuring up a persecution complex among those affluent enough to lack for things about which to worry. If this paranoia is manifesting in the suburbs, I can only imagine the Unabomber-type McMansions that are setting up in the further-flung exurbs…

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 05/25/2009 03:36pm
Category: Society
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I had absolutely no intention of Twitter-following Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor.

But that was before I saw that he was using a Robotron: 2084 graphic for his @trent_reznor avatar. Since I’m rather fond of that game myself, and like to use the above screenshot image detail as a default glyph for this blog’s Videogames category, that was enough for me to click on the Follow button.

I don’t know how often Reznor switches out his avatar. I suppose as soon as he does, I’ll have an excuse to unfollow him. Wouldn’t be the first time I determined what appears in my Twitter-stream content on the basis of those little pictures.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 05/25/2009 02:55pm
Category: Celebrity, Pop Culture, Social Media Online, Videogames
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Celebrity stalking, 140 characters at a time? That seems to be the premise behind a planned Twitter-based television show:

The social-networking service has teamed with Reveille productions and Brillstein Entertainment to develop an unscripted series based on the site, which invites brief, 140-character postings from members all over the world.

The show would harness Twitter to put players on the trail of celebrities in a competitive format.

The producers call their planned series the first to bring the immediacy of Twitter to the TV screen.

“Competitive format” tweeting? Sounds a bit shaky to me. And I’m sure it’ll piss off the hardcore Twitterati by deflecting focus away from regular folks, in favor of the likes of @THE_REAL_SHAQ, @oprah, and @britneyspears.

If this TMZ-patterned concept tanks, maybe they can repurpose it by selling it to C-SPAN as a Congressional online reality show.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 05/25/2009 01:05pm
Category: Celebrity, Politics, Social Media Online, TV
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