Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, February 14, 2021

heart of the matter
There’s a curious phenomenon surrounding Valentine’s Day, and the backlash against it:

The plentiful anti-Valentine’s activities seem to always involve group-gathers, i.e. parties and other crowd-sourcing events. Even the strident ultra-nationalist protests in India against the Western influence of the Valentine’s holiday are based upon a mass appeal. By contrast, the conventional Valentine’s Day celebration is a more intimate affair, with you and that special someone sharing a private moment.

The conclusion? Obviously, misery loves company, and lots of it. It seems the social impulse doesn’t abandon the cupid-haters, their heartlessness aside.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 02/14/2010 05:16 PM
Category: Society
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Last week, on the eve of the Winter Games commencement, I was asked on two separate occasions whether or not anyone really, actually watched the Olympics.

Being the sports snob that I am, I scoffed back that no, no one watches the Olympics — other than the 100 million or so who tune in every couple of years. I thought that was an effective comeback, which underlined how a person projects his/her own perceptions and preferences onto the wider popular consciousness. (And we all do that, including me, who unfailingly muses on if anyone cares about things like awards shows or reality TV, despite being fully away of the millions of devoted fans for each.)

As it turns out, my off-the-cuff citation of that 100 million viewership for the five-ring circus was only half the story:

“I’m very confident we’ll do well from a ratings standpoint,” NBC research guru Alan Wurtzel told reporters Thursday. He said he expects 200 million people to watch at least parts of the Vancouver Games over the 17-day telecast. That number would be fewer than the 215 million who tuned in for the Beijing Olympics, but more than the 184 million from the prior winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.

So it’s more like a couple hundred million viewers who “don’t count” when it comes to the Olympics. All depending on your perspective, of course.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 02/14/2010 03:30 PM
Category: Other Sports, Society, TV
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