Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, May 09, 2021

“A new image of urban America is in the making”, according to Brookings Institution demographer William H. Frey in a new population study:

“What used to be white flight to the suburbs is turning into ‘bright flight’ to cities that have become magnets for aspiring young adults who see access to knowledge-based jobs, public transportation, and a new city ambiance as an attraction.”

Which translates to more upscale city cores, surrounded by suburbs that are simultaneously straining under outmoded infrastructures while attracting new influxes of immigrants and minorities. Thus, American cities seem to be resembling the demographic makeup prevalent in European cities. It also hints that the American population-distribution norm from the second half of the 20th Century was an anomaly, contrary to the centuries-old migration patterns from countrysides to urban centers.

But is this late reversal the end of the story? Not mentioned here is the exurb phenomenon, which has been gaining steam despite the Great Recession. The move to even further-flung locations away from the metropolitan base is spearheaded by affluent whites, the group that’s gentrifying inner cities. The differentiator? Exurbans are at a different stage in life than the new urbanites. The exurbs appeal to 30- and 40-somethings who’ve settled into marriage and are raising families; new urbanites tend to be 20-somethings that are single, unattached, and unconcerned with long-term life decisions. There’s nothing to indicate that today’s urban hipster won’t age into exurban transplant (and, of course, get replaced by the next generation of 20-somethings in their old urban ‘hood).

Bottom line, demographic and class-based movements from city-to-suburb-to-exurb are far from settled. Once a pattern is discerned, it’ll probably start shifting yet again. A moving target as people keep on moving.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 05/09/2021 10:21pm
Category: Society
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You know that the use of URL shorteners like bit.ly and TinyURL has gotten out of hand when those compact links start cropping up as hypertext links.

I’m not talking about links found in Twitter tweets, or other character-counting online spaces that don’t support hypertext insertions. Use of shorteners there are a (somewhat) necessary evil, and established practice. Rather, it’s the wholly unnecessary hyperlinking of article text to short-URLs. Like this:


That preceding text links to http://bit.ly/aBvwwk, which in turn redirects to the homepage for the U.S. Office of the Solicitor General. But — what’s the point of shortening that homepage’s Web address in this instance? There’s no reason to save on character number, because the true URL is embedded. That’s the whole point of hyperlinks anyway: To make the delivery of long-string, breakable URLs more compact. A URL shortening link is pointless overkill.

The above example comes from Politico’s Playbook blog. Author Mike Allen seems to be a compulsive bit.ly user; it looks like every hyperlink in every one of his posts is shortened. Another URL-shortening abuser I’ve noticed is the New York Times’ David Pogue, although his most recent articles seem to be free of the embedded bit.ly links (I’m pretty sure they come up in his emailed HTML newsletters, though). There are probably plenty more examples out there. I’m guessing this is coming about out of lazy habit: Some folks send out so many short-form missives that they automatically pass their referencing URLs through a shortening service, and use them regardless of need.

All this might seem like splitting hairs, but it’s ultimately bad form. Shorteners have a host of shortcomings, including potential spam/hijacking uses through their blind links, quicker linkrot, and slower click-thrus. I regard URL shortening as a stopgap solution anyway, until something better comes along. There’s no need to prolong their use in this manner.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 05/09/2021 01:58pm
Category: Internet, Social Media Online
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Day Eight of “The Daily Fortune Cookie Fortune” project on Flickr, and a rather banal one at that:

The only thing we know for sure about future developments is that they will develop.

Weak. After a promising start, the box o’ cookies has been serving up some unimaginative fortune-tripe. Let’s hope the rest of the contents deliver something more inspiring.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 05/09/2021 12:25pm
Category: Daily Fortune Cookie Fortune, Photography
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