Archive for 'media' Category


Newspaper Statistics

Thinking about my last post on the odds of dying in a terrorist attack, I started thinking about how the media harps on and on about things like shark attacks or school shootings than they do about people contracting diabetes or dying from alcohol and/or drug abuse. I know that things like this are not good stories. “Man diagnosed with cancer, news at 10.” Yet this is what is news: information that gives you a clear idea of what is going on in the world. Yet the media needs drama to drive sales. The more outlandish the story, the greater the human interest, the better the income. OK, who am I to deny that?

Wouldn’t it be great, though, if a newspaper had one page -or even one column- devoted to statistics.

Category                   Number            Change Since

Population: 6,537,133,558 (one week) +4,863,287
Births: 2,845,897 (yesterday) -12,873
Deaths: 2,109,341 (yesterday) +9,198
Deaths from famine: 596,478 (yesterday) -508
Preventable deaths: 1,209,675 (yesterday) +7,792
Shark Attacks: 1 (one month) +1
Highest Temperature: 113 (yesterday) -3
Lowest Temperature: -48 (yesterday) +9

Population: 293,614,955 (one week) +8,187
Births: 83,123 (one week) +943
Deaths: 68,095 (one week) -1,374
Deaths from AIDS: 236 (yesterday) -10
National Debt: $6,736,610,719,431 (yesterday)+$2,721,850,729
Arrests: 909,476 (one week) +9,873
Gallons Gasoline: 827,160,672,478 (one week) +784,371,790
Shark Attacks: 0 (one month) 0
Highest Temperature: 98 (yesterday) -3
Lowest Temperature: 21 (yesterday) -8
NYSE Close: $7403.59 (yesterday) -$5.98

All statistics there, by the way, are made up. You get the idea, though. I realize many of the numbers I’ve chosen are kind of negative but there’s no reason not to include some other positive, funny and/or trivial numbers in there, like the dog population of the USA.

Like I said this wouldn’t be jammed on the front page, but there are a lot of us that would love to have this information. If the right categories were picked you could even start drawing conclusions about the world we live in. The end of the year would be a cinch to set up as a year in review. Many categories would remain the same day by day, but depending on the current “news” many would change to give more information. For example in the above example there was a shark attack in South Africa in the news.

I’m just brain dumping here, but I think it’s not a bad idea. Many of the statistics might even be aggregated from various sources making compiling easier for the editors. Blah blah blah.

UPDATE 2006.10.01: Unfortunately my carefull crafted chart up above lost all of its formatting. Stupid web interface for WordPress…

Comments Off on Newspaper Statistics | Catergorized: media  thoughts


Copyright Monopoly

Today bOING bOING posted an article giving some critiques of copyright. It basically says that copyright as practiced today is not an incentive for people to create but a creation of a monopoly. Monopolies are antithetical to our market driven economy.

Who’s to say that I can’t market and sell Mickey Mouse better than Disney does? That’s a rhetorical question, but I think there are companies that could. In a free market you would imagine that the more competition there is over a product, the more innovation there would be and the price would drop. For example, if I build a mouse trap, and then you build a better mouse trap for less cost than mine, you’d soon see me working hard to create an even better mouse trap that would cost less than your pithy attempt.

Some would say that intellectual property (IP) is different because it’s an intangible thing. This isn’t true. If I write a song, and you write a song based on it but that is much better (specifically in terms of sales) I should have two options. 1) I can make the song even better so no one is interested in your version anymore or 2) concede defeat and accept some sort of royalty payment that is reasonable.

Yet the reality is that if I were to make a movie with a character named Carver Cat and you made reference to Carver Cat I would sue you for all you’re worth. I would sue anyone making reference to Carver Cat inperpetuity because that is what our (stupid) legislators in Congress have allowed me to do. Never mind that I am not doing anything with Carver Cat and nor shall I ever again. I have a monopoly for life on Carver Cat just as Disney does for Mickey Mouse.

So again, I wonder whether someone could sue the monopoly Disney has for Mickey Mouse? After all, we have anti-trust laws in the books…

4 Comments | Catergorized: media  rights  thoughts



at long last i finally hear from dear old bill, the inspiration of and for the band not bill, because, well, we’re not bill (he is). anyways, he sent a cool picture that might just become a CD cover at some point in the future:

JB is Not Bill

nothing too complex. the watercolor effect isn’t so obvious at first (i had to rez this down from the original).

meanwhile i’m concerned at news that dear micro$oft is going to stop making internet explorer a stand alone application in favor of intigrating it into the operating system (link). they will also possibly dump the macintosh version (link). could someone please remind me; isn’t the fact that the browser was tied into the operating system one of the many aspects of the antitrust trial against M$? isn’t this a slap in the face of the incompetent prosecution?

Comments Off on 2003.06.04 | Catergorized: media  technology



my good friend bill miller sent us more of his multimedia projects. this one is a little flash… thing. he’s dancing. i see somethings never change! click here to see it.

Comments Off on JBDancing | Catergorized: friends  media
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