Friday, April 15, 2005

monkeys, typewriters, and Shakespeare, among other things

kwek just pointed me toward this rather startling CNN report, which calls to mind the whole giving monkeys typewriters and getting shakespeare thing: MIT Students Pull Prank On Conference. tres cool.

this is somewhat in lieu of a real post, since i spent the greater part of today tromping around downtown and getting all tired. (haul: one new blazer from H&M, which is the same blazer that both amanda and shum already own; and new moisturiser from Origins :) i am well pleased. oh! and we saw Freakonomics, but i decided Amazon was the better route.) the point of going downtown? getting my driver's licence unsuspended, which it has been since....oh, the end of second year, after my Louisiana Car Accident Adventure. (shows you how often i drive, eh?) it's all done now. yay.

all right. more now. because it's thursday evening and i'm browsing blogs and getting more and more upset by the minute. first, i am forcefully reminded of the racism, arrogance, and stupidity that runs rampant in the world -personality traits which i have grown accustomed to not seeing, oddly enough, here at the U of C- at least, not overtly, and certainly not in my face. this makes me madder than mad (i was shrieking my head off in my room) but i think i'm just going to leave this at "sometimes, people are just fucking idiots, and we should accept that". (i am reminded of Dr House, who was accurated described as wanting to believe the worst of people so he could never be disappointed. smart man, that one.)

and then i wander over to Bookslut, and what do i see but this nifty little piece of reporting on the RedEye and Red Streak. RedEye and Red Streak are the Trib and the Sun-Times's attempts (respectively) to capture the attention of the feckless, non-newspaper-reading Chicagoan youth. studies apparently have shown that young people -specifically college people- don't seem to read the newspapers anymore (hmm i wonder why.) which naturally scares the living daylights out of the newspaper industry. what really pissed me off about this article, however, is this:
Hartman's "convenience sample" consisted of 112 students in journalism or mass communications at two downtown Chicago colleges, Roosevelt University and Columbia College-Chicago. About half were the traditional college age of 17 to 24, while about 30% were aged 25-29 and a little more than 10% were 30 to 34. The students were 70% women, but the sample otherwise roughly reflected Chicago ethnic and racial demographics.
the sample was 70% female. it was 112 students in journalism or mass communications. you think it might possibly be a non-representative sample and your results might totally fall apart when you did do a study with a more orthodox random sample, mr hartman? it sounds remarkably like he just asked for a show of hands in journalism class: "how many people in the room have read the RedEye? which is, by the way, a newspaper. And the Red Streak? ah. yes, thank you. i think i'll go write a quick paper for presentation now." i think that if i were to write a paper with a sample as non-random as this, even calling it a 'preliminary finding' would not save me from flunking the paper as well as the class.

this remark from the Sun-Times, however, makes it worth your while to read the article:
Both papers had high recognition among respondents, though the much more heavily promoted RedEye scored higher than Red Streak, which Sun-Times officials acknowledge is published only to annoy the Tribune and confuse the market.
before any of you ask, yes, i read RedEye (or at least, encounter RedEye at least twice a week, when i am on campus). why, you ask? the answer is simple: they have a crossword. and it's a crossword that i can complete all week, generally speaking, in the time it takes to eat my lunch, and without access to Google, which i frequently require to do the NYTimes crossword by the time Wednesday or Thursday rolls around. if i read the rest of the newspaper at all, it's because the crossword has been completed (or alex won't let me do it, because he's saving it to do in class). i somehow don't think that the newspaper industry thinks that crossword puzzles will turn out to be their saving grace in the new millenium.


At 12:19 AM, April 16, 2005, Anonymous nilsinelabore said...

Same class as ? You know Vincent as well? or Peishan?

At 2:31 PM, April 17, 2005, Anonymous whatever said...

noticed that you linked to us by name... do you think you could put "aiyahwhatever" instead? sorry about hairsplitting. :)

At 11:19 PM, April 17, 2005, Blogger J. said...

whatever: yeah, sure. no problem. :)

nilsinelabore: not the same class as vincent or but yes, i know them and peishan.

At 1:56 AM, April 18, 2005, Blogger A said...

Jnet, wasn't bigfuck our humanz senior? I find his name and face quite familiar. Vaguely recall him writing some play in college.

At 3:20 AM, April 18, 2005, Blogger J. said...

adr: yes, he is indeed. he wrote Blue Boxing. a debater, too. hung out with nicholas tan a lot. :)

At 3:19 PM, April 18, 2005, Anonymous whatever said...

J: Thanks! :D Sorry about that again.


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