Weeknotes #29

in weeknotes

  • The pandemic continued. Tokyo’s numbers kept rising and we had a couple of days where the number of detected cases approached 500 a day. On Thursday, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government requested certain business close early until the end of August but the central government has said it does not consider declaring a state of emergency necessary at the present time (the Japan Times has a good write-up). While infections continue to primarily involve younger people, this inaction seems crazy to me.

  • I made further progress with my iOS app. I spent an inordinate amount of time finding a way to transform Markdown-formatted text into an NSAttributedString object that can be put into a UITextView. After considering whether it was worth writing my own function to do this, I went with the library Down. I’d rather not have any dependencies but I also don’t really want to get bogged down in this kind of code.

  • I’ve had a complicated relationship with video games for more than a decade or so. I still enjoy playing them and have very fond memories of the hours I poured into various titles in my youth. And yet I can never shake the sense that they’re a colossal waste of time. This quote from Brandon’s weeknotes entry for last week captures my feelings so perfectly I’m envious:

    Theory: video games are a great way to pass time quickly, but a lousy way to make use of treasured and valuable time. If I was in jail, I’d love to have my PS4. But if I’m using up the rest of my leave for the year, and want the hours to last and feel meaningful? A stack of books, no question. So much time [in Ghost of Tsushima] just evaporates while you’re riding your horse from point A to B, or completing templated side quests to help someone find their lost sister or whatever. It’s not like watching a film; many moments are completely disposable.

  • Speaking of people writing weeknotes-style blog entries, I missed that James Van Dyne had started writing his own after reading my ones. Glad to have another person doing these in Japan!

  • The NBA returned! Work on the iOS app distracted me from any of the match-ups over the weekend but I had both opening night games on in the background Friday morning (Japan time). It was great to see sport again. I’m not sure if the NBA will be able to pull off this season restart but they seem to have the best chance of all the major U.S. leagues.

  • Eri and I started watching The X-Files again. The last time we did this we didn’t make it past season 1 but perhaps the pandemic has improved our stamina. The one thing that’s difficult to comprehend in 2020 is how many episodes there are. I’m still watching Perry Mason and that has eight episodes total this season (eight!). Season 1 of The X-Files has 24.

  • There was a variety of interesting video essays and articles on the 10th anniversary of Inception. It feels a bit of a shame then that the one I want to link to is this piece by Maria Bustillos that is itself ten years old. The ‘did you realise Inception is actually about film production?’ meme is almost cliché at this point but this is one of the original articles that fleshed out that perspective.

  • While we’re on the topic of older content, I really enjoyed this video essay by Harris Brewis from 2018 about the webcomic Ctrl+Alt+Del and gamer culture more broadly.

  • And let’s stay in 2018 for the music recommendation. This week it’s Lewis Capaldi’s ‘Someone You Loved’ (Apple Music). Truth be told, I really had Selena Gomez’s ‘Boyfriend’ on an almost endless loop as I worked in Xcode but I linked to that only a month or so ago so let’s have something, er, fresh-ish.

Michael Camilleri inqk.net