Weeknotes #50

in weeknotes

  • Christmas! I took the day off on Friday to celebrate with the family at home. The best part of the day was the kids coming down the stairs and seeing the presents under the tree. As disappointing as it is to be stuck in Japan this year, the one thing I do enjoy about being home is the kids being able to open all their presents. (To reduce the luggage we take, when we spend Christmas in Australia, we leave some of the presents here in Tokyo.)

  • This is the second time in three years that we’ve had to spend Christmas in Japan. When you add in that last year we had to contend with persistent smoke from the bushfires, it feels like four years since we had a ‘proper’ Christmas in Australia. Hopefully next year.

  • As will quickly become evident, I spent a lot of time this past week catching up on the articles I’ve had in my Reading List. I’m still not completely through the backlog but am almost there.

  • Paul Ford is one of my favourite writers and I enjoyed his imaginary conversation with his younger self discussing the changes in web development. I though his most insightful comment was the observation that ‘what divides nerds from everyone else is that we find our labor relaxing.’

  • I’ve become increasingly distrustful of China over the past decade and have welcomed the strengthening cooperation between countries like Australia, Japan and the United States over the past few years. And yet Gavan McCormack makes a good point that there’s been very little debate about this change.

  • Speaking of insightful observations, Matthew Yglesias hit a little too close to home in his piece about local news. Money quote:

    But the time we spend paying attention to things we are interested in happening in cities we don’t live in necessarily tends to crowd out paying attention to important things in our community that don’t happen to interest us.

  • Remember all the productivity hacking at the beginning of last decade? Cal Newport has a piece about the rise and fall of getting things done in the New Yorker that looks at what happened. Newport’s main idea is the counterintuitive notion that management has made a mistake in granting knowledge workers so much autonomy.

  • A number of the essayists I follow on YouTube released videos just before Christmas and as much as I enjoyed those from Harris Brewis (on the war on Christmas), Oliver Thorn (on work) and Patrick Willems (on the Greatest Showman), my favourite was Dan Olson’s video on what makes a Christmas movie.

  • I came across Kim Kashkashian’s J.S. Bach: Six Suites for Viola Solo (Apple Music) via Andrew Batson’s post on the best music he heard in 2020. Two thumbs up from me!

  • Oh, and this is the 50th weeknotes! I’ve almost completed a full year. The pandemic might have helped but this is the most consistent my blogging has ever been.

Michael Camilleri @pyrmont