Weeknotes #53

in weeknotes

  • This week was the last week in my first year of writing these notes. This is the most successful I’ve ever been at blogging/journalling/whatever-you-call-this.

  • I don’t keep up with Australian news that closely but a couple of weeks back, I started receiving the New York Times ‘Australia Letter’ weekly e-mail newsletter. I was disgusted to read in the most recent edition that Australia’s conservatives didn’t roundly denounce Trump or the Republicans fomenting the craziness. I’m ashamed these people are in government.

  • There’s a lot of good writing about the storming of the Capitol but Timothy Snyder’s the ‘American Abyss’ is the best that I saw. There’s a lot that’s great in it and I’ll restrain myself to excerpting only the part explaining the relationship between Trump and fascism:

    Trump was unlike other breakers in that he seemed to have no ideology. His objection to institutions was that they might constrain him personally. He intended to break the system to serve himself — and this is partly why he has failed. Trump is a charismatic politician and inspires devotion not only among voters but among a surprising number of lawmakers, but he has no vision that is greater than himself or what his admirers project upon him. In this respect his pre-fascism fell short of fascism: His vision never went further than a mirror. He arrived at a truly big lie not from any view of the world but from the reality that he might lose something.

  • Eri and I decided to keep Emma out of preschool for at least the duration of the state of emergency. I think it’s a shame to keep her at home and while I don’t think there’s that much risk given what I’ve read so far it feels important to make some kind of symbolic gesture that we’re trying to avoid public interaction as much as possible. The number of detected cases in Tokyo came down slightly but is still over 1,000 a day.

  • I started working on yet another programming project. This time it’s a library for translating TOML documents into Janet data structures. I found translating the ABNF grammar to a parser expression grammar strangely engrossing and lost a good portion of the weekend to it.

  • Eri and I finished watching series 4 of the Great British Sewing Bee which was the last one we had left. We’re both sad it’s done but are very much looking forward to series 7. I guess next we might try the Great British Bake Off.

  • Oh, and I forgot to mention in last week’s weeknotes that I finished season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery. I really enjoyed this season and am very much looking forward to season 4. I said it back in October (!) that I thought moving the show into the distant (relative) future was exactly what it needed and I only became more convinced of that view as the show progressed.

  • This week’s tune is a cover of ‘Dancing on My Own’ by Karen Elson (Apple Music). I was very weirded out to realise that the fact that the original song is written as a throwback to the 1980s had convinced me that the song was from the 1980s. I would have bet money I’d heard it when I was growing up.

Michael Camilleri @pyrmont