Weeknotes #66

in weeknotes

  • You will be shocked to read this but the COVID-19 situation in Japan is not improving. Vaccinations began for over-65s but the pace has been exceedingly slow (Bloomberg). Meanwhile, the situation in Kansai continues to get worse.

  • My dieting plan has fallen into complete disarray and I’m not sure what I’m doing at the moment. ‘Trying not to eat too much’ is about as generous an interpretation as I can give. Really, I’m mostly skipping meals and surviving on snacks until dinner. My weight has stayed around 73kg for the past two months or so and I’m not sure if I’m just going to accept that this is where I am now. Perhaps I should scale back the Apple One bundle I’m paying for since I’m apparently not going to use Apple Fitness+.

  • Speaking of plans in disarray, the amount of long-form reading hasn’t improved since I pulled back on the amount of reading I do of webpages. Rather than read, I’m finding myself playing games more regularly on my phone. At the moment that consists of either Mini Metro, Flipflop Solitaire and, as of this week, Reigns. Reigns is one of the recent influx of ‘classic’ games to Apple Arcade (another part of the Apple One bundle I question whether I use).

  • The CommonMark parser inched slowly forward. I can parse over 500 of the examples that are in the specification.

  • Looking at my archive of posts to this site, I was surprised to see I’ve barely mentioned Dan Olson. Olson is my favourite video essayist on YouTube (he runs the Folding Ideas channel). I first became aware of him through his videos about movies but he really makes essays about whatever he wants. That includes a video about online cooking videos, the flat earth conspiracy theory and, most recently, the Nostalgia Critic’s parody film of Pink Floyd’s The Wall. The Nostalgia Critic piece is a great example of what I love about Olson. He takes what in lesser hands would have just been a rant about the Nostalgia Critic’s parody film and turns it into a 48-minute discussion about the parody, The Wall, popular art and education.

  • While we’re talking about essays, I finally made my way through Mark Fisher’s ‘Slow Cancellation of the Future’ lecture (YouTube). I first heard about this on a Ringer Rewatchables episode of all places. In the lecture, Fisher discusses the idea that cultural evolution, particularly in popular music, has stalled. I’m not sure I agree but it was definitely thought-provoking.

  • I started watching episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine again. I’m partway through season four and the episodes at this point are just classic science fiction television. In the three episodes I watched last week, the show explored themes relating to honour killings, trade unions and cultural determinism. You don’t get the depth that you get in prestige sci-fi dramas like Westworld but the breadth is tremendous.

  • There’s been a lot of links to YouTube essays this week but if you’ll indulge me one more, Trash Theory’s video on Portishead’s ‘Glory Box’ was typically excellent (YouTube). And it of course caused me to go back and listen again to the album it’s from, 1994’s Dummy (Apple Music).

Michael Camilleri @pyrmont