Weeknotes #129

in weeknotes

  • Mum flew back to Sydney. She suggested she might come back in September but will have to wait and see if how it fits into her schedule.

  • Nothing further on Rowan’s citizenship application. How long can this possibly take?

  • It was remiss of me last week not to note the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Dobbs (Wikipedia), the recent case in which the Court overturned the precedents set by Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey. I had hoped that by this point I would have had a chance to read the decision but no luck so far. I’ve long thought that ensuring all women could get safe and legal abortions by having a precedent that abortion laws contravened a right to privacy was, conceptually, the wrong way to go about it and I’m curious to see the reasoning of the Court. Now that Dobbs has been handed down, I’m also worried that I’ll discover I was making the perfect the enemy of the good.

  • It’s been exceptionally hot. For the majority of last week, the Government issued advisories about potential brownouts and asked people to reduce their power usage as much as possible (NHK). It’s suppose to be cooler this week but I worry that August could be brutal.

  • Rounding out the trifecta of bad news, cases of COVID-19 are up again in Tokyo (NHK). A few months ago I felt like I could see a route to how things would return to normal in the short term but I’m less confident of that now.

  • A couple of weeks ago in his weekly update, Brandon asked ‘why isn’t there an antonym for “digitally”?’ There must be an answer, right? I couldn’t find it. The question has been bouncing around my mind ever since.

  • Season 4 of Westworld somehow crept up on me. I enjoyed the premiere but am increasingly convinced that the show isn’t going back to exploring the question of consciousness that animated the first season (and which were what got me into it in the first place). It’s frustrating because using hosts to replace real people would seem to make exploring this topic a no brainer (pun, of course, intended).

  • Big Joel released a video essay on 300 and fascism which I enjoyed. I otherwise kept working my way through Duke’s Intro to Political Economy. Still haven’t got a definition of political economy which is a little worrying.

  • I paid for a month of Spotify curious to see whether it is substantially better than Apple Music. So far the results have been mixed. Unsurprisingly, Spotify’s music suggestions are superior—both in quantity and quality. On the other hand, I absolutely detest the degree to which the app pushes podcasts at you. I understand from a business perspective why Spotify does this but the fact you cannot turn this off at all is the very definition of user-hostile. That’s really the worst part of the Spotify UI but there are other minor niggles throughout the user interface. Why not show me the track numbers for an album? Why is there no way in the mobile app to see what music my friends are listening to?

  • I was listening to a playlist on Apple Music that included a song by Kings of Convenience from an album that I didn’t recognise. I looked them up and saw that they’d released two albums since 2004’s Riot on an Empty Street (Apple Music) that brought them to my attention. If you ever wished an artist you liked kept making the thing that you liked in the first place, these guys are the band for you.

Michael Camilleri @pyrmont