Weeknotes #130

in weeknotes

  • Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated on Friday (BBC). Political violence is not unknown in Japan but was generally thought of as part of the past. I didn’t agree with a lot of Abe’s policies but felt deeply affected regardless. I don’t know if this portends anything more significant longer term.

  • In the short term, it appears to have had an effect on the Japanese upper house election that was held on Sunday (NHK). The Liberal Democratic Party won a resounding victory, some of which seems to be attributable to sympathy in the wake of the assassination.

  • In happier news, I bought a new hose connector and it stopped the leaking! As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Mum’s visit was the prompt to purchase some gardening equipment but while that went smoothly, I was disappointed that I couldn’t seem to connect any of it to the outside tap without a lot of water leaking out. I’m still worried it’ll revert to the way it was before but I watered the grass with John on the weekend and so far, so good.

  • Last week my musical selection was Kings of Convenience’s Riot on an Empty Street. I’ve always found the album cover arresting: who is the mysterious woman between the two band members and what look is she sharing with Erlend Øye? This felt like a question that would have been easy to answer in the late-90s (albeit that the band didn’t exist then). With a little searching, I’m sure I’d have been able to find a fan site on Geocities or Angelfire that included that nugget alongside an incredibly low-resolution scan. Indeed, I was all set to write a paean to the web that was when I found the answer on Reddit: it’s the other band member’s, Eirik Bøe’s, then-girlfriend Ina Grung. Something I more or less confirmed via the blog post (?!) that Bøe’s wedding photographer posted when they married in 2010.

  • Tanabata (Wikipedia) was on Thursday. I took the kids out to the backyard but cloud cover (and for all I know all the light pollution) prevented us from being able to see the stars at all. Technology to the rescue. I grabbed Sky Guide and it’s fantastic, especially on the iPad. The way the app displays constellations (with the outline of the image they’re meant to represent) is honestly the first time I’ve felt like I could see what the Ancient Greeks were thinking.

  • I have a very clear memory of having a nightmare as a child and realising I was in a dream and could simply change what was happening. After listening to Astral Codex Ten’s ‘Peer Review: Nightmares’ blog post (audio version), I was apparently lucid dreaming (Wikipedia). I had no idea it was a phenomenon.

  • The first two episodes of season 4 of Westworld are in the books and I’m still not sure exactly where things are going. I’ve decided this season to avoid the commentary around the show and go back and read it after the season is done. My working theory at the moment is that the brown-haired Dolores is inside a simulation and that will be the ‘twist’ for this season. It would also allow the show to comment on the ‘metaverse’ in a way similar to previous seasons (season 1: AI, season 2: singularity, season 3: surveillance capitalism).

  • I finally watched Thor (I’ve never watched any of the movies). I still haven’t logged it on Letterboxd but what a strange film. I liked that I didn’t know where it was going; I disliked that the screenwriters didn’t either.

  • Muse’s ‘Will of the People’ (Apple Music) is an awful lot like Marilyn Manson’s ‘The Beautiful People’ (Apple Music). The latter is the superior track.

Michael Camilleri @pyrmont