Weeknotes #151

in weeknotes

  • Everyone got sick again. This seems like a different virus to what we all came down with a two weeks ago. For me, it’s presented as a pretty ordinary cold that had cleared up after a day or so.

  • Eri got her latest COVID-19 booster at the end of last week so now we’re both as vaccinated as we can be. I realised talking to James that I haven’t got the immigration documentation organised for our vaccination certificates that we’ll need to display on our return to Japan after Christmas. So that’s another thing to do.

  • Speaking of things to do, it’s December and despite a reminder that’s been nagging me for the past three weeks, I still have yet to send the Christmas cards. I’m worried there’s a real risk they won’t arrive in time but worrying in that way that involves a lot of wringing of hands rather than, say, using said hands to find, write in and send said cards.

  • I didn’t think I’d do it this year but here we are and I’m participating in Advent of Code again. This year I’m back to using Clojure but am doing so in Neovim (the last time I did anything in Clojure it was during my ill-fated attempt to use Emacs). It’s a reminder that Clojure really is my favourite programming language. (It is one of my life’s terrible ironies that Clojure is built on top of Java, one of my least favourite programming languages.)

  • At some point this year, I tried to reduce the number of podcasts I listen to in the hopes of listening instead to more audiobooks. That has not gone well and I am back to listening to a dozen or so different shows. If you’re a fellow devotee, I have two episodes of particular note:

  • Speaking of going back (pauses for the creaking caused by that transition to stop), I’m using Safari’s Reading List feature again and it remains truly terrible at syncing (how is it this difficult for Apple to get cloud syncing to work reliably in Safari?). That said, it has got me to read more of the articles I come across. Here’s a long quote I liked from George Packer’s piece on America’s responsibility to lead in the Atlantic:

    [Fukuyama] argues persuasively that liberalism—individual freedom, equal rights, rule of law, consent of the governed, open markets, scientific rationalism—is in retreat around the world, not because of ‘a fundamental weakness in the doctrine’, but because of ‘the way that liberalism has evolved over the last couple of generations’. The causes of its decline run deep: globalization, rapid technological change, inequality, mass migration, institutional sclerosis, failures of leadership. In the past few decades, an exaggerated emphasis on freedom has driven polarization in democracies, including ours: radical egalitarianism on the left, reactionary authoritarianism on the right. Both forms of illiberalism seek to forge group identities—exclusive, intolerant ones, steeped in resentment—to replace the national identities that have become corroded in an era of globalization.

  • My favourite Christmas song is ‘Santa Baby’ and so I had high hopes for Alicia Keys’ recent cover from her album of the same name but found it exceedingly… flat? How do you compete with Eartha, I guess? (Apple Music)

Michael Camilleri inqk.net