Weeknotes #159

in weeknotes

  • I spoke too soon about limiting the gastroenteritis to Rowan. Emma came down ill on Tuesday evening and I fell sick on Friday. Fortunately, as of this writing, John hasn’t got it and Eri might have had a very mild case of it or might not—not totally clear.

  • I placed a reservation for a Steam Deck on Monday with Komodo after chatting with Raphael about his experience. He was under the impression that reservations were being made and fulfilled pretty quickly but on Friday, the distributor announced on its website that while 256GB and 512GB models are available immediately, 64GB models (the one that I’d tried to reserve) are back-ordered. To rub salt into the wound, the distributor for Japan also distributes the Steam Deck in Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan and the 64GB model is only back-ordered in Japan. I’ve kept my reservation to maintain my place in the queue but don’t know how long I’m prepared to wait.

  • Now that Ivory is out, I’ve found myself sucked back into the habit of scrolling through my timeline for an hour or so each day. That’s reignited the long-running debate I have with myself as to whether I should be spending any time on these kinds of things or should instead pour all that time and energy into one or more of books, movies, TV shows, Japanese study, app development, blogging, etc. Still haven’t come to a clear resolution.

  • Martin Feld invited me to be a guest on his podcast/research experiment, Really Specific Stories. I think he’s interested for my perspective as a listener of Accidental Tech Podcast but it was a reminder of my unrealised podcasting ambitions. If only kids and very small apartments hadn’t got in the way. One day, when I’m old and retired, I am going to finally record that rewatch series on Law & Order with Yoshe.

  • Speaking of podcasts, my backlog gets worse and worse. Hopefully I’ll make some more headway once I get through 22 Goals. I tried to get Tom to give it a listen but wasn’t successful. Did anyone else listen to it? Is it just me? I appreciate you, Brian Phillips.

  • I feel like I should read it again to try to more fully absorb the idea but if you’re into deep thought pieces about AI, I found Noah Smith’s ‘The Third Magic’ interesting. The short version is that in the development of humanity’s control over its environment there have been two meta-innovations, history (which allows us to achieve outcomes by sharing knowledge of techniques) and science (which allows us to achieve outcomes by understanding forces). Smith posits that AI, in the form of machine learning, could be a third such meta-innovation. AI could allow us to achieve goals without techniques or understanding. Instead, we’d be able to ask the machine. I’m not sure how well that captures the gist of Smith’s idea but if that sounds up your alley, read the post.

  • Despite all my protestations to the contrary, I somehow found time to watch a 2-hour retrospective on the Mission: Impossible series of films, which then prompted me to watch Mission: Impossible – Fallout again. Perhaps as a result of the video, perhaps as a result of the passage of time, but for whatever reason I dislike it less than I did when seeing it initially. Rogue Nation is a superior film in every way but if the upcoming release is only as good as Fallout, I’ll be satisfied.

  • I also watched the first episode of Poker Face. Nothing about it especially grabbed me but I’ll give it another episode or two and see where I end up.

  • After spending some time listening to newer music, I wrapped myself snugly in the security blanket of 1990s alt-rock with the ‘Alternative Hits: 1997’ playlist (Apple Music). There’s never been a better year for music.

Michael Camilleri inqk.net