Weeknotes #209

in weeknotes

  • I meant to write last week that Apple announced that the Vision Pro will go on sale in the U.S. in late January. This week it occurred to me that a colleague will be in the U.S. in February and could conceivably bring it back for me. As a computer enthusiast who has always wished he could have bought the original iPhone, I’ve been debating if there’s some way I can justify a $3500+ purchase. I do not think there is.

  • I was able to justify to myself purchasing a Raspberry Pi 4. I’ve been waiting years for the price to come down but when one of my trusty Raspberry Pi 3s seemed to give up the ghost, I took it as a sign. (It subsequently transpired that all I needed to do was reflash the SD card the Pi 3 was using to boot from.) After successfully installing Void Linux on the other Pi last year, I decided to try putting Void on this one too. So far, it’s gone really well and has solidified the sense that Void is really the distribution for me. I’d characterise it as the style of BSD with the compatibility of Linux.

  • One of the things that surprised me during the setup was that our ISP now apparently does give out IPv6 addresses because I have one. I’m sure I checked this a couple of months back and was surprised to discover that they didn’t. Now they do.

  • I had one of my periodic attacks of regret that I’ve not advanced more with Japanese. I opened up Kanshudo for the first time in ages on Friday but it hasn’t really stuck. Is the answer just to knuckle down and force myself to do it? Or is there some ‘hack’ or ‘approach’ I could take that would make this easier?

  • How is Swarm still functioning? Don’t get me wrong—it’s my favourite social network and I hope it avoids enshittification (Wikipedia) but surely that’s only a matter of time, isn’t it?

  • Matt Lakeman has published another of his travelogues, this time on the Ivory Coast:

    [Felix Houphouët-Boigny]’s career was looking good until he decided to dip his toes into politics. Like all medical workers since time immemorial, FHB thought he was being a bit taken advantage of. The hours were too grueling, the pay was too little, and the living conditions were subpar. So FHB organized a little union, entirely consisting of academically elite Africans, to advocate for improved working conditions in hospitals.

    When the French colonial government heard about this, they flipped out. This was the mid-1920s, and African revolutionary independence movements were still a long way off, but if any people know what the early stages of revolution look like, it’s the French.

  • Separately, Freddie deBoer yelled at developmentally arrested adults:

    And so where in 1989 you had a lot of adults who could go and watch Batman and enjoy it and maybe pick up a couple of the commemorative cups from Taco Bell, mere weeks after being one of the many millions who made a hit out of Dead Poet’s Society, a movie about killing yourself over a poem Robin Williams told you to read. You could enjoy the kid stuff while keeping it in perspective. Nowadays, the financial engine behind movies featuring characters like Batman are 35-year-olds whose houses are stuffed full of FunkoPop, who listen to podcasts and watch YouTube channels devoted to these properties, and who can be relied on only to come out to those movies that are based on a preexisting franchise featuring some sort of magic or other types of unreality and which are rated PG-13. There was a cultural expectation that you had to engage with adult art and culture as an adult, a motivated minority of people resented this notion, the internet brought them together in spaces where they could grouse about it, and soon the cultural narrative flipped such that the previous belief that adults should sometimes engage with adult media was considered a kind of bigotry.

  • If long written essays aren’t your thing, Pat Finnerty is back with an entry in his ongoing series ‘What Makes This Song Stink’. This time it’s about ‘Try that in a Small Town’ and it’s exactly the kind of slightly unhinged analysis I’m looking for in my media diet.

  • Can it be true that I haven’t linked to White Town’s ‘Your Woman’ before this post (Apple Music)? That certainly seems to be the case. If you’ve always wanted to know more, Todd Nathanson (AKA Todd in the Shadows) has a video about it as part of his ‘One Hit Wonderland’ series.

Michael Camilleri inqk.net