• ๐Ÿ”— For the many
    A more sober than usual piece by Sam Kris on why you should seriously consider voting for the Labour party this election, running through and answering the standard objections. His bit on antisemitism, as someone “absurdly, unnecessarily Jewish”, is particularly vital.
    I also like the line “Full disclosure: I am still basically some sort of Marxist (the Still-Basically-Some-Sort-Of-Marxists being an ancient and august political sect, established only a few years after Marxism itself, and named after the slightly whiny noise we all make when asked to actually pin down our political commitments).”

  • ๐Ÿ”— New Atheism: An Autopsy
    A nice overview of whatever happened to the New Atheist movement that was all over the dial a few years back. The answer given here is the progressive atheists became progressives while the nutjobs, sorry, more libertarian athetists realised that the things they hated about religion could also come from secular areas. In other words, it’s about how people organise themselves in society, not what god they believe in. I’ve was brought up with a total absence of religion so I’ve always found atheists an oddly angry bunch, often as weird as the religious folk. This article gives me a nice label, apatheists, those who donโ€™t consider the subject of godly existence relevant. via

  • ๐Ÿ”— On the Farm
    Daisy Hildyard discusses animal sentience with the great anecdote of cows so determined to the reunited with their calves that they overcame all the fences and gates that had held them capture for years, implying they “were able to get out at any time, if only they wanted to badly enough.” And then goes on to cover multitudes more. A great read.

  • ๐Ÿ”— Cyberpunk is Dead by John Semley
    Nice overview of all that was Cyberpunk back in the 80s, from the obvious Neuromancer to reminding me to rewatch Tetsuo: The Iron Man one of these days, in service of demolishing the idea that Cyberpunk today is anything other than nostalgia and cultural recycling.

  • ๐Ÿ”— Sasha Baron Cohen Says Tech Companies Built the “Greatest Propaganda Machine in History”
    Keynote speech for the Anti Defamation League that is well worth 25 minutes of your watching time. Main takeaway is this is not inevitable. This is the result of a business model that is optimised for attention through outrage and that business model can be reigned in through regulation without affecting free speech.

  • Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart was one of the best movies of this year and for some reason I found myself looking for the poster just now. It turns out there are quite a few variants, including a wacky 80’s-style National Lampoon tribute, but I was particularly taken with this grid montage which is totally up my aesthetic. (No, I’m not writing you a thinkpiece about why a movie about 2010’s teens uses a grid of polaroids - you know the answer to that.)

  • ๐Ÿ”— John Doran on Sunn O))) and how their brand of doom metal has defined the decade.
    Not unexpected, if you’re familiar with Doran’s oeuvre, but nice to see this extensive overview in the Guardian (which still doesn’t have space for the Scott Walker collaboration and the Birmingham’s Home of Metal project, both of which I know he’s very familiar with). I like the idea of Sunn O))) yoga.

  • Hereโ€™s what Iโ€™ve been picking up from the people I meet, the audiences I speak to and the stories that come back to me: on a scale not seen before, people are having an encounter with climate change not as a problem that can be solved or managed, made to go away, or reconciled with some existing arc of progress, but as a dark knowledge that calls our path into question, that starts to burn away the stories we were told and the trajectories our lives were meant to follow, the entitlements we were brought up to believe we had, our assumptions about the shape of history, the kind of world we were born into and our place within it.

    Dougald Hine: Al Gore Didnโ€™t Want You to Panic

  • ๐Ÿ”— In 2029, the Internet Will Make Us Act Like Medieval Peasants
    This is a wonderfully insightful comparison between the life of “crude medieval peasants entranced by an ever-present realm of spirits and captive to distant autocratic landlords” and the contemporary corporate internet user. Full of great links and quotes it shows how the human mind is affected by what it cannot know, the wild interpretations it casts on that ignorance, and how the powerful can use that for control. (via)

  • Craig Mod, from his newsletter:

    Folks mistakenly think only new walks are good walks. But the best walks are rewalks. This is obvious once youโ€™ve completed a few. Having walked a path once, you have seen almost nothing. You have looked too frequently at the map, or worried about direction, campsite location, inn coordinates, et cetera et cetera. You may find cool stuff the first time around, but experience shows youโ€™ll find weird stuff the second.

  • Eyes full of tears, by Fiona.

  • ๐Ÿ”— The social ideology of the motorcar
    This essay from 1973 about the way cars took over and broke cities is depressingly current. I didn’t notice it was 46 years old at first and would have said it was written yesterday. Notable for the explanation of how motorcars are inherently a luxury good that cannot scale to the mass populace, because once everyone has a car we might as well walk. They only work when the minority have them, or the city is broken to accommodate them. A must read.

  • Saw Hamish Fulton talk last weekend. Suddenly remembered he ran a group slow walk in Birmingham in 2012. Here’s an interview.

  • ๐Ÿ”— Dan Hon: Everything Is Political
    From his regular newsletter, skip the Snow Crash stuff (unless that’s your thing) for the meaty evisceration of this ongoing delusion that the tech industry of Silicon Valley is in any way apolitical. This idea that the actions of Google, Facebook etc do not form a political ideology is one of the more dangerous ones of our era.

  • ๐Ÿ”— Bright green environmentalism
    “Environmentalists who believe that radical changes are needed in the economic and political operation of society in order to make it sustainable, but that better designs, new technologies and more widely distributed social innovations are the means to make those changes.”

  • ๐Ÿ”— Inside the iPhone 11 Camera, Part 1: A Completely New Camera
    Computational photography continues to be really interesting. Sure, you don’t need this stuff, and I’m happy with the limitations of “normal” photography with a dumb sensor, but for the majority of people disappointed with their photos this stuff is a game-changer. (This article is obvious biased to the new iPhones but all smartphones are doing this stuff.)

  • So we were just outside of Plymouth in a bedsit apartment overlooking the sea during an 80mph (130kph) storm at 5am. It was exciting and we did not sleep.

  • The sea, the sea.

  • Tim Shaw performing at Walking’s New Movements, Plymouth.

  • ๐Ÿ”— Autism profiles and diagnostic criteria.
    A very useful breakdown of the terminology and potential for misdiagnosis.

  • Went to the MAC to see Black Men Walking, a play about black men walking in the Peak District. It was very good. That’s two theatre productions I’ve seen in the space of a month. Maybe I’m a theatre go-er these days.

  • Fungus season

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