a constant stream of illnesses and ailments
- A week off, which like most weeks off of recent vintage became "week of mild-to-moderate illness", which continue up to today. But at least I got some rest in there.
- We bumped into a pal of ours in town on Sunday and went for coffee. I love bumping into people in town; Brighton is a pretty good size for it, I think—just big enough that it doesn't happen constantly and ruin the special-feeling.
- I went to the Celebration Of Life for Jon Rogers, whose passing I mentioned here. It's a testament to the man that it was an event with a really positive energy; I got to see and say hi to a few folk I've not seen in a while which was lovely, and unfortunately I had to duck out quickly to catch a train but I heard good things about the speeches.
- Went to Wareham to see family + dog, really nice to see everyone and Lola's doing much better on her medication. Still not great but definitely improved.
- Went to a really good session about pricing confidence for Seagull. It was nice to hear that it's a mix of research, serious thought but also gut feeling—you need to be comfortable and confident with what you're charging otherwise you'll be a profoundly unconvincing salesperson!
- New D&D campaign begins; it's been a while (6 months I think!) since the conclusion of the last one with this group; it was absolutely tremendous fun and I'm really looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. I resolved that I was going to try and be less of a move-the-plot-along character and more of a causing-issues-because-of-strong-characterisation character, but it turns out I'm the only one who's specced themselves with something less than a negative intelligence modifier so I am probably going to end up in that position anyway.
- Got a haircut. Always feel a bit better with a new haircut.
- Nearly finished Eyes of the Void, continues to be entirely serviceable One Of Those. Sometimes I want something challenging or ideas-y, but just as often I want something that will put tab A into slot B.
- I started Elites by Douglas Board, a fascinating look at the kind of games you have to play to get the top jobs as you go up the corporate ladder. Only about a third through but already a lot of useful insights, even if I feel like there's something slightly... elusive about some of the descriptions of the principles outlined—possibly that's just my lack of high-tier social nous, though.
- I've also started Of Boys And Men by Richard Reeves as part of the masculinity project; it's still not really what I'm looking for but at least it's striking out in a direction that seems to be usefully different than anything else I've come across. It's a lot more number-heavy and (so far) focused on what seems like a pretty wild educational achievement gap between boys and girls in schools. Got some issues with the confidence with which he makes his suggestions (which seem more poorly-evidenced than his diagnosis of the problems) but I'm willing to see this one through. It also sounds like American uni graduation rates are absurdly low.
Some good articles this week:
- “I got two sheets of A4 paper, a digital camera, an old desktop printer and put together eight pages,” he recalls. He sold copies door-to-door and at local markets. Cover price: 30p. “I hired some kids to help,” he remembers. But “they threw all the copies in the canal and called me a paedo”.
- Obviously something I've been thinking about recently, but Freddie here has a really solid One Of Those about why smartphones are bad for teens in particular. I think a lot of these conclusions can be generalised for (especially younger) adults. "Digital substitutions for real-world social engagement reduce the drive to be social but don’t satisfy emotional needs" is completely true. It's social empty calories. At the end of each week CM and I do a little debrief and talk about what was good and bad about the week; one of the questions is "what did you do this week that you'd like to do more of" and one of the answers is always "spending time with friends". Every lunch, every episode of Memhaz, every D&D session or even just chatting with Bassey or Owen in the office: top of the list, straight away.
- Ted Gioia talks about audiences tiring of stories without endings. I think this is perhaps one reason why I fell off closely following pro wrestling—resolution that's only resolution for one night at Mania or Wrestlekingdom before it slips back into the same old thing isn't really resolution. There's also a very funny anecdote about a medium who claimed to channel Dickens to finish The Mystery Of Edwin Drood, and then wrote a whole other Dickens novel.
- As a long-time listener to Chapo, Will's obsession with conservative blogger Rod Dreher is one of the show's most consistent sources of big laughs (this Youtube user has done a number of supercuts of their coverage), but I've always wondered: how does he seem to get paid so much and edited so little? The answer, it turns out, is that a millionaire was paying his salary on the condition that he not be edited, and Dreher finally got too weird for him.
- The GOAT Chris Dillow on things getting worse.
Watched Andor ages ago and finally finished up my notes on it this week:
but I did watch Aftersun which I wrote notes for a bit quicker:
Both are Very Good.
Keep it real! Over and out.