Links from the past weeks

  • Hanif Kureishi writes an essay on friendship.
    I like this expression – “purposive idleness”.

  • China is now more Japanese than Japan
    That day I learned of the “Japanification index”, which is measured by the sum of the output gap, the inflation rate and short-term interest rates. The lower the score, the more Japanese you were.

  • The evil of banality
    Yes, sometimes it seems strange that our collective intelligence should have us end up the boring normies we are. Even our differences and the intolerance we sneak in between our political incorrectness, and all the stupid things we do, are any of them a surprise?

  • You can tell me spending time in nature is good for me, but when you tell me it needs to be 2 hours a week, I feel a mild demotivating force arising.

  • A neckband speaker seems like a good idea. The younger me would not have imagined the options we have for speakers and microphones these days. Perhaps I might even have expected we’d have jumped to ear implants by now. Somewhat relatedly, I came across an old page on the Oregon Trail generation. (In a way, we were lucky, to be able to grow up in that particular slice in time.)

  • Pluralistic explains the long con of social media platforms locking in users and businesses. I hope we are on our way to being free of the shit that these platforms have wrought; this piece is a good summary of what we had found ourselves enmeshed in.

  • Javelin
    Sufjan Stevens’ latest album is beautiful.