Links from the past weeks

  • I went down a Tsai Ming-liang rabbit hole, and found this guide to his movies. The page is awesome.

  • I was watching The 8 Show and learned the term “limousine liberal”. It is not new but I have not heard of it before. It calls out the hypocrisy of liberals of upper classes, who are insulated from the consequences of the programs/ principles they are peddling.

  • When something hits Coffeezilla’s radar, you know it is gonna be good fun. This AI company’s latest product was also called “barely reviewable” by Marques Brownlee, and while I was skeptical of the advancements, the videos by MKBHD and Coffeezilla made me pay a little more attention.

  • The pigeon problem in my neighbourhood has finally come too close for my liking. I had to look up homemade bird repellants.

  • This Atlantic piece, titled The Carry-On-Baggage Bubble Is About to Pop, came to my attention as I was pondering having carry-on only when I travel within the US. (I have little to no faith that the American domestic flight system would always work out in my favour. With the traffic involved, it is only a matter of time before one becomes part of the statistics pertaining to lost or delayed luggage.)

    That said, it might well be true that if everyone just checked in their luggage, the flight experience would be much enhanced.

  • Shows like this are sometimes a little hard to watch because of the cringe-inducing characters, but for the sheer train-wreck potential, I spend some time watching Super Rich in Korea. Yong is from Singapore and claims to be top 1% of Singapore’s rich (which isn’t that rich so maybe he was aiming for accuracy, good job). He is so awkward that you begin to feel for him.

    Yes, I suppose only a certain type would agree to go on a TV show, and well, the man did get a piece on Singapore’s broadsheet focused entirely on him.

    PS. In the next month, Yong gets another piece focused on him. He might have done better for himself if he had chosen to not engage the journalist for this second piece.

Links from the past weeks

  • I found old notes I made, and I had copied a part of T S Eliot’s Burnt Norton on a piece of foolscap paper. I guess that was an early version of a commonplace book. I duly copied the text into my current system. And of course, I had to go read What “Into the Rose Garden” Means.

  • Reading Compass is a true exercise of the mind. I enjoy reading it but have to take breaks from it. Mathias Énard is quite an interesting character but mostly because the world he inhabits is so foreign to me. I first saw the book in the UK a few years ago, and finally got down to getting myself a copy. I contemplated reading it on the library app, but this is the kind of book that has to be read in hard copy form.

  • Six Famous Notebook Users

  • Apparently the concept of wind phones is not new, but I just read about one on Whigbey Island.

    The desire to speak to those who have departed is not an uncommon one (though I personally do not have it), and I guess there is just something about speaking into a receiver.

  • It’s cutting calories—not intermittent fasting—that drops weight, study suggests.
    But if time-restricted eating helps you to cut calories, it works!

  • I sometimes wonder if I am half a naturalist. I cannot be that much of one because I live in a concrete jungle sometimes masquerading as a garden city. But every once in a while, books on the natural world catch my eye.

  • On having no visual memory

    I do not see images in my head. And reading about it felt so gratifying. It feels like oversharing if I tell someone about it, but I have been wanting to find someone else I know who is also this way. [The story behind how the condition came to have a name is an amusing one.]

  • Behold, a commonplace book in the form of a website.

Links from the past weeks

  • We Shouldn’t Have Let Ryan Adams Cover Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’
    I loved the album. I wasn’t a fan of either artist then, but the album suited my mood in 2015/ 2016. Since then, Adams has faced a reckoning of sorts and I have stopped listening to the album. Given Taylor Swift’s success today, it seemed hilarious to read that it took Adams covering Swift for her to be taken seriously. I say “seemed” because it should not be that way. It is not funny.

  • Sometimes I read a random blog post off my RSS reader, and then install a new browser. It is 2024; who needs a new browser?

  • Bring back cubicles!
    Everything is relative. (I would ask for the return of a room with a window, fuck you very much.)

  • Kokuyo Fine Writer
    Something I picked up at the Haneda airport, and could not find anything on it, until I searched YouTube and found Japanese vloggers showing off their new loot (with this link in the video description).

  • I loved Stay True by Hua Hsu, and admired the writing, the photographs, the fact that he kept old letters/ faxes. Here’s a profile on the man.

  • Reading Octavia E Butler led me down the path towards process theology. I am a bit late to the game because her books apparently hit bestseller lists in the thick of the pandemic. It is eerie, to me living presently in 2024, how a book written 30 years ago and set in 2024, predicted so many things so well. God is change.

  • A notecard system as your commonplace book. I had a stack of index cards lying around (because I used to have a hipster PDA), ahem, and so I now have a commonplace book in the form of index cards.

  • Lessons from the last Swiss finishing school
    Such a good read. Seems like a rich-person’s version of a hobby, vs. me thinking about having drum lessons.

Links from the past weeks

Links from the past weeks

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.

Links from the past weeks

Links from the past weeks

Links from the past weeks 

Links from the past weeks