Blog

George Floyd Protester Relief Resources

I’ve been struggling to keep track of links to the relief funds established for Black Lives Matter activists across the USA who’ve been arrested, injured, or killed by the police. I’m throwing them up here, with sources linked at the end, to keep track of them for myself and for others who are struggling to pull them out of Twitter. For now, I’ve donated to the Brooklyn Bail Fund. Update (2nd June 2020) There’s now an even easier way to donate to a wider range of organisations fighting for this cause.

Getting off of Netlify

I wanted to quickly follow up to my recent post about personal infrastructure with some updates I made this week. Why the change I got a warning last week that I was almost at the limit for my allocation of “build minutes” on Netlify. Upon investigation, I found that my personal website had been building too often and for too long on Netlify, and that soon they would start charging me for the overages.

How this site works

Note: There’s a follow up to this because I’ve since made more changes to the infrastructure of the site. Read more. I’ve been slowly moving over to self-hosting more services and trying to balance that with personal convenience. This post is a quick summary of the current setup I have running to do the following: Develop and run my personal website Cross-post certain types of content from my website to Twitter Periodically scrape a couple of proprietary services I use, to keep track of the media I’m consuming Store and serve that data along with some other personal data in an API Regularly update my personal website with the latest in my media consumption Personal website My website is built on Hugo, a static suite builder written in Go.

The bedsheets may be in use elsewhere?

I’m reading the epic biography of Robert Moses, The Power Broker, at the moment. At the moment it’s the 1920s and Moses is trying to wrestle swathes of land off the robber barons who’ve built their manor houses on Long Island, so that he can build extensive park systems and a parkway to connect them to the city. It’s a mammoth book but I’m really enjoying it. The 1920s is an interesting era in American history not just because of my teenage obsession with The Great Gatsby and the associated milieu, but because it’s also a period when the Klan were incredibly active in white, Protestant communities all over the country, and because it’s when the robber barons of the Gilded Age were really trying to hand onto their wealth.

Flights

I just finished Flights by Olga Tokarczuk. I really enjoyed it without really knowing what to make of it. It’s structured in a stream-of-consciousness way, with distinct sections (which aren’t quite chapters) that sometimes relate to what’s come before with a dream logic. Here are some of my favourite sections, or at least a couple that got me thinking. There are countries where people speak English. But not like us — we have our own languages hidden in our carry-on luggage, in our cosmetics bags, only ever using English when we travel, and then only in foreign countries, to foreign people.

PearShaped Magazine Archive

When I was at university, me and some friends founded a music magazine and ran it for a few years before handing it off to the next generation of students when we graduated. It ran on for a few years after we left and then closed. I noticed recently that the hosting was about to expire, so I exported the magazine’s content and turned it into a basic static site so it wasn’t lost forever.

The List of 2010 Lists

This guy has been collecting all the “Best x of the 2010s” lists that have been appearing in the past few weeks into an impressive list of lists. Here are some of my highlights: The Most Important Artworks of the 2010s (ARTnews) Top 25 Film Scores of the 2010s (CoS) The 20 Best Video Games Of The Decade, Ranked (BuzzFeed) The 20 Best Works of Nonfiction of the Decade (LitHub) The Worst Takes of The 2010s (The Outline)

My Top Books of 2019

These are the books I most enjoyed reading in 2019, compiled from my Goodreads Reading Challenge. Fiction A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing by Eimar McBride Catch-22 by Joseph Heller A Perfect Spy by John Le Carré Enigma Variations by André Aciman The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai Non-Fiction The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things by George Lakoff Ecclesiastical History of the English Peoples by Bede The Shepherd’s Life by James Rebanks Queer City by Peter Ackroyd

Tech Sabbath

This excerpt from 24/6 by Tiffany Shlain makes the case for setting aside a day to go tech free: ditching phones and laptops and screens for the day. It’s come along just at the right time for me, as I’m generally shrinking away from tech outside of my work life more and more. I like the way the article describes what you might need a tech-free day: a basic watch, a pen, and a little notebook containing some emergency phone numbers.

Wasps

I read the Penguin Classics translation of Wasps by Aristophanes the other day. It’s a satirical play about how an older generation of Athenians who fought in the Peloponnesian War were taken in by a pandering demagogue called Cleon. To grasp what’s happening and get the jokes, you have to know a little bit about the context of Athenian politics at the time and how the jury system worked. But all of that is explained in a very quick note at the beginning of the edition.