I haven’t read all of this WSJ piece because paywall but the accessible part suggests wired headphones are back because AirPods are “too widespread to be cool”, and credits “contrarian trendsetters”. Surely it’s more complicated than that?

the press release/back cover copy genre does what I spent decades telling undergraduates not to do: it turns the concrete vague, it generalizes at the expense of the specific, it irons out emotions and renders them placid nominalizations.

—Anne Trubek, Notes from a Small Press

I just opened the Maps app for the first time since I upgraded to macOS Monterey about three weeks ago and … everything is clearer, sharper, more detailed and more legible — at least for places near where I live. The difference is remarkable.

I just renewed my .ie domain name for a fourth year, so I guess I must be serious about it. I haven’t been posting a lot there recently as my Substack newsletter has been taking most of my attention and effort but there are still signs of life.

I just posted A year of “Talk about books” (already). Seriously, a year? The rate at which time is accelerating is increasing. Exponentially.

I’ve been noticing recently that some pages on my site (hosted on GitHub Pages) don’t fully load, or at least aren’t fully “painted” on the screen. Refreshing doesn’t help and I can’t select any text on the page. This one, for example. It’s a bit worrying.

The book Antifragile is pretty bad. Like most popular management books, it’s a single useful idea padded out with anecdotes.

I haven’t read the book but I’m happy to accept Terence Eden’s judgment. Years ago, I bought Taleb’s Fooled by Randomness because I liked the title 📚👎

I’m pleasantly surprised that, among the books I chose last year to rescue from a French attic, are the second and third volumes of Len Jackson’s Foundations of Modern Literary Theory. The first volume is arguably the best but I never owned a copy of The Poverty of Structuralism

I intend to reread 5 novels in Michael Dibdin’s Aurelio Zen series over the next 13 days, to write about them in the next issue of my newsletter: Cabal, Dead Lagoon, Cosi Fan Tutti, Blood Rain and End Games. I’ve reread the other 6 in the series within the last year 📖

The 26th fortnightly issue of Talk about books, which has just gone out, is about Lucy Caldwell’s 2016 collection of short stories, Multitudes 📖

I thought I’d missed the opportunity to see Enrico Pieranunzi (with Jasper Somsen and Jorge Rossy) at Koa jazz festival in Montpellier; but the performance has been put back to February, so I get another chance.

I did worse than I expected on this Kristen/Kirsten/Kristin/Kyrsten quiz, with a score of 5 out of 12. Got both Senators wrong, but Stewart, Bell and Dunst all correct.

I never really understood Wordsworth’s “emotion recollected in tranquility”. I now know that’s because what I’m able to recollect isn’t emotion but something more “epistemic” (that SDAM condition again). I never got into Ran Blake either 🎶 🎹

“To mitigate the issue with Snipping Tool, use the Print Screen key on your keyboard and paste the screenshot into your document,” recommends Microsoft. “You can also paste it into Paint to select and copy the section you want.”

The Verge. Just what I’ve always done 😎

I took a photo on my phone, and uploaded it to iCloud, intending to edit it on the Mac. 25 minutes later, it still hasn’t shown up on iCloud in the Finder. Relaunching the Finder didn’t help. There should be a way to manually force the Finder to refresh. This happens too often 😡

Among the very limited selection of books that I had sent back from France were two different editions of The Changeling: the New Mermaid one, ed. Joost Daalder, and Penguin’s Three Jacobean Tragedies. I wanted the latter because The Revenger’s Tragedy is one of the three 📖 🎭

I’ve finally recovered those books that had spent the last 10 years in my sister’s attic in the south of France that I wasn’t willing to abandon, so I think I’m shortly going to be writing my long-threatened newsletter issue about the moral trajectory of Aurelio Zen 📚

I was taught art by Patrick McGoohan’s sister at a secondary modern school in Hounslow. I’ve taken a Danger Man approach to pictures even since.

Elvis Costello likes the Apple Pencil among other things.

I’ve been reading and writing about Andrew Marvell on and off over the past 25 years and I think the thing about him that I’m most satisfied to have learned about him is this.

Well, I got Windows 11 installed and I find that the taskbar is fixed at the bottom of the screen, and can’t be moved. I’ve no objection in principle to positioning the taskbar at the bottom of the screen — if the screen had a reasonable aspect ratio, like 5:3 😡

I’m downloading Windows 11. It took just over 2 hours to get to 99% (with the speed fluctuating dramatically). It’s been on the last 1% for ten minutes 🤷🏻‍♂️

Lucy Caldwell’s “All the people were mean and bad” won the BBC National Short Story Award. A woman and her 21-month-old daughter, on a 7-hour flight home from Toronto to London after the funeral of a beloved cousin, form an ad hoc temporary family with the man in the next seat.

Dropbox has gradually grown in unpopularity on the Mac it demands all sorts of access (effectively, root) that people are wary about.

The Overspill. That’s why I don’t use it. I’ve never trusted Dropbox.

I just got from the library You Love Me, Caroline Kepnes’s 3rd book featuring repeat murderer Joe Goldberg. It looks from this Slate story as if the makers of the tv series have departed radically from the books. I suspect that that’s a mistake they’ll come to regret 📚

Substack has been adding new “tools for writers”. What interests me most is the one for embedding files, including PDFs. I’ll think about including a PDF version of each issue of the newsletter in that issue’s email. We’ll see.