I just wasted a chunk of the afternoon trying to persuade a mod on r/books that I ought to be able to include a link in a discussion post. It seems that the rules of that subreddit don’t allow it: it’s link or text, not both. Instead of just telling me that the mod confused me …

Here’s an interesting view on Sally Rooney’s novels as a “shameless reassertion of white individualism”. Rooney clearly sees economic class, not race, as the driver of “inequality” in Ireland. That’s an old-fashioned (marxist) view, but is it right? I’ll have more to say soon 📖

Rock musicians aspire to have jazz credibility – even Ginger Baker called himself a jazz drummer, for God’s sake.

This cracked me up: an acerbic aside from Stewart Copeland’s tribute to Charlie Watts 🎶

This is my favourite Charlie Watts story 🎶🎹

Twitter … satisfies our yearning for an aphorism of banality … an aphorism that closes down rather than discloses …

I enjoyed Adam Roberts’s review of Patricia Lockwood, No One Is Talking about This, but I’m still not sure I want to read the book 📖

I often use Dir$() in VBA in my day job, to batch process folders of Word documents. But it doesn’t handle subfolders. For years I’ve put off learning an alternative method because VBA arrays make my head hurt. Today, I had hundreds of subfolders to work on, so did it at last.

My newsletter, Talk about books, has now reached its 20th fortnightly issue, which means it’s been running for 38 weeks. I just posted a summary of issues 14 to 20 inclusive ✏️

In the current issue of my newsletter, I make the case that ambivalence about justice is more or less universal, arising from our reason/observation/experience on the one hand and our instinctive “sense of justice”, an evolutionary adaptation, on the other.

I hadn’t seen any of The Good Fight📺 since season 2, but I just caught an episode from season 5 and it’s an utter travesty. It felt more like Ally McBeal than the heyday of The Good Wife/Fight. There’s a sharp edge of satire but it’s almost totally buried in whimsy 👎

The new issue of Talk about books, my newsletter, is titled Your favourite author’s ambivalence about justice. In 2 weeks’ time I’ll be writing about Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie series 📖

Alan Jacobs (@ayjay) about rationalists:

they’re about “overcoming bias,” about eliminating subjectivity – cognitive errors to them are always about unwarranted intrusions into the rational process.

This might be why I’ve been finding rationalist writing so unsatisfying.

Couldn’t keep my eyes open at 7.30pm yesterday, so I lay down for a late siesta and woke up after midnight. I didn’t want to cook dinner at that hour, so worked till 2.30am. I’m thinking of having yesterday’s intended dinner for lunch. I’m quite hungry, though I ate breakfast.

Facebook (and in some aspects of their business, Google and Amazon) are the robber barons of the information technology era. That’s how they got so rich.

Is Dark Spectre (1996) a riposte to Red Dragon (1981)? Thomas Harris’s Francis Dolarhyde kills because of delusions about William Blake. Michael Dibdin suggests that if a serial killer really were motivated by Blake the crimes would look very different 📖

Parts of the internet — Medium, GitHub, om.co, the Irish Times — seem to be out today, or at best very sluggish, while other parts — including Micro.blog — are loading normally. What’s up?

I just posted this on Medium Reverse chronological order? Trying to stop some posts from going out of date

Medium has broken the Back button. It happens when you’re on somebody’s profile page, click on the “Read more” link under a snippet, and then try to get back to where you were before: Medium reloads the page you’re already on. This could be what finally pushes me off Medium.

I’m reading Kate Atkinson’s 📖Big Sky (2019) at last and thoroughly enjoying it. The next-but-one issue of the newsletter is probably going to be about her Jackson Brodie series

How on earth did they manage to design the USB-A connection so that you always try it the wrong way around first? It’s impressive (if malicious) 😈

Charles Arthur (the Overspill) says “we are starting to think that reviews really aren’t a good metric for anything”, but honestly I came to that conclusion at least 7 years ago.

But, while he himself would never have taken the extreme measure of slaughtering his loved ones to keep them from coming over uninvited, once someone else does so, he is better off …

Kristen Roupenian in The New Yorker on the things that get in the way of writing ✏️

I’ve reordered the book discussion section of my home page to list the posts in alphabetical order by author surname instead of reverse chronological order as they have been till now. I don’t want the older posts to seem stale or newer ones more relevant.

Late autumn has come early this year. I seem to have completely missed early autumn, which is annoying 😡

Alexandro Chen, “Hired to do nothing”, a short story told from the point of view of a man who, on a whim, offers a service for which he doesn’t expect there to be any demand ✏️

How did we build a machine that rewards people for being the dumbest, snarkiest, most kneejerk tribal versions of themselves? And why am I using it???

Helen Lewis has some good arguments for leaving Twitter. But it’s not long since I rejoined: I might as well stay for a while.