The Guardian: Rightwing firm posed as leftist group on Facebook to divide Democrats. Now there’s a surprise! It looks like a breach of campaign finance laws but FEC dismissed the allegations.

Here’s a 2,000 word piece about aphantasia in the NYT by Carl Zimmer (who alerted Adam Zeman to the existence of people who had been aphantasic from birth). Little new here but it’s good to be reminded; also to get confirmation that research is ongoing.

I’ve just been followed on Medium by Smokestack Lightnin’. Oh, sorry, no. It’s Substack Writing. That’s good too.

He changed the lives of many, myself included, with his disdain for hierarchy, humour and generosity …

Philippe Sands on “the outstanding public international lawyer of our age”, James Crawford, who has died.

I should probably make it clear that I didn’t mean “What a clown!” in a good way 😉

I missed this at the time but it has resurfaced in the context of President Biden’s quotation from Yeats’s “Easter 1916”. Boris Johnson, then Foreign Secretary, quotes Kipling in a Myanmar temple. What a clown!

I stayed with Ryan Holiday’s Conspiracy📚 to the end, in case there were any surprises. Not sure it was worth it. It’s an intriguing story, but shoehorned into Holiday’s “conspiracy” hypothesis and quite repetitive. I’d be more interested in the “lawfare” angle.

I was chatting with my sister two weeks ago about Donen’s Charade🍿 and mentioned that I’ve always meant to rewatch Jonathan Demme’s remake, The Truth about Charlie🎬. Here’s somebody else who likes the remake

Here’s a nice coincidence. It seems that President Biden quoted Yeats’s “Easter 1916” during his UK visit. Coincidence because the phrase “where motley is worn” (from the same poem) had been running through my mind — because I’d just looked up the crime novelist Willard Motley.

Found it (in another room I can’t remember going into, obviously).

I had the handle of the coffee grinder in my hand a few minutes ago. I put it down while I was filling the grinder with beans and now I can’t find the handle anywhere. There’s nowhere it could have gone ☕️ ☹️

Really, most science fiction is about economics

says Noah Smith, in Science fiction novels for economists. I used to be obsessed with economics but I’ve lost faith in its predictive value. Maybe that explains my continued refusal to read Neal Stephenson or Bruce Sterling 📖

The new issue of my newsletter (Talk about books) is Globalization noir: Alan Glynn’s Winterland, Bloodland and Graveland trilogy. I enjoyed rereading these three books and I’m looking forward to reading more by Alan Glynn.

Is it just me or is the internet excruciatingly sloooooooooooooooooooooooooooow today? I suspect that my phone service provider may be throttling my data connection.

having published as only his second book the most important English-language novel of the second half of the 20th century … he still had most of a literary career stretching out before him, and no real likelihood that he could ever equal that … achievement.

Midnight’s Children

I know what they mean when they say it’s unfair to demonise the whole of the clergy for just a few thousand rotten apples …

50 years of Martyn Turner cartoons in The Irish Times

Nothing playful or strange or the ahead of time stuff that’s in there.

Jeanette Winterson burns her own books because the publisher’s covers and blurbs misrepresent them. Not the first author to want to do that; perhaps the first actually to do it! 📚

Well, I held off for almost 6 years but I’ve finally turned off slide over and split view on the iPad. I don’t think I’ve ever invoked them intentionally. I often Cmd-tab between apps with hardware keyboard.

I’ve avoided Medium’s RSS feeds in the past because they included comments/responses as well as substantial posts. It seems they no longer do this, so I’ve linked from my home page to the feed for my Medium posts. Just realized I should also follow more Medium users by RSS.

I noticed that some albums I’d bought as iTunes downloads had gone from my Apple Music library, so I went to look for them in the iTunes store but they weren’t there. Must have been withdrawn, I suppose. The m4a files were still on disk so I added them to the library again ☹️

So, I plugged the iPod Touch into the MacBook Air to copy some music across and it prompted me to download iOS 14.5. It started at “9 hours remaining”, went up to 13 hours, then quickly came down to 2 hours. Then it told me the download was corrupted, and gave up.

Never mind pilates, yoga and whatnot, we should be able to go to falling-over sessions during which we’re pulled, pushed and tripped over willy-nilly until we get reaccustomed to falling over.

Adrian Chiles on why falling becomes more frightening as you get old.

I suppose what I mean is, on the one hand, since the HTML specification makes it clear that italics aren’t only for emphasis, it annoys me that Medium and Substack confine them to that role; but on the other, we already mark up too much, and titles are fine without markup.

I stopped italicizing book and journal titles in posts on Medium and Substack because both of those platforms treat all inline italics as emphasis. In principle, I think they should recognize the <cite> element, but I’m coming to like upright titles.

I borrowed Ryan Holiday’s Conspiracy📚 from the library on impulse just because the ebook was available without a wait. Great story but I’m not sure I’m in the mood to read it now. Lots to read already.