Now that I’m using Medium as my blog, I thought of importing some blog-style posts from my static site, so I worked out how to handle canonical links. However, I’d have to edit the posts first: Medium can’t determine publication date, so puts them at the top of the timeline.

I looked out the window at 5.30 this morning and saw that the sky was a vivid red. It looked beautiful but I thought “uh-oh, shepherd’s warning”. Four hours later, it’s a glorious, sunny cloudless day. So much for old proverbs.

Matt Yglesias says that Twitter may be creating “bubbles of fake consensus” across various fields of expertise: science, economics and maybe others. Long, detailed and worrying post.

For weeks (months?) now, whenever I follow a link to a New York Times story it tells me I’ve reached my limit of free articles. Permanently? Or just for this decade? Maybe just this year. Anyway, after the rigmarole to unsubscribe last time, I’m never going back.

The fact that this is called The Beast Must Die and features a “Detective Strangeways” suggests to me that diabolical liberties have been taken with the plot of a Nicholas Blake novel. I ought to ignore it. Reminds me I should have Chabrol’s Que la bête meure on disk somewhere 📺

I’ve never read anything by Patrick O’Brian, (though I heard a bit of one of his novels being read on Radio 4 many years ago — when I used to listen to Radio 4). Perversely, I may be more inclined to read him now I know he wasn’t Irish, a fact which had escaped me till now 📚

Here is the latest issue of my newsletter, Talk about books. The title is “To overreach the devil”: William Empson partly rewrites Marlowe’s Faustus. It’s the third (and probably the last, time will tell) in my series “Empson’s insightful errors”.

I sought a theme and … think I’ve found one. It’s big and unruly and hard to wrestle with, though.

The most recent issue of Ted Gioia’s newsletter, How I became the honest broker, covers a lot of ground and is well worth reading in full. But this passage about the decline of (particularly literary) criticism caught my eye

So Amazon has bought MGM. (Hat tip @dave 😀.) I’ve got a copy of 12 Angry Men on DVD that I probably haven’t watched for more than 15 years. I suppose I’m boycotting that too now.

I’ll probably continue to wear a mask in public when I’m fully vaccinated. Two reasons:

  1. I broke one of my front teeth last year and I haven’t been able to get it fixed yet;

  2. To reassure people who have no way of knowing whether I’m vaccinated or not.

I remember someone complaining about the way iPad and iOS handle text selection now. This person missed the loupe. I’m convinced that the present approach is better. I often found that the loupe got in my way, particularly if I was trying to move the start point up or to the left

there is limited awareness of the culture war debate more generally in the UK – despite a huge surge in related media coverage in recent years, from just 21 newspaper articles focused on the issue in the UK in 2015 to over 500 in 2020.

Encouraging; via John Naughton.

I think the local shop gets McNamee’s wheaten bread in on a Sunday. Yesterday, they had just one loaf left, so I assumed that it was the last of the previous delivery. And today they had 5 or 6, so I thought they must be fresh. But no: the one I bought is like sawdust ☹️

I was reminded of this post, The upside of SDAM, yesterday, when I found the abandoned draft of an intended companion piece that I’d forgotten about. I’m intrigued by the possible connection between dopamine and SDAM but I haven’t learned any more about it.

Benedict Evans, quoted by Charles Arthur, on the subject of Apple’s ad strategy.

He was homeless, so would sleep on people’s floors, devouring their books.

Judy Collins, in My favourite Dylan song. It would have worked out cheaper to give him some food 🎶

Enticing review by Sebastian Scotney of Moravian Romance, a duo album from Miroslav Vitous and Emil Viklicky. Vitous is definitely not one of my favourite bassists and I’m lukewarm about Viklicky, though I listen to the duo album with George Mraz regularly. Want to listen 🎹 🎶

Here is a short (6 item) list of Substack newsletters that I like and read. I tried it out as a blogroll but I’m not (yet) happy with the way blogrolls are implemented on Substack so for now I’ve put the links on a separate page.

Speaking about Paul Graham, I keep forgetting to visit his site, though I mean to. The RSS feed from it doesn’t work very well, at least in NetNewsWire. There have been several new posts which I’ve overlooked.

John Naughton linked to a 2009 essay by Paul Graham which is a revelation to me. Since learning about #aphantasia, I’ve blamed my scheduling failures on my inability to visualize. But maybe it’s because I’ve been trying to follow a manager’s schedule instead of a maker’s one.

I’ve noticed a lot of Substack users asking how to find new writers or newsletters on the platform. I use Google, with site:substack.com added to my search term. For example

"crime fiction" site:substack.com

It’s not foolproof but it can certainly be useful.

After trying it for a few days, I’ve removed the “blogroll” (officially called “Homepage links”) from my Substack archive page. It was making the page look cramped and causing the titles of some posts to wrap. I’ll put a list of “Newsletters I read” on my personal site instead.

I’ve been driving myself crazy trying to figure out why I can’t get some music to sync from Apple Music to my iPod Touch. It turns out that, though this music is in the iTunes folder on disk, it’s somehow been deleted from the former iTunes library in the Apple Music app. Ugh 🎹

I’m rereading (after a very long gap) William Empson’s 📖 Faustus and the Censor (1987) for the next issue of my newsletter. It will be the third (and probably final) issue under the general heading “Empson’s insightful errors”. It’s due in a week’s time.