I just learned that Craig Venter has aphantasia. Other interesting people who have/had it include the philosopher Derek Parfit.

The most exciting musical performance I ever attended was by the Brad Mehldau Trio in Sète, July 2008. I’m so tempted to go back for more, but not sure it’s advisable to travel to France, even though I’m fully vaccinated 🎶 🎹

I just got a renewal receipt from Zoho Mail, so I guess that means it’s already a year since I started using my own domain for email. Time flies.

… in the likely event of McDonald becoming taoiseach?

Likely event? More and more, I’m asking myself if I can still live in Ireland if Sinn Féin becomes the main — or only! — party in government. Would I even want to?

This happens every other weekend and I’m getting really fed up with it. The Cancel button is greyed out and there’s no way to dismiss the box. I’ll have to start remembering to deactivate my work email every second Fri evening and reactivate it the following Mon 😡

Yesterday, I tweeted a link to an NYT article, “The boys in their summer dresses”. Coincidentally, 3 days earlier, I’d posted a blog post illustrated by a still from a short film whose English title is “A Summer Dress”. Must be something in the air, I guess.

It turns out that Medium were indeed clearing out bots and spam accounts: Keeping Medium authentic.

Not that it makes a lot of practical difference, but I seem to have lost 150 followers on Medium all at once. The count has dropped from about 713 to 563 since this morning. Has Medium been clearing out bots/fake accounts or is it something I need to worry about?

I’m really enjoying Noah Smith’s Substack newsletter, Noahpinion, at least for now. I’ll get fed up eventually, as I always do when the topic is the dismal science (or thereabouts), but in the meantime I might as well make the most of it.

NYT: The boys in their summer dresses. I’m afraid I’d look like ram dressed as lamb. Why didn’t this happen 35 years ago?

In July 2019 I posted a short piece on Medium, What Colm Tóibín said about genre fiction. Then, a few months ago, I moved it from Medium to my own site, as a result of which it lost some visibility. So, here it is again, in case you’re interested.

I hate “recommendations”. I had hoped mine would improve after I resumed my Medium subscription, as reading more paywalled stories would give a better idea of my interests. But I unfollowed one prolific writer and I’m still seeing her stories “based on your reading history” ☹️

A little over 3 years ago, I learned that most people can form mental images and that those of us who can’t have a condition called aphantasia. Over the next 2 years I wrote a series of posts exploring the condition from an inexpert, subjective point of view.

As it’s Bloomsday (the anniversary of the day on which James Joyce’s great novel is set, 16 June 1904), here again is the issue of my newsletter in which I write about William Empson’s scabrous reading of Ulysses 📖

Edward Snowden has started a Substack newsletter

”Heroes don’t do that.”

So glad I’ve never aspired to be a hero (super or otherwise) if that’s true 📺

Sometimes the saying that “Twitter isn’t real life” is true! But sometimes Twitter actually is real life, like when outrage on the platform gets people fired from their jobs.

How do we tell the difference?

From Noah Smith’s newsletter

I’m listening at the moment to “Bud Powell” (song) by Chick Corea (pianist) … or have I got that the wrong way around? 🎶 🎹

Ireland’s data watchdog loses sole oversight of Facebook in Europe Though the ECJ judgment is being characterized as a “loss” for Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, it looks more like the sharing of a burden. Either way, this seems to be good news.

It’s counterproductive to call for Justice Breyer to step down before the midterm elections. For him to accede to such demands would be to accept that the Supreme Court has become irredeemably politicized, and he really doesn’t want to do that.

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 😉