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  1. For All Mankind, Season 2

    Watched 22–24 April 2021

    Once again this show attempts to strike a good balance between People Drama and Society Drama, but this season’s timeskip tilted the scales and made it clear that the long game is always going to be about the societal outcomes first. Character moments are less emotionally effective as a result, but boy is the spectacle of the alternate timeline geopolitics worth the tradeoff. Season 1 got me invested. But now I’m excited.

  2. For All Mankind, Season 1

    Watched 19–22 April 2021

    I’m super into this space trauma and societal progress nerdfest.

    It may sometimes feel predictable and clichéd but I just want to engross myself in this alternate history, and the level of realism is more than good enough to support that by my standards.

  3. Lena @ Things of Interest
    qntm.org

    This terrific short story by qntm contemplates the hellish potential consequences of brain uploading, in the form of a typically impassive Wikipedia entry:

    MMAcevedo (Mnemonic Map/Acevedo), also known as Miguel, is the earliest executable image of a human brain. It is a snapshot of the living brain of neurology graduate Miguel Álvarez Acevedo (2010–2073), taken by researchers at the Uplift Laboratory at the University of New Mexico on August 1, 2031.

  4. Godzilla: King of the Monsters

    Rewatched 8 April 2021

    The uncanny valley between the ponderous Godzilla 2014 and the bombastically campy Godzilla vs. Kong. I’m sorry but if you want to make a serious movie you have to stick to the serious monsters, you can’t put on the three-headed electric dragon and big moth. Pokémon aren’t scary.

  5. Microbes Don’t Actually Look Like Anything
    youtube.com

    Found this wonderful YouTube channel on Kottke.org. I have to admit I wasn’t expecting it to be so thought-provoking:

    Our brains play tricks on us to make us believe the world looks one way, but the world looks different at night than in the day, and both of those things have more to do with the physiology of our eyes and brains than with objective reality. Asking what a microbe actually looks like is, to some extent, forcing our own experience onto something that is beyond it.

    If, like me, you somehow recognize the narrator’s voice, that’s because it’s Hank Green (!).

  6. The Expanse, Season 5

    Watched 16 December 2020 – 3 February 2021

    This series has built so much, and gone so far. The transition from “Game of Thrones in space” to one of the most poignant human dramas in science fiction has been a true joy to witness.

  7. The X Files

    Rewatched 14 January 2021

    More exciting than I remembered, but still disappointing and, at best, inessential. It tries too hard, and also not hard enough. Like most TV-to-film adaptations, the texture feels wrong. Character-wise, the plot isn’t much more than condensed retreading of old ground. And worst of all, it shows too much! It’s certainly a big-screen adventure, but the desire for one-upmanship has the side effect of making the world, the conspiracies, and even the aliens seem small and shallow.

  8. Newsletters
    robinrendle.com

    Robin Rendle:

    It bothers me that writers can’t create audiences on their own websites, with their own archives, and their own formats. And they certainly can’t get paid in the process.

    The web today is built for apps—and I think we need to take it back.

  9. Drill Dozer

    Played 4 September – 19 October 2020 on Game Boy Advance

    There’s some interesting ideas and clever mechanics here, but I could never get past the clunky, sluggish controls. Movement expressiveness is limited to such a degree that neither platforming nor combat feel good.

  10. Workers Durable Objects Beta: A New Approach to Stateful Serverless
    blog.cloudflare.com

    Super interesting new stuff from Cloudflare:

    Durable Objects provide a truly serverless approach to storage and state: consistent, low-latency, distributed, yet effortless to maintain and scale. They also provide an easy way to coordinate between clients, whether it be users in a particular chat room, editors of a particular document, or IoT devices in a particular smart home. Durable Objects are the missing piece in the Workers stack that makes it possible for whole applications to run entirely on the edge, with no centralized “origin” server at all.

  11. Good Sudoku

    Played 23 July – 27 September 2020 on iPhone

    In just a few short weeks, this game took me from sudoku dilettante to completing Sunday “Pro 💀” puzzles in 20 minutes without hints (if I’m feeling patient enough). Good Sudoku has taught me more about sudoku than I ever thought I’d want to learn.

    Jan Willem Nijman said it best:

    This game is incredibly cyberpunk, like you just slam a new ai deck into your neocortex to kick ass at sudoku.

  12. Google blew a ten-year lead.
    secondbreakfast.co

    Will Schreiber:

    I haven’t installed MSFT Office on a machine since 2009. Sheets and Docs have been good enough for me. The theoretical unlimited computing power and collaboration features meant Google Docs was better than Office (and free!).

    Then something happened at Google. I’m not sure what. But they stopped innovating on cloud software.

    Docs and Sheets haven’t changed in a decade. Google Drive remains impossible to navigate. Sharing is complicated. Sheets freezes up. I can’t easily interact with a Sheets API (I’ve tried!). Docs still shows page breaks by default! WTF!