Latenote, Monday 31st July 2023

This week, I mostly gave myself a week off which meant I hit level 60 on my character in the new Diablo 4 season. That’s understandable, but I need to make sure that I don’t spend too much time just lazing around even if there is a World Cup to watch.

If you don’t know about it, the wonderful publisher And Other Stories have a brilliant subscription scheme. For £70 a year, you get six books – but you also get your name in the back of the book, and get them a couple of months in advance of publication. That means you have to wait a while for your subscription to kick in, and my first book arrive this week. It’s “Traces of Enayat”, by Iman Mersal, and I’m looking forward to it.

The three things which most caught my attention

  1. Cory not only skewers Tesla (and Musk) in this piece on Autoshittification, he also draws lines showing how we are being drawn into a form of feudalism.
  2. I am so fucking tired of the Labour Party’s duplicitous bullshit on trans rights. Not as tired as my trans friends must be, but still. I won’t be voting Labour next time because the party is happy to keep my local MP in place, despite spouting hatred at every opportunity she gets.
  3. I don’t entirely agree with the conclusions that Erin Kissane comes to in her article about why Mastodon didn’t stick for a few people, but it’s well worth a read. I think a lot of confusion is down to the expectation that a federated system works (and should work) like a centralised one – which is why some people find Bluesky more comforting. A Bluesky which lives up to its intentions would be federated and in many ways as confusing to new users as Mastodon – but at the moment, it’s not actually a federated system. It’s no different to t2, or any one of the plethora of other similar centralised services, other than it was founded by Jack Dorsey.

Things I have been writing

I rediscovered a story which I started writing at some point about a doctor who isn’t quite what he appears, and pushed it a bit further. It took me a while to actually realise that I had written it – there are some interesting stylistic tricks in it which I had forgotten playing around with. Along with the story that I developed at Arvon I’m going to finish that in the coming week.

Things I have been reading

China Mieville’s “A Spectre, Haunting” crossed my radar and, as it’s a short one, I started reading it. It’s excellent of course, although China is very much in his academic mode rather than entertaining.

Ian Betteridge @ianbetteridge