Notes for week of 15 January, 2024

⤳ Little bit late this week, but I ‘m still here. My excuse is that is simply that last week was pretty busy; at least for mid-January.

⤳ On Tuesday Nina and I went to see Alan Cumming do his one man show in the West End. We both gave each other an uncomfortable look when he started singing, but the chat in between was good value. It all just felt a little bit safe and ‘ITV’ if you know what I mean?

⤳ In the middle of the week I took myself to the Picturehouse in Dulwich to watch Poor Things. Everyone I know who’d seen it absolutely raved about it, so I thought I should see it in the cinema (also, I just enjoy going to the cinema in the afternoon, on my own - it’s the best). It’s a great film, so funny and beautiful and smart. With any luck it will trounce Oppenheimer at the Oscars.

⤳ Which reminds me… I’ve updated my Media Diet to include all the films, TV and books I’ve consumed recently. Doppelganger by Naomi Klein was excellent and I’m now reading The Strange by Nathan Ballingrud which is also really good (thanks to John for the recommendation).

⤳ On Thursday it was the Brink kind-of-Christmas party, which involved a daytime walk in the winter sun through Victoria Park, a pub lunch in front of the fire, and then cocktails and dancing in Hackney. Great fun with a lovely bunch of people.

⤳ Some interesting things I’ve read this week:

Kyle Chayka, who wrote the brilliant ‘Welcome to Airspace’ article back in 2016 (about how the world was all starting to look and feel the same thanks to the ‘airbnb aesthetic’), has written a follow up about the ‘grand flattening’ i.e. how “Globalisation has also led to a more mundane and pervasive flattening of individual experiences” and how businesses (and individuals) are struggling to differentiate themselves and be authentic in a world that is governed by The Algorithm.

How to be More Agentic by Cate Hall has a terrible title but if you can get past that it’s a really interesting piece.

There will be many more think pieces about this in the coming weeks and months, but Casey Newton’s How platforms killed Pitchfork is a good start,

⤳ Listening to: