The first thing you notice is that the sun slants in at a flat angle, no matter where you are. It drills into your retina leaving a ghostly green afterimage and a cramping headache as your optic nerve spasms in shock.The sun knifes between buildings and surprises you coming around a corner when you least expect it
I’m a big reader. It’s my main source of recreation and feeds into my broader quest to understand everything about everything. This year I read 92 books, which is about normal for me. I don’t have a particular method to what I read, I just chase up whatever I’m interested in at that time, and… Continue reading Books of the year 2022
... but I used to. Let me start by saying that I'm not a zealot, luddite, or other kind of internet fundamentalist. You are completely entitled to do what you like and I care not a whit. I am simply describing my own experience. So, social media. Everyone has an opinion, and here is mine.… Continue reading Why I don’t use social media
I could spend this entry talking about how Covid appears to be completely out of control in Sydney (900+ cases for the last few days), or about how here in Victoria we're in lockdown #6 and case numbers are on a knife edge, or about how the vaccine rollout pooch has been touched inapprpropriately if… Continue reading The Covid Diaries #14 – The death of retail?
We're in a strange situation here in Australia. Over the course of the last year we've done a pretty stellar job of stamping out eruptions of the plague, probably better than anywhere else in the world (except New Zealand). Despite myriad fuck-ups we were the proud owners of a Covid-free nation (more or less). But… Continue reading The COVID diaries #13 – where to from here?
I've been reading Albert Camus' The Plague in light of the current-event-that-we're-all-sick-of. I was always lukewarm on Camus, probably because I was too young when I first read The Stranger. Sometimes you just have to pupate a while for something to make sense. I'm finding a lot of resonances with our situation, not so much… Continue reading Camus and Kafka
Just a short one to raise a few questions: The ABC has posted the results of their huge annual survey on attitudes and beliefs in Australia here. A very interesting finding is how differently people experienced lockdown and the covid pandemic from a mental health point of view. Fascinatingly, among 18-25 year olds around 52%… Continue reading The Covid diaries #12 – How depressing is lockdown, really?
As of last night, Melbourne is going back into lockdown, now for the fourth time. But a lot has happened since I last wrote in this series in October 2020, so let's recap. Multiple vaccines are available and are being rolled out worldwide, with varying degrees of success. Donald Trump lost the US presidential election.… Continue reading The Covid Diaries #11 – Same same but different
Prediction is a tricky business. It's easy to get carried away with one's own ideas and the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy is around every corner. However, I have been brewing a few thoughts about China recently which I keep meaning to get down somewhere. So here we are. A quick note before I start - I… Continue reading Some thoughts in 2021 on the future of China
I have a small confession to make. During Melbourne's extended COVID lockdown in 2020 people coped in many different ways. Obsessive neighbourhood walking, Netflix binges and low-key alcoholism were popular choices, and I certainly toyed with all of them. But my secret obsession, the one that I didn't really discuss with family and friends but… Continue reading The ineffable tranquility of watching other people walk around Tokyo