I successfully cancelled a few streaming platforms. I'm probably not the only person who signs up for trials or for a series and then forgets to cancel. It's not a great feeling knowing I've been mindlessly paying one company $10+ a month and not watching anything as they were preparing massive layoffs. It's also one of the few times on this site (for actual meaningful stuff) that I almost self-censored. I'm back in the job market, and some of these companies have departments I could confidently pitch my strengths to. (For what it's worth, I do recognize that if a company folds, all the jobs are lost. I also edited out the name, because I'm a chicken. And a writing teacher I had would reject my resumé because I ended that with to.)
That was an unintentional tangent. Apple is fielding some great shows. I started watching Silo. I really liked the first two episodes. Wow, this has been Rebecca Ferguson's decade. I think she's an incredible actor, and it seems like she must be working 24/7. But she's introduced slowly in Silo. The audience gets introduced to the world through Rashida Jones and David Oyelowo, and they're fantastic. (Apple is prominently featuring Boys State. A friend of mine worked on that show!)
Don't worry, no spoilers. What follows is in the trailer. The premise gets you thinking about our knowledge of our past, and the reliability of the storytellers who passed that history down. The guiding mantra for the people in the silo, paraphrased, is that they don't know who built the silo, and they don't know when it will be safe to leave the silo, but it's not today. The size and depth of the silo will blow the minds of anyone like me who doesn't know anything about engineering or mining.
Apple is doing some interesting things. I've been sticking with Drops of God, and I'm still enjoying it. It's kitschy, contrived, too much everything is connected, but it's fun. You'll want to figure out a way to spend 6 months in Japan and 6 months on a French vineyard. Not that anyone needs a show to want that, but it'll reinforce the idea. I'll also accept the job if anyone hiring stumbles across this oh so witty blog. Seriously. Sign me up. Would a second Seriously sound too desperate? I can delete it later.
Anyone watching Barry? I thought I was going to quit that one, but the actors are really giving it their all, and the show excels in throwing curveballs. And it's got The Fonz. The current season went in a direction I would have never anticipated. The White House Plumbers is going to be one heck of a ride.
The past few years I've noticed a consistent theme across shows on all the platforms - mid-century houses and architecture and brown interiors with warm lighting. Perhaps I've been away from the cubicles for so long that I didn't realize people now work in dark offices lit by bankers' lights (banker's lights?). I love that mid-century look, though, and it prompted me to suggest that my parents give a soon to be graduate their old Technics stereo system. It's technic(s)ally not mid-century, but it's still cool.
I haven't used a Friedman Unit in a while. The next couple of months could get even more frightening in Ukraine. I think it's safe to say that most analyses suggest Ukraine will mount a counteroffensive soon. If they do, I wonder if we'll see the most significant, or most advanced, use of AI in a military campaign. I don't know much about AI, but it doesn't seem like a stretch to imagine Ukraine having trained a cyber unit to synchronize generative AI + social media + fake comms to sow chaos. The potential for causing confusion seems high and achievable. It's also a plot line of a story I've been thinking about for a couple of years. I'm still firmly in the thinking phase.
I haven't talked about that tragic war much here. There doesn't seem to be much of a point. It's understandably everywhere in the news, and it's on an unstoppable trajectory. Most of us can just wait to see where the chips fall. Oh, look, the clichés. Sure enough, it's getting late, and I'm getting lazy. I've talked about it with people, but if you're not fully on board with pouring in weapons, you're pushing a Kremlin narrative. I've got no problem with being told I'm wrong (it has happened), but I'm looking for more than you're brainwashed.
When I was in grad school for international affairs decades ago (ouch!), I wanted to dislike the realists. It couldn't all be about the balance of power, or Stephen Walt's addition of a balance of threat. I don't always agree with them, but I think John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt are two professors speaking most soberly about this awful war. A final thought - it's pretty much the same cast of officials who pushed the Iraq War and twenty years in Afghanistan who are telling us they know what they're doing in this war. I hope they get this one right. (It's the internet in 2023, so clarifications never hurt - Russia started a tragic war that is killing, injuring, and displacing hundreds of thousands of innocents.)
Enough of that. I don't go out much anymore, but I ducked into Sam's (Capitol Hill) a couple of weeks ago for a drink and some takeout. Their staff is so friendly and laid-back, and they get a great mix of neighborhood folks and infrastructure crews (I think my tired brain just made that phrase up. The people putting in long hours to keep the roads safe and the water flowing.) Jane's Addiction's Jane Says came on. It's one of those songs that I'll always remember, even if vaguely, the first time I heard it. The power of music. (I need to design an AI assistant that tells me if I've already mentioned something. I might have mentioned the Jane Says anecdote previously. I also need an AI assistant to tell me to lay off the parentheticals.)
The post's title is Memory. All my sci-fi watching got me curious. I asked my parents, my sister, and my brother-in-law if they remembered where they were when they learned about the lunar landing. (Fake News! I saw Capricorn One.) Great responses, and I was amazed at the recall. I don't think I really remember anything before 7 or 8. I very unscientifically clock my first memories at Elvis's death. We interrupt this broadcast...(Chuck, I don't pry, but if you have memories of the lunar landing, would love to hear them! Mind your own business is always a fair response.)
Drat, I think my aging laptop has a dead pixel. It happens, buddy.
If you like photography, you'll probably like this NYT article about a Joel Coen Lee Frelander collaboration. (He's still taking photos, developing, and printing.)