Strong Songs Season Six kicks off with a widely requested classic: Peter Gabriel’s 1986 yearner “In Your Eyes.” Because why hire one rhythm section when you can hire two for twice the price?
🎧 A favourite song on a favourite podcast
Finished reading: Although I’m far from having a crisis, I’m well into midlife. So, Midlife by Kieran Setiya was a powerful book.
I could relate, when Setiya describes what he expects to feel after he finishes writing the book:
If experience is anything to go by, the hole will be filled soon enough. There will be another project: a class to teach, a book to read, an article to write. I will move on. But the movement is like running on a treadmill. Life is a succession of projects, each one left behind, their numbers slowly adding up. What the future holds is only more of the achievements, and the failures, that make up my past. It will differ only in quantity from the life I have already lived, a mere accumulation of deeds.
I won’t spoil the outcome. Suffice it to say that this book has lots of good advice, written clearly and with humour.
Setiya also has a good session on Waking Up.
What is surprising is how poorly we still understand global ant societies: there is a science-fiction epic going on under our feet, an alien geopolitics being negotiated by the 20 quadrillion ants living on Earth today. It might seem like a familiar story, but the more time I spend with it, the less familiar it seems, and the more I want to resist relying on human analogies. Its characters are strange; its scales hard to conceive. Can we tell the story of global ant societies without simply retelling our own story?
Finished reading: I enjoyed Making It So by Patrick Stewart. Although not as much Captain Picard as some Trekkies might want, I appreciated the broader view of his career 📚
Great video from Casey Neistat. I too, somehow, continue to get older and am trying to hold on to some goals.
📚 These Wheel of Time books are long! I only got 1/3 of the way through The Shadow Rising before the library loan ended
Finished reading: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury is rather strange. Some really lovely, poetic passages about the tranquility and beauty of Mars, coupled with buffoonish characters from Earth. I totally get this could be intentional, though it is jarring 📚
Finished reading: The Gulag Archipelago [Volume 1] by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn is a remarkable book. I’ve never really comprehended the Stalin-era purges. Solzhenitsyn’s dark humour and extensive narrative details really helped make them feel horrifyingly real 📚
New books for the new year 📚
🥶 Shortest and coldest swim of the year