Archives for 2023

Not the greatest year, here, there, or anywhere, but some new galleries at Detail and a bunch of new limericks made their debut, along with the usual links and musings. Here’s the year and its category archives, and here’s a gallery of the banner source images.

January 2023February 2023March 2023April 2023May 2023June 2023July 2023August 2023September 2023October 2023November 2023December 2023

Art · Books · Environment · Events · Food · Infotech · Journal · Memory · Music · Net Culture · People · Politics · Site News · Travel · UK Culture · Weblog

31 December 2023 · Site News

Horror Show

I had plans to write a post for the end of October with this Halloween-themed title, but it serves just as well for the end of the whole year. The seamless transition from war in Ukraine to the events in Gaza that month were enough to leave anyone aghast, but as time has gone on it’s been clear that different people are aghast about different things.

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31 December 2023 · Journal

Cooling Off

I’ve been over to Glasgow four or five times since the summer and have taken a few more photos of parts of it I hadn’t seen, so here’s another gallery of the place to go with the last one.

River Clyde, Glasgow
The River Clyde in November.

27 December 2023 · UK Culture

Making Beauty

A British Museum video about the artist Yamamoto Akane has to be one of my favourite links posted to Metafilter in months. What a stunning amount of work is conveyed in those few minutes; given the failure rate, the single object shown there must represent months of careful effort. How many of us could bear to start from scratch again and again when firings go awry?

So many of the artworks in the great museums and galleries of the world represent a comparable amount of painstaking and patient work, and are the result of years of learning, developing or—as here—inventing one’s craft. And most of us take them in during a visit in an instant and move on to the next.

25 December 2023 · Art

Extremely Online

One of the founders of Substack, the mailing list and personal website hosting and monetizing provider, has rejected a recent petition for the site to moderate and remove openly Nazi content (via Mefi).

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25 December 2023 · Net Culture

The Real World

An Australian economic commentator has pointed out that Japan has bucked economic orthodoxy to become “a model of Modern Monetary Theory”:

Japan is the crazy uncle at the economic Christmas barbecue, laughed at pityingly and ignored, while we all get on with discussing serious matters, like the Taylor Rule, which is the theoretical formula central banks use to calculate what interest rates should be for a given inflation and growth rate. But the truth is Japan’s doing fine, and is not crazy at all. Everyone’s happy, unemployment is 2.5 per cent and has been under 3 per cent for five years, politics is stable and polite and there’s no shortage of infrastructure or housing—house prices have been fairly stable for 30 years. … The Japanese government has owed more than 200 per cent of GDP for more [than] a decade but has been happily running massive budget deficits the whole time, no pressure to balance the books, either politically or economically … because the Bank of Japan buys most of [that debt], using freshly created money, to keep the interest rate low.

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25 December 2023 · Politics

Good News!*

The century-old book series that predicted a wild and wonderful future.

Good-news stories you didn’t hear about in 2023.

Solar-powered boats are traversing the Amazon.

Jakarta is sinking into the sea.

Read more…

25 December 2023 · Weblog

Performance Review

I’ve been so slack with posting here that I’m getting spam from the Speedysnail HR department telling me that I have “areas demanding further improvement”. Which is a shock, given that the Speedysnail HR department is me.

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14 December 2023 · Site News


Melbourne 1991-2001

Apart from passing through with my family as a kid on our way to Uluru in 1979, before I had a camera, and driving down the Hume Highway with my own family in 2015, my main travels in Victoria beyond Melbourne itself were in 2000–2001, when J. and I were living in Melbourne for several months. This gallery features my Victorian photos from that time, including an airshow near Geelong and a trip along the Great Ocean Road. It also has a couple of shots from Gippsland in 1991, when I was driving my car from Melbourne to Canberra via the Princes Highway.

8 December 2023 · Memory

Purple Reign

Friends, Romans, countrymen, y’all.

Feet in the past weren’t so tiny.

Cassette Futurism.

The lost ancient pigment more valuable than gold.

Can Trump be stopped? (Archived.)

5 December 2023 · Weblog

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