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Weeknotes 2022.25

A few things I’ve been thinking about this week. The twenty-fifth post of a series.

I went for a walk this week around some bits of Newcastle city centre that I don’t usually frequent. It reminded me how much Newcastle’s skyline has changed over recent years, and how change that seems gradual and unremarkable when observed daily can be enormously striking when seen only at wide intervals of time.

According to those irritating automated Microsoft Viva emails, in a typical week I spend 55 hours in meetings. I work 40 hours a week. I assume the system can’t smartly analyse a diary that is often double, triple or quadruple booked.

On an Internet forum I sometimes browse, a commenter said this week

The sort of thing you used to see on Club Reps or, dare I say it, the original Inbetweeners film, just don’t happen now because if you let yourself go in Kavos, Aiya Napa or Magaluf now, it’ll be all over the Internet within half an hour.

Despite everything I’ve read about things like China’s social credit system, or books like So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, I have never properly considered the idea that social media platforms could operate as a moderator for ‘real life’ behaviour.

I took a circular walk round York’s city walls this week. I haven’t been to York all that much over the years, and wouldn’t say it’s a city I know well, but walking the walls nevertheless gave me a wholly new perspective on it.

The Times had an article this week recommending the 100 best books for summer 2022. I didn’t read it, but lamented that I’d be so much more convinced by a smaller number. In a world of endless choice, curation is key.

It’s hard to piece together a rationale written thought about the appalling consequences of the US Supreme Court’s decision that access to abortion is not a constitutional right. Reading through the original Roe vs Wade decision this week, as well as the Supreme Court’s latest, I was struck by how plain it was that the original judgement was finely balanced.

It made me wonder how something so fundamental could be left to rest on such shaky foundations, and how the immediate response to the judgement wasn’t to work to firm up the legal footing. But then, just look at how many fundamentals of democracy in the UK are on based on shaky foundations, and how our response to a Government which openly attempts to knock them down hasn’t been to immediately work to strengthen them.

This post was filed under: Weeknotes.

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