Sunday Morning Stuff 17/11

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

Good morning. It is Sunday so I am here to talk about some stuff. All the stuff that I have found to be good and interesting enough to talk about. All the stuff that fits nicely into the four categories that I decided that I wanted/could be bothered to talk about on a Sunday morning. EXCITING hey? Who knows? You might even find something that you like in this glorious pile…

Reading

I always talk about whatever grand, classic novel I’m working through in this section, yet there is so much other stuff that I have been reading that is just as worthy of recommendation. There are hundreds of interesting articles, blogs, and short stories posted online every week (and thousands upon thousands of uninteresting, clickbait ones) so here are a few that caught my eye.

First things first I should shout out a new app that I’ve been using (it’s not new but I’ve only just started using it). Pocket allows you to save good n’ interesting stuff from around the internet into one easy to access place, and also allows you to explore what other things users of the app have deemed to be good n’ interesting. What I love most about this explore function is that it is at odds with the natural order of the internet…what’s new and fresh isn’t necessarily what is popular. Old articles (internet old, so like anything older than 3 months) are just as likely to pop up, and in fact the first piece that I want to recommend is internet ancient…as it comes from 2017.

This New Yorker article from Raffi Khatchadourian is an in-depth interview/tag-along with Nick Bostrom – a Swedish born philosopher and polymath who devotes much of his time to the research of existential risk, most notably that which is posed by Artificial Intelligence.

www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/23/doomsday-invention-artificial-intelligence-nick-bostrom

It is a long, sometimes dense read which highlights the very real research which is being done into a threat which seems to have come straight from science fiction. It is a fascinating, but complex read, as Bostrom and his colleagues are studying some fascinating but complex ideas, so set aside some time and energy if you want to give it a go.

On the slightly lighter side of things, and the more up-to-date side too, this is a slightly unexpected interview from Vice with English-pop culture icon, crooner, and ultimate pop star – Robbie Williams.

www.vice.com/en_uk/article/pa75ev/robbie-williams-interview-2019-tabloids-christmas-present-album

The ex-Take That boy turned man comes across as wonderfully charming, slightly wild, and always down to Earth in a relaxed interview which suits the subject matter perfectly, and might just have you yearning for his upcoming Christmas album…

Or maybe not.

Playing…

Great! Now Jedi Fallen Order is out. I’ve got Afterparty waiting on the Xbox. I’ve got the Hotline Miami Collection waiting on the Switch. The Outer Worlds and Dragon Quest XI remain in the way. The former is nearing the end, I think, but the latter…

Listening to

Shanti Celeste is an artist I was unfamiliar with until…yesterday? The day before? She is a DJ out of Bristol who has managed to put together a full album of entrancing club music with a wonderful flow and surprising complexity. Yes, there are fully fledged bangers here, primed and ready for the dancefloor where Celeste cut her teeth, but between these she takes moments of introspection which means this is an album as well suited for a yoga class as it is a HIIT session. The whole thing has a wonderful sci-fi tone, with the tumultuous Sesame transporting you to Mass Effect 2’s Afterlife nightclub, before follow up Slow Wave takes you soaring out of your body and above the dancefloor to watch the bodies move from above, away from the thudding bass and rattling bones. I have a strange relationship with electronic music of all kinds. I find singles I love, stray tracks which capture a tone or a feeling that I adore, but rarely a whole album. Shanti Celeste’s Tangerine breaks the mould. I love this.

Also it’s getting towards that time of year, and I’ve already heard Last Christmas a dozen times, so I’ve been bumping some George Michael. I recommend you do as well.

Watching…

Keeping with my end-of-year race to see all the films that I should have seen but haven’t from this year, I watched The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot. It gives Sam Elliot – who has so often played the part of an excellent supporting character – a leading role as an aged American legend who has never received any plaudits, any love, any support, for the actions that he took in the war.

Despite its B-Movie name I found that it shone in its quieter moments. It imagines what life would be like for one of the Inglorious Bastards once they got home. Who did they leave behind? Who did they lose? Who would remember what they did? Would they want to be remembered? It’s nowhere near as absurd as the title makes it seem like it should be, as it is deeply involved in telling an absolutely human story which I found to be surprisingly moving, mostly due to Elliot’s broken-man performance.

And that’s the end of Stuff for this week. Join me next week where I will, to everyone’s great surprise, once again talk about a load of Stuff. Have a goodun!

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