Raymond's Weblog^

May Roundup

My absolute favourite article from May was an old piece from the Atlantic: “AMERICA’S NEVER-ENDING BATTLE AGAINST FLESH-EATING WORMS”.


In the realm of human experience, here is a thoughtful reflection from a trans woman about why she does not intend to come out. Thematically similarly, here is a descrption of the internal experience of adhd. I am glad to be occasionally reminded of how radically differently other people perceive the world, and how decoupled this can be from how I might perceive them.

On quite a different end, I really enjoyed this piece my sister wrote about her time in New Zealand, interspersed with discussions about bioluminescence.

Unusually astute cultural criticism from the Guardian: “How amateur sleuths ruined pop culture”. How much of modern media consumption has become a parasocial game of detective? How much are artists playing into it? When did it get so bad, and why is this where we landed?

And characteristically astute cultural criticism from the master himself, pondering Gustave Courbet’s The Origin of the World and the recent feminist protest against it.

Economics and Politics

Zooming out, here’s a nice piece on how Japan is actually not xenophobic: I feel like I was one of many people who just sort of absorbed this assumption, and I enjoy writing that decisively unpicks these kinds of things.

Apparently plasma donations curb the demand for payday loans - another wonderful example of a morally uncomfortable option that actually seems to make people’s lives better. One of the tricky questions in democracy is how much to mandate the dignity of people who are already struggling.

More in the realm of shennanigans, there’s now an endless shrimp investigation: a beloved seafood chain goes bankrupt after selling endless shrimp for too long, but that’s not the whole story. It seems like the decision to sell endless shrimp was widely opposed. Why do it then? Because the people selling the shrimp had massive sway over the company.


I was glad to see the announcement that javascript is good now, actually.

Also, being the kind of person who sometimes reads newspaper style guides for fun, I was delighted to discover the python style guide, at least partly to check how much I’d unconsciously absorbed and see it so carefully discussed, but also because it introduced all kinds of delightful words, like “frobnicate”.

And finally, please enjoy this clock quine.