November / December 2021

Happy belated New Year! I skipped November's update because I added a bunch of book reviews to this site.

2021 was great. I gave a killer speech as best man at a wedding, I worked at three different companies (1, 2, 3), I did Recurse Center, I took three courses at Bradfield, I was admitted to and started the Bradfield CSI, I read more than I have since I was a child, and I wrote more in public than I ever have.

Site updates

I made a few updates to this site in the past two months. First, like I mentioned above, I added more than a dozen book reviews. I'm still working through my backlog. I also updated this site's home page, and there's now a section for popular posts. Finally, after a reader request, I added RSS support.

Reading

I read The Poverty of Historicism by Karl Popper in November. It was an odd book because it's so clearly of its time, making an impassioned argument in a dead debate I never knew existed. But there are gems in it, little pieces of common sense wisdom. I'll write about it more in the future, but for now you can read my personal notes.

Slaughterhouse-Five lived up to its reputation. It was very good.

I read a New Yorker article, A Ghost in the Family, about artists Clare Rojas, Margaret Kilgallen, and Barry McGee after seeing a piece by Rojas in SFO. What a strange story.

Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software wrote a piece about video game stories. Basically, narratives in games are typically terrible, and it doesn't take much to stand out. If you like this post, you might also enjoy his memorable GDC talk, Failing to Fail.

Watching

I got an HBO Max subscription for just this month to watch The Matrix Resurrections. It's a big mess that mostly makes fun of itself and Warner Brothers (by name) for existing. What a novelty it is to see so much money get lit on fire. I ended up watching The Matrix (1999) again, and I like it more every time I see it.

Playing

I played the Halo Infinite campaign the day it came out. I'm a big Halo fan. This one was ... pretty alright! It still has some of the problems that Halo 4 and Halo 5 did: tedious indoor combat and way too many buttons that need to be pressed. I'm thinking about doing a supercut of all the stupid buttons Halo Infinite. But the open world is great, and the sandbox is super fun. I hope we'll see some updates to the single player that extend the open world and add new biomes like desert and jungle.