Ulysses

Written 14 March 2024 I made it through Ulysses, finishing it just before the beginning of Lent. I managed it through a combination of kindle, audiobook on Spotify and (once I’d reached my monthly usage limit) a librevox podcast. The kindle was fine and the audiobook was excellent, but perhaps the less said about the librevox podcast the better. With episodes being read by a variety of contributors, all with different accents, their renderings of the text were somewhat variable to say the least. Some were very good, but one was not a native English speaker, and Americans really struggled...

Plan 75

Written 26 May 2023 I went with my wife to see this last night at the excellent Plymouth Arts Cinema. Described as “Japan’s submission for this year’s Oscars…set in a chilling, near future in which the country has gone to extreme lengths to manage its ageing population and consequent economic distress” I was very much looking forward to it. I’m interested in end of life and demographic questions as I see them growing in importance over the coming years as well as providing a real insight into fundamental shifts in societal values currently underway. Plan75 is a joint Japanese/French production....

The Prize: the Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power by Daniel Yergin

Written 12 December I heard about this book rather in passing while listening to an an episode of Demitry Kafinas’s Hidden Forces podcast. It is a big read and took some time to get through. It covers the history of the oil industry from the second half of the nineteenth century. What a story it is, huge in scale, immense in its impact on humanity and central to any serious reading of economics and politics. Of course everyone professes to know how important oil is, but this book really does convey that its importance is far more foundational than we...