Welcome to British Summer Time. A few bad nights’ sleep this week, plus losing an hour to the clocks changing last night, means I’m in a bit of a daze.
I happened to be up late anyway so I made a point of watching the clock tick over from 12:59 to 02:00. Small pleasures.
The video of my LRUG talk is available if you’re interested in a ten-minute summary of what I’ve been doing with WebAssembly. Watching it back made me feel a bit disappointed that I’ve left the project hanging, so next week I intend to do something to move it forward even if I can’t face any more streaming.
I’m excited about Kevin Newton’s Ruby parser passing all of its tests. This is pretty amazing progress for such an ambitious project, and TruffleRuby has already started to integrate it. If all major Ruby implementations switch over instead of each maintaining their own custom parser it’ll avoid so much wasted effort. 🤞🏻
I got lots of positive feedback after linking to the latest Bobby Fingers video. Nobody said anything when I mentioned his Mel Gibson video last year, but the Michael Jackson one was clearly more appealing, and I suppose I was more enthusiastic this time. Er, you should watch it if you haven’t already!
I didn’t say much about the first season of The Last of Us, so, um, I’ll say a bit more now.
Why does the show even exist, commercial reasons aside? I think its main creative purpose is to expose a large new audience (i.e. people who don’t play video games) to a story that was successful in a medium they don’t find accessible; a secondary purpose is to give existing fans of the game something game-adjacent to enjoy. In my opinion it did a surprisingly good job of both and I think that’s worth commending.
I had low expectations because film & TV adaptations of video games are usually terrible. This one worked for me because it paid exactly the right amount of attention to its source material: it hit all of the important emotional beats of the game and included a few fun nods for fans to enjoy, but it didn’t try to recreate everything exactly and wasn’t afraid to diverge whenever there was an opportunity to take advantage of the different medium.
In particular I appreciated the decision to omit virtually all of the action and combat, because those parts are only interesting as part of interactive gameplay, and concentrate instead on the characters’ conversations, personalities and backstories, which can be communicated with greater fidelity as live action. I get the impression that some fans of the game were disappointed that so much of the show’s focus was on relationships — and humans! — instead of the infected, but I’m extremely relieved I didn’t have to sit through another generic zombie show.
The excellent performances really helped to sell it. Pedro Pascal is good but I’m particularly looking forward to seeing where Bella Ramsey takes her character in season two (and three?) and finding out who’ll be cast as Abby.
Speaking of zombies, the Resident Evil 4 remake got such breathless reviews that I briefly considered buying it, but luckily there’s a free demo which I only needed to play for about ten minutes to discover that it’s clunky, hackneyed and utterly naff. Phew, thanks Capcom!
First the cryptocurrency hype was awful, then the NFT hype was awful, and now the deep learning hype is awful. The awfulness isn’t even connected to merit (although I have my suspicions), it’s just absolutely relentless and I can’t summon any interest. I don’t resent this stuff happening but I wish I could somehow tune it out of my consciousness like an incessant car alarm.
I don’t know why I find mindless hype so painful. It’s unpleasant enough that it’s almost making me not want to work in the technology industry any more, which is unfortunate cos technology is the only thing I know about.
(I know I already complained about this recently but it’s really been getting to me this week and these are my weeknotes and I’ll cry if I want to.)
I reached the end of Hypercritical three months later than planned. It was comforting to have on in the background while I cleaned the kitchen or whatever, but a lot of its content feels dated and in places it suffers from investing a lot of time into hot topics that fizzled out shortly afterwards (App.net, anyone? Tent.io?) so it’s not particularly timeless.
I don’t know what to put on in the background now.
INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE CHAT: BBC News silently renamed their “Entertainment & Arts” section to “Culture” and it trips me up me every time I look for it in the site navigation. The URL’s still https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment_and_arts mate, you’re not fooling anyone.
On the surface this may seem like too minor a complaint to write about but I can’t find it being mentioned anywhere on the internet so I’m doing it here as a public service.