Tom MacWright


There’s nothing to say about the quarantine that hasn’t already been said. I’m doing fine – some days okay, some days bad. Happiness is graded on a radical curve.

I read five books last month, a lot more than I read usually.

  1. Mark Arax’s The Dreamt Land, about farming in California and water rights. Spectacular.
  2. Anna Wiener’s Uncanny Valley, about working in tech. Okay. My review has an expanded list of the proper nouns missing in this novel.
  3. Garth Greenwell’s Cleanness, about love and empathy. Beautiful.
  4. Mike Isaac’s Super Pumped, about Travis Kalanick and Uber. Underperformed for its subject matter.
  5. Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals about factory farm cruelty and vegetarianism. Relevant and radicalizing. I wrote a kind of rant in the review for this one.

I probably won’t read as much this month.

  • I liked reading Paul Ramsey’s Developers Diary 1, because it rung really true to the experience of that sort of software development, especially how volume of output, time you put in, and impact can be skewed in opposite directions.
  • I liked this Bloomberg article about buying crude oil, which was relevant because of the negative price of oil futures in April. So much of the world economy is thoroughly abstracted from the physical world.
  • Huffington Post’s tell-all about Clearview AI was shocking, especially the details about Clearview’s investors, which include Naval Ravikant, the founder of AngelList.

Bandcamp is taking no revenue cut today, so if you want to buy some MP3s for your prepper library, now’s a great time. I’m excited to catch up with all the Wolf Parade albums I missed, and complete my Big Thief collection.

I’ve been trying to tune out with movies. From Dusk till Dawn is deeply absurd but really enjoyable. I’m shamelessly enjoying the Fast & Furious series, even the later films that the true fans hate. And enjoying a bit of High Maintenance, which is still such an affirming series.

That’s it for now. Not a lot to report, in this claustrophobic era.