Tom MacWright


View from the new office’s window

This was a big month of change for me – I announced that I was joining Val Town and wrote a big update about Placemark. Plenty more to write, but at least here I’ll take a little breather and just do the usual: what’s new!


I only finished one book this month - Meet Us By The Roaring Sea, which was part of my book club. It was great, and gets me off on a good footing for reading a lot more fiction in 2023.

I really liked Brian Potter’s weekend roundup, which covers a lot of funky building technology – wooden potash storage, robotically-assembled buildings, 3D printed houses.

I have mixed feelings about the layoffs explainer from prof Pfeffer that has made the rounds a few times. It seems right in a broad sense, but too simple: framing layoffs as pure contagion helps explain and color the senselessness of them, but doesn’t really help construct a why-and-now-now-what sort of thought.

iA’s writing about GPT is grumpy but I love them for it, and also for iA Writer which is up there with Things as the slickest software of all time.


I watched a few of the movies this month that everyone watched and felt approximately the same as they did about it. I also watched Solaris (the new one) and Gone Girl, which were both fantastic.

Like, ahem, people of a certain mind-type, what I watch to tune out has often been of people assembling, disassembling, or making things. I’ve collected a good range of those and here they are: Baumgartner Restoration for art restoration, Clickspring where a friendly Australian man makes tools from scratch to make a clock from scratch modeled after an ancient greek analog computer, Donut Media where fun kids disassemble and reassemble cars, and James Hoffmann for coffee brewing in total depth.


The only music I added to my collection this month was FKA twigs’s Magdalene, which is spectacular. Cellophane in particular - her albums really do things with production and song structure that you don’t hear elsewhere. That song sits next to Dawn Chorus from Anima in my head.

In podcast news, Odd Lots keeps coming out with great episodes. I liked this one about egg prices, and has lots of egg puns.