Included below are reviews of things that I have been thinking about recently.
"Talks With a Devil" by P.D. Ouspensky Two allegorical stories about the nature of the devil from the Slavic mythos. Devils thrive from our materialism and rationalisations.
"A State of Fear: How the UK government weaponised fear during the Covid-19 pandemic" by Laura Dodsworth An important document detailing the government and media's methods to exploit psychology and illicit fear in order to coerce the UK population.
"The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers" by Robert C. Martin (Uncle Bob) A must-read for any software programmer. If you've ever been, or wish to be paid to write code, then this book is for you.
"A Tale for the Time Being" by Ruth Ozeki Meditations on Zen Buddhism through the lens of a tale of two souls, connected by a tragic real world event.
"Tragedy and Hope 101: The Illusion of Justice, Freedom, and Democracy" by Joseph Plummer Quigley's Tragedy & Hope is a notoriously long and difficult book to read: Plummer does a great job of breaking it down and adding his own insight into how a cabal technocratic elites gained and maintain control.
"House of Gucci" in cinemas I knew almost nothing about the history of Gucci and the fasion world in general. This movie (probably) dramatises a lot of what happened, but it's a good deal of fun.
"Dune" in cinemas I thought this movie was really great: it looks amazing, has a brilliant soundtrack and provides a lot of detailed lore... BUT I really wish it wasn't split across two movies...
"Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time" on Amazon Prime A true end for Evangelion, showing growth in Anno's younger otaku world-view. Humanity isn't a hedgehog's dilemma when given hope.
"Bitter Lake" on BBC iPlayer In true Adam Curtis fashion, this documentary is heavy on the aesthetic. It gives an insightful history of the situation in Afghanistan and the formation of the Afghan mujahidin groups.
"Monkey Dust" on BBC Three Long-since removed from iPlayer, this dark comedy is still deeply relevant today. Harsh but true gags about British politics, outrage & celebrity culture and modernity in general. If Radiohead's 'Paranoid Android' video was a TV show, it would probably be like this.
"Cyberpunk 2077" on PC An absolutely beautiful trainwreck of a game. Night City is one of the most visually impressive world's in a video game I've experienced. It's up there with 'Everybody's Gone to the Rapture' on the list of places that are such a joy to experience that gameplay easily takes a backseat.
"Death Stranding" on PC Jeffrey Bezos and Daryl from The Walking Dead attempt to make American great again with Fedex, unborn babies and wireless internet.
"Everything" on PC I had dreams about jumping into other creatures and then into a planet after playing this. I love that you really can be 'Everything' in this fun, imaginative game. The talks from Alan Watt that soundtrack the beautiful score are great additions.
"Hynospace Outlaw" on PC A weird and wonderful simulation of the wild-west, late 90s internet 1.0.
"Paratopic" on PC A lo-fi indie horror game with an eerie PS1-era aesthetic. If Silent Hill was directed by David Lynch.