Listed below are some thoughts about the things that I have been engaging with lately.
- "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.
- The Northman Bloody, brutal and brilliant. This epic story of a blood-thirsy Nord captures the desire of revenge incredibly well, but, reality is not always what it seems.
- The Batman This is Gotham City portrayed as truly "gothic" and it's absolutely brilliant. Brutal, but brilliant. Thankfully, this re-telling skips the now well-troden origin story and gets straight to the detective work – this is Batman at his very best.
- Godspell Totally bonkers musical re-telling of the early New Testament. The Big J is represented as a clown who gathers a group of lost individuals to rejoice across the empty streets of 1970s New York City. Definitely one for repeat viewings, the story is difficult to follow through song, but the soundtrack is very good.
- Little House on the Prairie Good wholesome light entertainment. This is a very rosy portrayal of the American Dream. I like that many of today's problem's feel unique to the modern day, but the families portrayed here often share the same problems we do now.
- Detectorists Nobody would believe that a comedy drama about metal detecting could be so enriching for the soul. Incredibly wholesome, funny and sometimes bitter-sweet all at the same time.
- TUNIC That's it – pack it up, ladies and gentlemen. This is quite possibly the best game ever made, we can all go home now. Esoteric lore and a slowly unfolding list of puzzles combine with a beautiful artwork and a delicious soundtrack. To top it off, TUNIC's greatest trick is that it hides its truths in plain site.
- Tetris Effect Throw your best pair of headphones on and experience the most trippy and captivating way of clearing lines of blocks to date.
- Age of Empires IV The most captivating history documentary I have yet seen. The creators Relic Entertainment had an almost impossible task: faithfully rejuvenate a classic of the RTS genre whilst also updating the gameplay for modern audiences I really think they did a great job. My absolute favourite aspect is the campaign mode, complete with documentary footage giving the history before each challenge.
- Cyberpunk 2077 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 back-seat.
- Death Stranding Jeffrey Bezos and Daryl from The Walking Dead attempt to make American great again with Fedex, unborn babies and wireless internet.
- Everything 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.