- ‘Fed up with the Mac, I spent six months with a Linux laptop. The grass is not greener on the other side’ by Carlos Fenollosa for his blog
- ‘Surviving the Crackdown in Xinjiang’ by Raffi Khatchadourian for The New Yorker
- ‘I Thought My Job Was To Report On Technology In India. Instead, I Got A Front-Row Seat To The Decline Of My Democracy.’ by Pranav Dixit for BuzzFeed
- ‘Outriders review’ by Steve Hogarty for Rock Paper Shotgun
- ‘How the Supreme Court saved the software industry from API copyrights’ by Timothy B. Lee for Ars Technica
- ‘Google Blocks Advertisers from Targeting Black Lives Matter YouTube Videos’ by Leon Yin and Aaron Sankin for The Markup
- ‘What does the future hold for RPGs?’ by Kat Bailey for Rock Paper Shotgun
Carlos Fenolossa writes about using Linux for six months as a Mac user. I always find posts like these interesting because I like seeing what kind of software related issues that become blockers for an individual person using a different operating system than the one they’ve used to. I agree with Carlos on his opinion about Nautilus over Finder. Finder is by far my least favourite thing about macOS. Linux’s package management is still one of those things I miss from using Linux on the desktop. However my desire to play PC video games is one of the biggest reasons I remain on Windows. The other reason being the switching cost of moving to a completely different operating system. It’s a tall ask for me nowadays.
Raffi Khatchadourian writes a long and difficult read about the Chinese government’s oppressive treatment of the Uyghurs and Kazakhs in China’s Xinjiang province. I will issue a content warning for this piece, it contains descriptions of what I can only call torture and abuse so go into it with that in mind. If you only have time to read one piece from this week’s list, make it this one.
Pranav Dixit writes a story about escapism and mental health from the perspective of a journalist watching his country fall apart. A lot of it is relatable, especially in our current times where I turn to escapism as a way to keep the constant state of anxiety at bay. Some days are harder than others and I try to take it one day at a time.
With each passing year, watching Tim Cook saunter onstage to sell thousand-dollar smartphones has felt more and more like watching a two-hour commercial that changes only slightly each time it runs. But this year, I can’t wait — if only to tune out of the real world for a while.Pranav Dixit, I Thought My Job Was To Report On Technology In India. Instead, I Got A Front-Row Seat To The Decline Of My Democracy.
Steve Hogarty writes the funniest review about an extremely average and unfunny game. This one is worth a read even if you don’t care about Outriders just for the delightful use of the English language. I’ll just leave this quote here:
Even when playing solo, the world feels designed for more than one player. Every map in Outriders resembles a diagram of the human digestive system. You begin at one end, like a samosa, slithering down narrow throats littered with all that detritus you’re not supposed to take cover behind. This inevitably leads to a baggy stomach area to stretch your legs and fight a large number of small to medium sized enemies at once, which finally constricts again into a series of winding intestines that eventually squeeze you out through a cutscene sphincter, dumping you into a room large enough for a big boss fight. Usually there are optional bladders and fissures branching off the main route to investigate along the way, which serve as grounds for side quests and exploration.Steve Hogarty, Outsiders review
Timothy B. Lee writes a good break down of the the US Supreme Court decision on the Oracle vs Google case on API copyrights. If you like me have been wondering just what the fuck the significance of the case is want to understand what the decision actually means, this is a good place to start as any.
Leon Yin and Aaron Sankin write a investigative piece about another shady Google/YouTube advertising shenanigan. This time it is about Google blocking advertising targeting videos about Black Lives Matter while allowing for targeting on the racist nonsense from the white supremacists out there. None of this surprising to me anymore but its worth reading to understand just how asinine the systems that run YouTube are.
Kat Bailey writes a piece about the future of RPGs. I am not 100% sure about the use of AI and machine learning in RPG design being /good/ but it will certainly create some interesting situations. Personally, I’m not a biggest of RPG players and one of the well lauded games mentioned, Disco Elysium is one I haven’t gotten around to yet mostly because I’m very hesitant to play a game with that much text and therefore reading said text. I generally prefer my reading to be in the form of non-fiction books or online articles like the ones linked here. So I prefer my RPGs more like Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla or Outer Worlds than something like Disco Elysium.
That’s all from me this week, see y’all next week and until then stay safe!