The Hollow City Ransom Riggs. Second volume in the "Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children" series. Reasonably good, takes the story further with the magical/superpowered children going on a journey through WW2 Britain in search of a cure. The period setting is a bit sketchy and unconvincing, but the story works.
What I'm Reading 2
A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers. Sequel to "The Long Way to a Small Angry Panel". Has two strands of story, one of an AI trying to adjust to a new life in a humanoid robot body, one the backstory of the engineer Pepper.
The Pepper story is good throughout as she faces problems and hardships. The AI storyline is pretty weak, lacking conflict and tension. Overall plot is very predictable, and with a smaller cast of characters that's more noticeable as a flaw.
Another problem is that the AIs-as-slaves concept is raised but can't be seriously addressed without the cutesy utopia turning horrific. A slavery narrative where an escaped slave lives in whiteface in a slave state, in constant danger of being exposed, dependent on a protector; would not be a cute story but a nightmare.
Overall though if you don't try to dig to deep it's a fun, entertaining story.
Slammed at work with a ludicrous release schedule where we have two releases a week or two apart, so no diary for a while. It's oh so very important that we deliver for new customers, so obviously the best course of action is to constantly divert hundreds of hours of effort that could go into developing new stuff into releases instead.
Doesn't help that we have no clear unified system of priorities. My team has two Product Owners, both distracted with other things, my line manager often has different priorities, and the two releases have different release managers. Each team is supposed to have one PO who decides priorities and goals, but it seems to have ended up with me telling people what to work on and deciding what to merge in to the releases.
Had to work through a couple of ailments as well, including an annoying eye infection that meant I couldn't see out of my left eye.
Toddler doing OK though he's been having more tantrums on the way to nursery. As soon as we get there though he runs straight off and starts playing happily without a backwards glance.
Socioeconomics. Women’s cooperatives: A glimpse into Rojava’s economic model. Tax and the self-employed. Graph of pre and post housing cost incomes by region. Dani Rodrik: What did NAFTA do, Think for yourself on free trade.
Sci/Tech. Star Wars graphics. Crap robots at Hebocon. Factcheck: Mail on Sunday's "astonishing evidence" about global temperature rise. Specialised mobile phone (see reviews).
Politics. Lessons on authoritarianism from Putin's trust-less Russia, Boring and tolerable Malaysia. Corbyn's Brexit compromise might play OK with Labour voters. Politics is back and business didn’t see it coming. The myth that British data scientists won the election for Trump. How to think about climate apocalypse:
...the ideal psychological culture for the current form of calamity capitalism is an apprehension of coming collapse mated bluntly with the possibility of individual escape. An economy driven by debt and fueled by looting and burning the resources that have sustained the species for generations would feel far more monstrous if it weren’t for the lingering suspicion that it might all be in flames tomorrow anyway. The world is on fire. Might as well build that pipeline.
...the inconvenient truth, the other inconvenience about the world ending this way: it’s not ending for everyone. ...How would the Cuban Missile Crisis have gone down, though, if the negotiating parties had known, with reasonable certainty, that they and their families would be out of reach of the fallout?
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