Trialing a new format.

This week we have a bunch of lefty links.

  • The Forest and The Factory by Phil A. Neel and Nick Chavez. Long, occasionally whimsical essay on a question that is often overlooked in utopian post-capitalist imaginaries — how do things actually get produced? In particular — how are things produced at scale? Neel and Chavez identify as communists, but even if you don’t like that word there is much to be learned here for anyone interested in imaginaries like eco-socialism, degrowth, social ecology, solarpunk and so on. Link to Chavez’s website
  • Mother Trees and socialist forests: is the “wood-wide web” a fantasy? by Daniel Immerwahr. The idea that trees are altruistic and can share resources and information has gained a lot of traction recently, sometimes in eco/leftist discourse as part of a project to naturalise peace and cooperation. But I’ve always found it farfetched, and this article seems to agree.
  • We Live In An Age Of “Vulture Capitalism”. Interview with economics writer Grace Blakeley. Some interesting discussion about why “state” vs “market” is the wrong debate.


Roadside Picnic by Arkady & Boris Strugatsky. Gripping Soviet-era sci-fi novel that the Stalker film and S.T.A.L.K.E.R games are based on.


The Airborne Toxic Event by the band of the same name. I’d not listened to this band in years. Brilliant album, with the standout track Sometime Around Midnight being one of the best sad songs of the 00s.


  • Watched Into The Congo with Ben Fogle this week. Fogle visits Congo-Brazzaville, and spends time with many interesting peoples and people, including Mbenjele hunter-gatherers, the fashion-loving Sapeurs, and stars of the absolutely bananas Congolese wrestling scene. I have a dear friend originally from Congo (hi if you’re reading!), so it was nice to learn a little more about his country.
  • Watched Britain’s Got Talent for the first time in over a decade. Saturday night family entertainment is a thing now, I guess.

Up to much else?

  • We’ve been laying plywood underfloor upstairs in our house ready to hopefully get some proper flooring soon.
  • Final parents' evening of the year was on Thursday. It went fine, despite me being a bit worried about it.
  • Made a bit of progress toward my next crossword for I’ve not set one for months, and they take me so long to construct.