Ephemera, 07/07/23

So now I’m thinking about reading Eric Ambler, because he fits right in with the mild enthusiasm I’ve developed in middle age for 20th century thriller writers. Not only the sublime, like Graham Greene, who I’ve been slowly reading over the last five or six years, but the completely forgotten, like Helen MacInnes, several of whose books I’ve also read over the same time frame. The outdatedness (of both geopolitics and tech) is the point. Nothing helps me relax like a good potboiler from the middle of the last century.

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“Don’t become one of those people who only reads certain sorts of books.” (Henry Oliver)

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So now I can look at Threads for a stream of silly shit similar to the stuff I used to view at Instagram before I deleted that app because of the overwhelming advertising and sponsored “reels” or whatever they call them. I can look at Substack Notes (but don’t) to watch relatively smart people talk to each other about their newsletter businesses. I can look at Twitter (but don’t) for … I don’t know anymore, really. Then there’s Facebook, which consists solely of ad bots and Groups, which is a user-hostile sort of bulletin board software. Frankly, I’ll stick with a well-curated RSS feed.