13: Christmas Shopping, Makers, Unjust anger

2022-11-26 – Saturday

  1. Today we’ve got to do some Christmas shopping, so I figured it was best to conserve as much energy as possible before we begin.
  2. So I had a long lie-in and read.
  3. I’ve enjoyed rereading Makers, but my options have changed in the decade or so since I read it last.
  4. Firstly I still love near-future sci-fi. I love how we’re seeing signs of this coming to fruition in the real world.
  5. Secondly, I still love the characters but wonder why through part 2, Lester is relegated to caricature. It feels like after his time in Russia. His character became as superficial as the results of his visit. That’s a shame because I thought he was the most interesting character in part 1.
  6. Thirdly at 43, I now find myself feeling much more anger and frustration at the inequalities described in the book and the power of corporations to ruin the NPC and primary character’s life.
  7. I know this is just a story, but given Doctorow’s campaigning and what he blogs about (I’m left-leaning, and my personal views tend to align with his), you know there’s more than a grain of truth there.
  8. Regardless, you see the things he writes about happen more and more these days anyway.
  9. A dog-walking friend has to move out of the home she raised her family in because property speculators bought the house next door and added an extension blocking out all the natural light from her windows. The planning system ignored her appeal, sided with the speculators and told her she had no right to appeal!
  10. Another dog-walking friend who runs a bakery in the village I live in has had the lease to his building sold to another set of property speculators who are now digging up his backyard (which has storage for his business) to build houses! No one consulted him, and he has no recourse to the impact on his business.
  11. When he goes, as he inevitably will. He’ll be unable to sell his business as a going concern, screwing his future and depriving the village of a bakery, one of the last non-corporate (Sainsbury local, Tesco Express etc.) shops in our village.
  12. On Monday, I wrote about how I want remote work to reinvigorate local communities.
  13. I understand this means people will relocate to the countryside, and more residential housing will be necessary.
  14. However, speculation like this, which pushes community members out of the area or deprives a village of independent business, for short-term profit is not the way to do this.
  15. What’s the point in having more people if you don’t have the services and amenities to serve them?
  16. The planning laws should prevent this from happening by supporting people to build a community and run businesses that has net positive result for the long term of the villagers.
  17. You can come away from reading Makers and be angry at the unjustness of it all. A pissing contest for the ultra-wealthy, fuck the little guy.
  18. Or you can come away thinking, what if we came together to do something about it? What if we chose to build a community? Wouldn’t that be swell?
  19. Read this hilarious Letters of note from Rik Mayall to Bob Geldof
  20. Reading: Makers by Cory Doctorow
  21. Wordle 524: 4/6

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