Fake Law: the Truth about Justice in an Age of Lies — the Secret Barrister
A serious and depressing book about how the criminal justice system works — or, more often, does not work — in the UK. The anonymous author takes on lots of pervasive tabloid hobby-horses and shows how they are mostly based on lies and exaggerations: for example, there is no easy route to wealth in the UK by making unreasonably high compensation claims for minor injuries. The thread that runs right through the book, and which made it ultimately unenjoyable to read, is the progressive defunding and overstretching of our legal system, including the gradual but inexorable elimination of legal aid.
Recommended; but not because it’s fun, because it will make you better informed.
Even though ChatGPT and similar “AIs” don’t really understand anything, they can still be fun to play with. On a whim, I asked ChatGPT to be my dungeon master for a quick game of Dungeons and Dragons, and it went surprisingly well.
That pull request that’s 100 lines and’ll take you an hour to review? No.
That issue that’s requesting you to pull your project just in a slightly different direction? No.
That little opportunity that you’ve been waiting for but you just know you can’t do right now? No.
Again, I am sympathetic. I agree, mostly. Yet at the same time, I hate to imagine being the guy who spent multiple days on a PR to something of real value, only to have it insta-rejected with “Sorry, I don’t have time to review this”.
Like a lot of people, I am aware of the ecological impact of my diet, and for that reason I’m eating a lot less meat now than I did a few years ago. I’ve also moved away from beef specifically, which is three or four times as ecologically costly as pork and chicken. But then there’s this …
A workaday action novel about a counter-terrorism agent and his colleagues surviving a revenge attempt from a group of Albanian terrorists, number 3 in a series. There’s the seed of something here, but a lack of craftsmanship that renders most scenes plodding and most characters bland. Much is made of the lead character’s deep bonds of friendship with certain other characters, but nothing comes of it. Similarly someone else’s profound and detailed knowledge of guns doesn’t go anywhere. I won’t be going back for books 1 and 2, or 4 to 13.
Last Sunday, in a manifestation of the arrogance for which I am known and loved, I entered a painting competition. For a £15 entrance fee, I went with a friend to Pittville Park in Cheltenham, and spent six hours painting. The competition brief was to paint anything inspired by what you see in the park, representational or abstract. Here’s the view that caught my eye: