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This is INFODUMP 46
Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy.


This is going to be brief, because it’s already late!

The past few days has been taken up with setting up and opening a virtual writers room for a new TV show (which I can’t say anything about yet). The process has not been without its hitches, because corporate security is something I hadn’t factored in. All our writers are now becoming experts in two-factor authorisations, and in some of the more egregious software choices that have been foisted upon us. I had hoped we might just be able to get together on Zoom and thrash out the story. I was very wrong indeed...

The big news since the last letter is that The Shadow Over Innsmouth has been released. You have probably already zeroed in on it, if it’s your sort of thing, but in case not, the BBC page is here and the Apple link is here. Miranda Sawyer also busted out her best ever review for this show.

On social media, there are a lot of people asking if this is really the end. The answer is that it absolutely is. For now...

The template for this letter has this section marked up as “Media”, and it’s supposed to be the place where I rave about movies, books and TV that I’ve consumed over the past week or so. Sometimes, though, time flies by and the book is mediocre and the TV show is mediocre and it comes time to write the next letter and there’s nothing to rave about.

It’s actually worse when the mediocre stuff is that which other people have been raving about. I do my best not to slag stuff off on here. I’d rather either enthuse about something or stay silent. And so this week it’s silence on the new stuff.

I did re-watch The Remains Of The Day for the umpteenth time, and am happy to report that it’s still one of my favourite movies ever - I find something new there each time I see it.

I'm also coming to the end of Elementary, which I have thoroughly enjoyed all the way through - the US procedural show at its very best.

Hopefully by next time, I’ll have more to recommend.

Setting up a virtual writers room ought to be right up my street, but the restrictions placed on us by the corporate powers-that-be have left us with less-than-marvellous technology to play with. It’s an interesting glimpse into the corporate world - a lot of software seems to be chosen not because it does one thing very well, but because it does a few different things in a so-so manner. I do get why those choices get made for thousands of users in one go, especially when those thousands of users are inevitably going to be of mixed abilities, but it’s not how I choose apps as an individual, and it is frustrating to be forced into a clunky methodology.

On a personal level, Notion is still working very well for me. I’ve also been using Typora a little bit as a really nice minimal app for editing MD files.

I've been taking a look at SubStack and wondering if it might be a useful place to start a letter specifically for writers - tips, tricks, tools, that kind of thing. It's an idea I'm noodling with, but I'd need to get a bunch of pieces under my belt before launch, in order to stay on target with the thing. Hit me up if that might be interesting.

A couple of longer reads this time around. Timed for the release of his Netflix movie, Mank, in early December, this New York Times piece on David Fincher is very good.

And on a productivity tip, Cal Newport's piece for The New Yorker about the history of productivity systems is a really useful overview, and provides some justified criticism of the culture.

See? I promised brief and I have delivered.

Fuck it. Send.
Copyright © 2020 Julian Simpson Ltd, All rights reserved.

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