Issue 38 Jul 10, 2023

The importance of being idle


This letters finds you a day later than intended. It’s due to things piling up, the previous week being the last before Sweden closes down for a month. Yep, that’s a thing here, everyone’s on vacation, autoresponders are on, and you can’t expect to get a reply until a week into August.

It got me thinking about the song, “The Importance of Being Idle”, by Oasis, from the album Don’t Believe the Truth. I’m listening to it now, while researching its origins. It’s inspired by a humerous self-help book with the same title by Stephen Robins. I’m afraid it’s not on Kindle, so I can’t speak for its contents, but it is a pretty darn good title.

Being idle, and embracing off-time, is important. Taking over a month off (we’re back in full at Divide & Conquer on August 14th) should offer plenty of that. The calendar is pretty full, though. People to see, places to visit, electricians to book for the new solar roof, things to do – sometimes it’s stressful being off work. That’s even without a six-year old who’s used to being at preschool, running around like crazy with his friends. I’m guarding the empty spaces in my calendar viciously. Lazying about is the best way to get new ideas, after all.

And the song, “The Importance of Being Idle”? It’s fine, but I can’t stand it anymore. At some point in the pre-smartphone era, I set it as ringtone. Back then, people actually called, so I’ve heard the giveaway guitar tune a million times. Don’t make that mistake.

Now, assuming the electricians will finish up, I’ll get busy with my idleness. At least for a bit.


🥅 The cage match between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg might happen. I doubt it, but it might. I’m not sure if this is entertaining or the biggest bore. Either way, there’ll be no winners, only losers, in that cage.

🎥 Dozens of TV shows are disappearing from streaming platforms, and it’s all because the need to cut costs. This means that there are shows you can’t see without resorting to illegal streaming or downloading. Things have moved in the wrong direction here.

🤖 Today in AI: Statement on AI Risk. It’s a very short one, with some big names attached to it. Oh, and OpenAI is getting sued, with Sandman Slim author Richard Kadrey, as well as Sarah Silverman, attached to the lawsuit.

🪦 My father’s death in 7 gigabytes was an interesting story, well worth a read.

👱‍♀️ Finally, a New Yorker piece on Mattel and what’s coming after potential mega-hit movie, Barbie. I’m happy to see that the Masters of the Universe movie project is moving along, albeit not particularly surprising given the success of the animated shows (yes, plural) on Netflix.

Got something I should read? Send it to me, either by replying to this letter, or tweeting to @tdh. Thanks!


📚 I’m still reading Dead Beat by Jim Butcher. If my idleness succeeds, I expect to finish it soon enough.

🎵 I have no idea how I stumbled onto Blake Shelton, it might’ve been my wife’s doing, but his album Body Language is perfect for the drive from Stockholm to our house on the country. Some catchy, and corny, songs on there.

📺 We’re easing our way through The Crowded Room. Not sure what I think about it yet. It’s well made, as most Apple shows are, but it lacks something. This might change though, I’m not dropping it yet.

🎮 There’s a new Mortal Kombat game coming out soon, and I wanted to see how fighting games were on the ROG Ally, so now I’m playing the Mortal Kombat 11 story mode.

It’s hot and sunny. I’m all alone in the country house (which sounds a lot bigger than it is), not counting the electricians. I’ve got a few days here before I’ll go back to the city, and I intend to do as little as possible. We’ll see how that goes, I’m already eyeing a couple of projects in the garden. Things to build and all that jazz.

I’ll get back to you on Sunday. Until then, use sunscreen.

— Thord D. Hedengren ⚡

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