Henrik Carlsson's Blog

All things me.

I’m so fed up with content

posted this article on and tagged it with Black Mirror Content Handwritten Subscription services TV shows

Linn and I have started watchning the latest season of Black Mirror. (Season 6, I think.) So far we’ve only seen the episodes ”Joan is Awful” and ”Loch Henry” and I think both were good.

In the past I’ve thought that the problem with ”Black Mirror” is that it’s rarely as clever as it thinks it is.Its good ideas have usually been explored better in earlier works of sci-fi and it has this air of baby’s first dystopia. Two episodes in and I feel that this problem is less present in this season, even though the meta narrative stuff they’re doing at the moment are balancing on the edge of becoming masturbation.

But I’m not here to complain about Black Mirror. I’m here to complain about Netflix.

The problem isn’t the service Netflix, it’s the Netflix apps. They’re just so noisy. When I want to find something to watch I want to browse a list of recommendations, of I’m searching for something specific and want to see the results of a search. Netflix does present a list to browse but doing so is like browsing a minefield. Whenever I stop the cursor for just a second to read something or look at a poster, the thing I’m currently highlighting starts autoplaying.

I’ sure there’s lots of data that suggests that this maximizes the consumers engagement with the content. But I don’t want to consume or engage with content. I want to watch a movie or a tv show. Sometimes to relax and to take my mind off of things and sometimes to challenge myself to new ideas and perspectives!

When I finally find something to watch in this endless sea of content to consume, if that something is a tv show the next annoyance shows up.

”Skip intro”

I HATE the ”skip intro” button. If what I’m watching is something that’s really meant to be watched for its artistic merits, the intro is part of the experience. The director and editor has crafted the pace of the film (or show) with the intro in mind. Is sets the tone, tells part of the story. The ”skip intro” button just tells me that I should rush past this boring thing and get to the content.

And then, after I finished watching an episode of something, enter the stress again. As a movie or an episode ends I like to remain immersed in the world I just visited and think about what I saw while the credits roll. Oh now you don’t, says Netflix and starts pushing the next thing. If I want to stay with the credits I have just a few seconds to find the remote and quickly tell it that yes, I’m actually watching this and I want to continue doing that.

Why, Netflix, are you so afraid of me actually getting a few seconds to think? Are you that worried that I’ll realize that so much of what You present to me are just meaningless, artless content meant to distract my mind and keep me subscribed?

Post scriptum: The rest of the season was good as well.


posted this article on and tagged it with Handwritten Social Networks Threads

I wrote this headline in my notebook a few days ago, thinking that I should collect my thought on Threads under it. Up until now the page has remained empty. The thing is, the more I think about Threads the less I care about it.

Don’t get me wrong, if you’re on Threads and you are having a great time there then good for you. The same goes for having a good time on Instagram, TikTok or Twitter och Reddit or whatever. People having a good time on (or off) the internet is a good thing. I’m not here to say that Threads is meaningless or uninteresting on an objective level, just that it’s uninteresting to me.


posted this article on and tagged it with Neal Stephenson Reading Seveneves

I’m currently relistening1 to Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves and just like the first time around I really like it. I have been falling behind on books lately but this past weekend I felt like listening to something and I was completely burnt out on podcasts so I decided to go back to this one. It’s so grand in scope and such a thrill-ride and then parts of it is, despite it’s dire subject matter, sort of a cozy book to me. Yes, the situations the characters are in are terrible and they have to make some tough choices but is competent people making the best out of their situation, solving problems as they come up. That is apparently something that really speaks to me.

I started listening on Saturday and today (Wednesday) I finished part two of the book. Oh, speaking of nothing in particular in the book, this post will be full of spoilers for the book. The intended reader is somebody who has read the book, or who doesn’t give a shit about being spoiled. Alright, moving on.

As I was saying, I finished part two of three today and I haven’t started on part three yet, so anything I write about ”5000 years later” will be based on my memory from my first time through the book. That being said, I think the first and the third part are the best ones. The second part drags from time to time.

Part One

The first part is just fantastic. The opening is great. I quoted and raved about the opening sentences on my first listen of it but it’s not just those lines. The first couple of chapters are amazing. It draws me in from the first sentence and then keeps it up, without it feeling ”cheap” like som page-turners can feel. The way the ending of one section can so nicely translate into the beginning of another, even thought the latter one is from the perspective of a different person and/or some time later gives it a really nice flow.

There’s also a clear way that things are heading. Maybe not as clear as a goal but at least I as the reader know that we are moving toward The White Sky and The Hard Rain and that everybody needs to to everything they can before those events.

Part Two

I’ve been thinking a lot about part two during this listen. I don’t really have a problem with long asides about orbital mechanics or other things. On the contrary actually, I love those asides in novels. So that’s not the problem with this part of the book.

Also in my mind, part one goes on up until Dinah telegraphs repeated ”QRT QRT QRT” to he father. To me, that’s where part one ends and part two begins.

I think the problem with part two is two-fold. It doesn’t have as clear of a narrative goal as part one. It feels like there’s a continuous struggle to get somewhere, but where that somewhere is isn’t quite clear. At times that makes it extra tense, which is good, but at other times it feels like it’s not really going anywhere.

The second problem is that it’s in part two that the main characters makes some really stupid decisions, decisions that feels out of character for them. For the first part of the novel people make the best they can out of a terrible situation, and they do it by making rational choices. Sometimes the choices are hard to make, but it’s still rational. In the second part, we have the situation with J B F.

When she shows up at the Cloud Ark, it’s in clear violation of the Crater Lake Accord. The clause about no world-leaders being allowed to be sent up seems like such an important one. Her role wasn’t to escape to orbit. Her role as president was to die with the people. Since she cowardly abandoned that, when she asked permission to come about Ivy should have declined. Yes, that’s grim, but so is nuking people the way J B F did, though given the circumstances, doing that was the right choice.

Failing to decline Julia, once she has been allowed to the Ark, once all hell has broken lose, and once Aïda is calling asking to get back to Endurance, the answer should once again have been no. She and the other’s chose to leave the Ark and to go on their own so F off and good luck.

Obviously I’m writing this with hind-sight but my memory is pretty clear on me feeling this on my first go through the book, when the situations first unfolded, as well.

And again failing that, once there on Cleft holding The Council of the Seven Eves, how, HOW can they allow Aïda and Julia to be part of the future of the human race. I get that killing them, a quarter of the human race at that point, would have been a really hard decision, but one that Tekla was ready to make. But they wouldn’t have had to do that. Let them live, but don’t assist them in having children. Particularly Aïda is so clear with her intentions, letting her build her own clan when the others could have just as easily refused her seems so illogical.

That being said, without these choices there wouldn’t have been a part three. And I love part three. Well, I loved it the first time around. Let’s find out tomorrow if I still do.

  1. I have a really hard time deciding whether I should call it listening or reading, when I’m not the one doing the actual reading of a book. 
posted this article on and tagged it with Drinks and cocktails snapshots

Happy National Martini Day! 🍸

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Coronaförnekare på lista – regionrådet: ”Oj” — FaluKuriren

Dalarnas sjukvårdsparti släpper alltså in personer på sin regionslista utan att ens googla personen för att se vad hen står och argumenterar för. Det är så beklämmande slappt.

Midnight Swim

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Tonight (midnight between the 31st of July and 1st of August) was the ”Midnight Swim” here in Sundborn, where a bunch of swimmers swim from the damm next to Carl Larsson Gården upstream to the church and then back downstream again. It seems to be an annual thing and I heard about it last year but was too tired to check it out, something I regretted the day after when I saw photos of it and read about it in the paper.

So this year I decided to go regardless of whether I was tired or not and I’m so glad I did. It was really cool to see the lit up buoys (the right word?) that the swimmer dragged with them in the dark, and the speed they managed when they headed back downstream was simply amazing.

Here’s some photos:

The last group of swimmers (the fastest ones) starting their journey.
Resting and gathering the group back together at the church, before turning back downstream.
High speed swimming downstream, closing in on the finish line.

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posted this article on and tagged it with Podcasts

Were podcasts that are ostensibly about something always this rambling, or has my tolerance gone down?

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The Stand – the 2020 tv series

posted this article on and tagged it with Adaptations The Stand TV shows

Earlier this year (or was it late last year, time blurs) me and Linn watched the new tv series version of Stephen King’s The Stand and we really liked it. It wasn’t the greatest, nor most interesting thing ever made for tv but it was a fun watch. After we finished it I read some reviews and saw that a lot of people, both regular viewers and professional critics, seemed to dislike it and I just couldn’t understand why they where so down on it.

Now that I’ve only got a few hours left of the audiobook of the novel I can sort of see where they are coming from, but I still don’t agree. Yes, if you’ve loved the book for decades then the show is going to leave you feeling it lacks so much. That’s kind of always the case. It’s an adaptation, not an exact word for word retelling with sound and moving images. On the other hand if you, like me, know about the book but haven’t gotten around to reading it the show is great ”fun” and might actually push you to read the book

Stop reading here if you don’t want spoilers.

Thus far in my reading of the book there are even some things that I think the tv show does better, primarily Randall Flagg himself. In the novel he is a sort of a demonic entity from the start whereas in the show he comes of as very human to begin with, almost getting you to like him, while still there being something wrong about him. Alexander Skarsgård is perfectly cast for the roll and his puppy-dog eyes makes it all the more effective when he does do scary things. It’s much more scary with a psychotic human then a demon.

Harold Lauder also comes to mind. The character in the book never gets as interested as he has potential to be and I think Owen Teague’s portrait of him really makes him human. I think there’s much more of an interesting internal conflict in him in the show as compared to the novel, and you end up both hating him, pitying him and also understanding him in the show. In the show you can see how it really was perfectly possible for him to drop his grudges and be ”Hawk” instead, remaking himself as a likable person in Boulder, but that he choses not to.

Worth noting also is the casting of James Marsden as Stu. While not ”better” than the book, it’s simply great casting. Marsden is really the perfect actor to play this almost archetypical character, the redneck with a heart of gold.

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A feature request for micro.blog

posted this article on and tagged it with micro.blog Microblogging River of News

I have a feature request for micro.blog. Well, maybe not so much a feature request as an idea, or food for thought and discussion. I think it comes from a similar idea that Dave Winer blogged about a few years ago, like many such ideas seem to do.

The idea of a character limit for what’s being presented in a river of news or a social network timeline is a good one and I think two-hundred and eighty is a reasonable one. Naturally that means that longer posts needs to be truncated. The idea is that instead of truncating it with a link to the original, maybe the truncated version can be folded out when clicked/tapped to present the full post in the context of the river/timeline.

I think I’ve seen people mocking up similar ideas for twitter in the past as well.

I can see how it can become unwieldy for very long posts and/or posts with a lot of media attached to it. Maybe a two stage process where posts gets folded out to up to something like 500 characters and if they are still not visible in full they’ll get truncated with a link. Or maybe it’s a setting per client? Or maybe it’s not such a good idea at all. I’m not sure.

Any thoughts, dear reader?

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What Mac laptop should I buy?

posted this article on and tagged it with Mac Narrating my work

It’s time for me to get a new computer at work this year. We generally use Macs and we get new ones every three years. From 2015 to 2018 I was using a 13″ MacBook Pro, a computer that I truly loved. I had all the ports I needed (as long as I remembered to bring a Thunderbolt to Ethernet dongle) and it was small and light in my backpack.

Twenty-eighteen rolled around and it was time to decide on a new computer. By that time some of my colleagues had gotten the new USB-C/Thunderbolt 3-only laptops in the previous year and results where mixed to say the least. To give some examples, one of my colleagues absolutely loves here 15″. Another one is quite happy. One likes everything except the TouchBar. One likes his computer but has had to have it serviced multiple times do to keyboard issues. Another one has been serviced because of screen problems. Another colleague abandoned the Mac platform entirely. I felt quite strongly that I didn’t want to get into the potential problems of dongles, keyboards and all the other stuff but I did want to stay with the Mac. Fortunately I had one option, the 15″ late 2015 MacBook Pro was still on sale so I decided on that one.

Since then my computer and me has had an on again, off again relationship. I love the fact that I rarely need a dongle to anything. I love that I can plug in both SD cards and USB flash drives whenever I want. And MacSafe keeps being great. However it is was too big for my taste. The 15″ form factor is really not for me. It has even gotten me to the point where I occasionally get out the old 13″ and bring that one in my backpack. Also for the last six months or so I’ve really felt that this machine (the 15″) is letting me down in terms of speed and the fan noise in Zoom meetings is driving me crazy.

So it’s time to get a new one. When the 16″ hit the market last year(?) I thought I new what the future held in stock for me. I hoped for a similar 14″ form factor and that that computer would be the one for me. Now such a computer doesn’t exist. But the M1 laptops exist and they seem very nice. But am I ready to jump on a new technical platform early on? Will Pro Tools, MediaComposer and similar tools work? Will all my x86 terminal tools be available for Apple Silicon? And most importantly, do I feel like I have the time to figure these things out?

My options

Here’s basically my options:

The basic problem that all three have is that they are USB-C/Thunderbolt only. I would really, really like to have at least an HDMI port and an SD card slot. And now there seems to be some rumours about upcoming Macs that might have that. But to I have the time to wait? Last week I would have said yes, at least wait until after WWDC but yesterday I realised that the most likely reason why my 15″ wobbles on the table is that the battery has started swelling and that seems like something that will kill it sooner rather than later.

With that in mind I probably just need to suck it up and head into the USB-C world. And if I do that the Intel 13″ has a distinct advantage in that it has four ports instead of two. Two seems to be very few. Also the Intel one has a know processor architecture. Every piece of software will probably work just as well as on the old 15″, right? Right?!?!?

Well, maybe not because my 15″ is still on High Sierra.

Let that sink in for a moment.

I still use a laptop on High Sierra.

Why? Simply because when Mojave came out I just couldn’t be bothered with checking whether all the tools that I need to do my work still worked or not. I had one small child and one very small child at home and messing with things that already worked seemed like a terribly idea. And then I stuck with that solution. This computer will remain on High Sierra until it dies. This makes it quite possible that the transition to a new computer will be less that smooth even if it’s still and Intel machine.

So the ports then. Four is indeed more than two. And why settle for two when I can have four? Well…

That’s why:

Geekbench scores for my three options, compared to my current machine.

Based on this, getting a new 13″ Intel machine seems like a very small step up from what I have today, but a small step that still brings the hassle of new ports and an os that means I will have to do a lot of compatibility checking. On the other hand, getting an M1 machine almost doubles my single core performance scores and more that doubles the multi core ones.

So a MacBook Pro 13″ with an M1 then? Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeell, if it had four USB ports and the Air only two then the deal would have been sealed. But the port situation is the same for both. And the Air has the added benefit of being fan-less. As I currently hate the fan noise from my computer maybe this is the way to go? Or maybe not having a fan means it’ll throttle the processor way too often resulting in I poor experience in the long term? So that can go either way.

And then there’s the TouchBar, or the lack of a TouchBar. The Air has proper function keys, while retaining TouchID. Even though I’ve only briefly tried the TouchBar on other peoples computers it seems to not be something that I want to have. Potentially cool but as far as I’ve seen there hasn’t been a ”killer app” for it, but there is the risk of accidental input.

In conclusion

It’s a bit anti-climactic but I don’t know for sure which way to go. In writing this text I think I’ve settled on getting a new one as soon as possible, and narrowing the choice down to either the MacBook Pro 13″ or the MacBook Air, both with an M1 processor. Which of those I should go with I still don’t know.

Any suggestions?