Travis Ennis

Weekly Review 2

This is a few days late, but here it goes.

In the past week, I finished listening to The Plague Year by Lawrence Wright on Audm. The original article was published by the New Yorker on December 28, 2020, but I listened to it in audio format, which ran to nearly 3 and half hours, but it was utterly fascinating. I had followed the news about the pandemic closely over the last year, but this article opened my eyes to several things I didn’t realize were occurring and put some things I were aware of into a new context. Highly recommended.

Discovered Gnod - The Global Network Of Discovery and its music recommendation service, Gnoosic, today. Never heard of this site before, but it actually has been pretty good so far. It ask you for three artists (I entered Library Tapes, Max Richter, and Brian Eno) and it has recommended three artists so far that have all been new to me, but that I like. Once it starts making recommendations, it asks you to rate each one and then it makes a new recommendation based on that answer. Apparently the site is run by Marek Gibney.

Why do I like sci-fi television and movies so much but have a hell of a time trying to find science fiction writing that I think is worth a damn?

Catching up on Jez Burrow’s newsletter, Dept. of Enthusiasm, I ran across his recommendation for the show, Taskmaster.

Taskmaster is another in a long line of British panel games who contestants are comedians. The show was created by Alex Horne and is co-hosted by Greg Davies. The contestants are comprised of comedians who have made regular appearances on other similar shows throughout the years: QI, Would I Lie to You?, 8 Out of 10 Cats , Countdown, their mash-up 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Virtually Famous, and, going back a ways, Whose Line is it Anyways?. Would I Lie to You? has long been a favorite and looking at who has been guests on that show would give you a taste of the cast of characters that rotate among the current shows.

This tradition of using comedians as guests on panel shows has been something that has apparently had long-lasting success in the UK, but has never really caught on in the United States, with the American version of Whose Line is it Anyways? being an exception. I think they are far more entertaining than the American shows that feature B-list celebrities that seem to be cast solely because people will recognize them and not because they are entertaining people in their own right (Sean Spicer on Dancing with the Stars immediately springs to mind).

Listening to a New Yorker article and the claim was made that Goldman Sach’s purpose is to make wealthy clients wealthier. Contrast that though with this quote:

it feels safer, more productive and easier to go after the devices or systems or people that seem to be so close to getting it right. But it’s the laggards that cost us the most.

The opportunity of the laggards | Seth's Blog

It’s no surprise that many people believe we can make our society better by lifting up those with the least, but I think we do a really poor job of arguing that point. And, of course, the wealthy usually have no interest in such an effort.

I’m using my feed reader more and trying to stay off social media. Tools like are really cool finds that help make the experience even better.

My favorite music for the month so far: February 2021 - playlist by Travis Ennis | Spotify

You've found yourself on the site of Travis Ennis, a software engineer who lives in Indiana. If you'd like, you can contact me.