The Secret Service And Other Stories

Well, I was going to write something about the Californian Ideology and how it got us into our current nightmare, but Dan Hon has said it better than I would. I’d only add that we’re likely downplaying just how much tech people bought into the things that brought us here, just like how we downplay how the IEA went hand-in-hand with pirate radio, swinging London, and Keith Joseph. There’s a direct line from the hippies to Thatcher/Reagan, and there’s another between the cipherpunks and today.

Now, in happier news, I need to tell you about a book. I haven’t finished it yet, but you need to run, not walk, and get hold of The Secret Service. You should probably get the eBook rather than hunting down an expensive physical copy (h/t Jennifer Hodgson).

It’s a book about spies in the early 19th century that can turn into objects. It opens in medias res with one of the main characters as a goblet. It is absolutely glorious. Run, don’t walk.

Finally this week, I recommend that you all, like me, watch Taggart from the beginning. The Glasgow high-rises! The early episodes switching from 16mm to videotape at a drop of a hat! The Biscuit! A very naked 21-year-old Alan Cumming! Taggart taking the piss out of Jardine every five minutes!