Weeknote 27 June 2020: WWDC, social media, and a whole lot of linking

I think you basically have to not be looking at the state of the country to not be anxious about the state of the country. I keep trying to remind myself that I’ve lived through worse – when I left school aged 16, it was with the absolute certain knowledge that there were no jobs and would never be any jobs. Oh, and nuclear war would probably happen well before I ever had chance to do much anyway.

But if the combination of a madman in the White House, a man-baby in Number 10, Brexit and a global pandemic that the British people have unilaterally decided isn’t worth worrying about isn’t making you anxious then probably nothing will.

Of course the difference between 16 year old me and 53 year old me is that I have more to lose. Sure, back then I had my whole future to lose: but my generation was raised on their being no future. I sometimes think that the strangeness of my generation is down to us being perpetually surprised that we’re still here at all.

This is also the fiftieth anniversary of the first Glastonbury, which I attended religiously in the 1990s and completely stopped going to after that. I had to think very hard about which Glastos I went to – if you can remember them all, you were doing it wrong – but I think it was five. I don’t remember seeing many bands, but I remember very well the feeling of potential, of space to be yourself – or, if you preferred, someone else.

MacOS Big Sur

It’s officially macOS 11, which ends an era which, for me, began on a Eurostar train coming back from Apple Expo Paris. Myself and MacUser technical editor Keith Martin spent the journey back installing the prized CD-ROM copy of the beta version of Mac OS X on a translucent blue iBook G3, and cooing at the “lickable” interface.

I think the new interface is lovely. It looks like “iPadOS Pro”, with a dock that’s rounded and raised from the bottom of the screen, just like the iPad’s. The design language is the same as iPadOS 14, including iconography, translucency and colour schemes.

To me, that’s a good thing. I love the look of iPadOS and I’m really pleased that my Mac will look as sleek and modern. Some long-term Mac users might baulk at first, but I’m willing to bet they will love it after a while. And it once again raises the bar, making Windows 10 and ChromeOS look like they really need a refresh.

I really like it.

Social media is a kind of hell

We are all in a collect space of political angst which we are communicating every day by social media. With social, you find what you’re looking for: if you sign into Twitter looking for a fight, looking for some negativity, you’ll find it. If you look for good, you’ll find that too. But that anxiety means we look, actively, for the bad.

Some stuff I’ve been reading

“I feel like I’ve been dragged into being a poster child for something I don’t believe in.” Fascinating interview with Gary Vanerchuk, who is a much more nuanced person than his fans might expect.

One of those quotes about business that really makes me stop and think: “Don’t ship the org chart”. And, related to that, any business which puts together these three things has a decent chance of success.

TikTok is awesome, but jeez it’s also a massive piece of spyware.

The use of Google Docs as a kind of surrogate for web publishing is fascinating. I’ve been meaning to do something interesting with it for a while – but I haven’t worked out what. Could you write a semi-collaborative blog just with Google Docs? I bet someone’s already doing it.

Is it really a year of Boris Johnson?

I don’t think that Skylake’s abysmal QA was really the reason for Apple to transition to its own processors – I think that was always going to happen at some point – but it probably tipped things along.

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