Links and Notes - March 28th 2021

Weekend getaway

After a year of staying at home carefully, we finally took a holiday away from home for the weekend. It's morning as I type this, and we will be returning in the afternoon.

I know Covid is still out there and we shouldn't be trifling with it even though we've received our vaccines and have had time for immunity to build up. At the same time, there is no plan at this point to defeat covid the way that New Zealand or Taiwan did. And people are going about with their lives; packed bars, small but no less sweaty rock concerts, fully booked basketball and futsal courts are all common now. Which means we need to slowly work our way back into normal day to day life. Learning to live with covid. That sort of thing.

So we are out at a small place down in the southern part of the country. It's got minimal accommodation which means we have the whole place to ourselves. It's so damn nice after so darn long. Being in a pool, and watching the little ones playing so freely is such a blessing. Although the place is so nice, I do feel some sadness washing the waves crash up against the break wall in the middle of the day. The ocean is relentless. The water levels continue to rise. One day in the near future, most of the garden of this place will be gone. Swallowed whole.

On a less solemn note, I finally got myself a pair of goggles. I don't know why I never did this before. While I enjoy wearing my glasses and swimming because it allows me to see when I pop my head out, it doesn't compare to how much comfort the goggles give. I don't think I'll ever swim again without them.

There is one thing of course when it comes to getaways. I like to be digitally sparse when I'm out and about. As a result, I don't really have much that I read or even think about. I don't think I'll force myself to do consecutive links and notes the next time I'm on a holiday. I just didn't want to allow myself a chance to break the habit.

TV and age limits

I think about TV and what is appropriate content for children a lot. I'm not a prude, or at least I try not to be, but I do think of appropriateness in terms of what matches a child's development. A good example is Kung Fu Panda. It's action packed, plenty of smashing and hitting, but the action and the story are so readable. Most children aged 5 are going to be able to understand what's happening.

Contrast that with small foot. Completely unintelligible.

Both have the same 7+ age rating. Both of them have content that's not objectionable to many younger children. But they couldn't be further apart in how easy they are to follow.

So when I watch TV with my son, I'm fascinated by which things he finds he's able to understand. For shows that opt for more abstract concepts like dream sequences — a heavily used device in smallfoot — my son will struggle to fully understand what's happening. Similarly, sequences that have lots of flashy action with quick quips sprinkled in all dance on an edge where the smallest animation choices can make all the difference.

Basically, I think age ratings need a re-working. I'd be more interested in understandability as a rating rather than age suitability. Age suitability is a concept that varies too much across cultures to mean anything, except maybe that we submit ourselves to the western hegemony for cultural guidance. What the brain can understand at a given age however feels less varied. So use the age rating for that. Use symbols to describe what to expect in the content instead if people want it.

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Previous links and notes (March 27th)

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Posted on March 28 2021 by Adnan Issadeen