The Monday Kickoff

Kick off your week with set of links on a variety of topics, served fresh each Monday

Welcome to this week's edition of the Monday Kickoff, a collection of what I've found interesting, informative, and insightful on the web over the last seven days.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend asked me what license I'm publishing The Monday Kickoff under. I hadn't really thought about that — I'm just curating links after all. I didn't think of that as something I needed to license.

After about five seconds of thought, I decided to use a CC0 Public Domain license for the posts this space. Yeah, I'm nice like that ...

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Productivity

The 10 most important things to simplify in your life, wherein Joshua Becker offers some advice that can help you streamline what you do and how you live you life.

In defense of cheap, wherein we learn that it's the quality of what you put down on paper, and not the quality of your paper and pen, that really counts.

Prioritization – More Important Than Any Productivity Technique, wherein we hear something I've been saying for years: productivity isn't about doing more. It's about doing what you need to do more effectively.

Ideas

An Apology for the Internet – From the People Who Built It, wherein some of the pioneers of the early days of the web look back at what it was meant to be and where things went wrong, and offer some potential solutions to the problems facing the online world.

Why 'urban villages' are on the rise around the world, wherein we learn that an urban village is more than just a physical space, and how the concept can transform and strengthen communities.

The Nighthawks of the Giant, wherein Alex R. Jones recounts lonely late nights shopping at a Giant supermarket in Los Angeles, the people he encountered, and how those excursions helped him escape (albeit briefly) the worries and stresses of his daily life.

Open Source

Producing Open Source Software, wherein we learn, in book form, about how successful projects operate, the expectations of users and developers, and the culture of free software.

How to develop the FOSS leaders of the future, wherein my fellow Opensource.com community moderator VM Brasseur explains why leaders of open source projects need to cultivate their eventual replacements to ensure the longevity of their projects.

Williamson Schools to develop open source social studies curriculum, wherein we discover that open source encompasses more than software, and how a school district in Tennessee is using the open source ethos to create textbooks for their students.

And that's it for this Monday. Come back in seven days for another set of links to start off your week.

Scott Nesbitt


If you enjoy The Monday Kickoff, please consider supporting it by buying me a coffee, or making a micropayment via Liberapay or PayPal. Even if you don't, I'll keep doing this. Your support (even if you just read this space) is appreciated!


The Monday Kickoff is licensed under CC0 Public Domain.

Welcome to this week's edition of the Monday Kickoff, a collection of what I've found interesting, informative, and insightful on the web over the last seven days.

A quick note of thanks to everyone who reads what I publish in this space each week. The response The Monday Kickoff has been getting is exceeding my expectations. I'm glad you're finding what I post here interesting and useful. Please share it freely.

And a special thank you to those of you who've made small pledges of support in the last week or three. I appreciate it. An if you want to support my work (even in a small way), check the end of this edition to learn how to do that.

With that out of the way, let's get this Monday started with these links:

Politics

The Case of Hong Kong's Missing Booksellers, wherein we discover the price of dissent under an authoritarian government, even if that dissent is merely selling the wrong (in that government's eyes) books.

The Left's Missing Foreign Policy, wherein Aziz Rana explains that on matters of foreign policy the Republicans and Democrats aren't all that different, and argues that Democratic Party needs a fully developed non-imperial articulation of American foreign policy.

The demise of the nation state, wherein author Rana Dasgupta argues that the nation state, once the cornerstone of many a society and culture, is being fractured and fragmented, and replaced by something less cohesive and more uncertain.

Ideas

How to Defeat Drought, wherein Israel has a few lessons for conserving and better using water to share with the increasingly parched South African city of Cape Town.

Patriarchs in the making, wherein we discover the works of some 17th century artists which are only now being exposed to the eyes of a global audience.

Creating the Cafe Society I Always Dreamed Of, wherein Iris Martin Cohen explains the joys and pains of creating a new literary salon in New York City.

Technology

Blockchain is not only a crappy technology but a bad vision for the future, wherein Kai Stinchcombe argues that not only is blockchain technology worthless and untrustworthy in practice, but it also doesn't increase trust. In anything.

It's Time for an RSS Revival, wherein the case is made to revitalize one of the web's older (and more important) technologies, which has been overlooked in recent years.

Robot cognition requires machines that both think and feel, wherein Luiz Pessosa posits that there's more to intelligence than just the ability to think. There's also an emotional component, which sets humans apart from machines and AI.

And that's it for this Monday. Come back in seven days for more curated links to start off your week.

Scott Nesbitt


If you enjoy The Monday Kickoff, please consider supporting it by buying me a coffee, or making a micropayment via Liberapay or PayPal. Even if you don't, I'll keep doing this. Your support (even if you just read this space) is appreciated!


The Monday Kickoff is licensed under CC0 Public Domain.

Welcome back!

Recently, a few someones asked me if I read everything that I link to in these kickoffs. Yes, I do.

I do a lot of reading during the week — at lunch, while commuting, while waiting around, and all that — and try share the best of what I read with you. I might not agree with everything I read, but it all does provoke more than a few thoughts.

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Various

A Walk to Kobe, wherein author Haruki Murakami recounts the sights and changes he say on a two-day trek on foot from the suburb of Nishinomiya to downtown Kobe, Japan.

Pens and Needles: Reviving Book-Embroidery in Victorian England, wherein we learn about the once-fashionable art of embroidering book covers and how the bibliomania, patriotism, and issues around gender were central to its 19th century revival.

Children of ‘The Cloud’ and Major Tom: Growing Up in the ’80s Under the German Sky, wherein we get a glimpse of what it was like to grow up in Germany towards the end of the Cold War.

Science and Technology

The Left-Handed Kid, wherein the book The Chinese Typewriter: A History gets reviewed, and with it we learn the fraught history of creating a typewriter for a non-Latin language.

Does your DNA really change in space?, wherein we get a glimpse of the science around living in Earth's orbit (and beyond), and what really happens to our bodies when we're in the space — right down to a genetic level.

Three Types of Passphrases, wherein we learn about the differences between passphrases and passwords, why passphrases are important, and the three main types of them. A good primer for anyone interested in privacy.

Productivity

On Simple Productivity Systems and Complex Plans, wherein Cal Newport discusses the need to balance simplifying productivity systems and simplifying your plans.

The Best Ways to Beat Procrastination, wherein you learn two ways to help you break through the barriers that are holding you back and move from doing nothing to reaching done.

Manoush Zomorodi says it's time to get bored, wherein the host of the popular Note to Self podcast explains how to step away from our screens and enjoy the pleasures of boredom to refresh our minds.

And that's it for this Monday. Come back in seven days for another set of links to start off your week.

Scott Nesbitt


If you enjoy The Monday Kickoff, please consider supporting it by buying me a coffee, or making a micropayment via Liberapay or PayPal. Even if you don't, I'll keep doing this. Your support (even if you just read this space) is appreciated!


The Monday Kickoff is licensed under CC0 Public Domain.

Welcome to this week's edition of the Monday Kickoff, a collection of what I've found interesting, informative, and insightful on the web over the last seven days.

Last week went by quickly, didn't it? With winter coming to the southern hemisphere, I'm looking forward to days (at least the weekdays) whizzing by like that. Even though it doesn't snow here in Auckland, winter in the Land of the Long White Cloud's biggest city can be a bit numbing at times.

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Writing

How to use the em dash correctly, wherein we learn about an overused and often misused piece of punctuation, and how and when to use it.

A look at the evolution of headline writing, wherein the folks at Al Jazeera explore how news headlines have evolved from their humble origins in the 19th century to their current forms (both good and bad) today.

You think writing’s a dream job? It’s more like a horror film, wherein we learn some of the realities of being (or trying to be) a professional writer. Trust me when I tell you that Tim Lott knows what he's talking about.

Science and Technology

Digital Media and the Case of the Missing Archives, wherein it's revealed how quickly and completely writing (or anything) can disappear from the web, never to return.

How Einstein Lost His Bearings, and With Them, General Relativity, wherein the legendary physicist's moment of losing the plot at a crucial point in his career is revealed, as are the lasting consequences of that moment.

Students with complete control over their laptops? For one district, it hasn't been a disaster, wherein the open source powered student technology initiative spearheaded by my buddy Charlie Reisinger is examined. If you want to learn more about this story, read Charlie's excellent book The Open Schoolhouse.

Various

Japan’s Prisons Are a Haven for Elderly Women, wherein we hear the sad tale of Japanese women turning to petty crime to go to prison so they can both have companionship and afford to live. This is part Tokyo Story (a wonderful film, by the way), and part a result of Japan's declining birthrate and rising population of the aged.

Rebuiling Mosul, Book by Book, wherein we learn that it can sometimes take more than erecting buildings to bring a devastated city back from the brink.

Re-Hermit, wherein writer Warren Ellis asks us to ponder and describe how our brains work in an effort to to surface the problems, and perhaps the ways to solve them.

And that's it for this Monday. Come back in seven days for another set of links to start off your week.

Scott Nesbitt


If you enjoy The Monday Kickoff, please consider supporting it by buying me a coffee, or making a micropayment via Liberapay or PayPal. Even if you don't, I'll keep doing this. Your support (even if you just read this space) is appreciated!


The Monday Kickoff is licensed under CC0 Public Domain.

Welcome to the first edition of The Monday Kickoff!

Every Monday (in New Zealand), I post three sets of three links to what I've found interesting, informative, and insightful on the web over the last week. It's a great way to get your brain working at the start of the week and to give you something to read on your commute, during a break, or at lunch.

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Analog

Why handwriting is so important, wherein you learn why handwriting isn't just a simple skill to master but an act to treasure.

The Dash/Plus System, wherein writer Patrick Rhone outlines his simple system for keeping on track and completing tasks.

Midori Traveler’s Notebook, an invaluable tool from Japan, wherein a tech journalist rhapsodizes about this trendy, popular, leather-wrapped notebook. I don't know if the Midori is capable of all the magic that its proponents claim it possesses, but it is a nice notebook.

Productivity

Get specific!, wherein person of many skills Derek Sivers outlines a two-step process to figure out what you need to do to achieve a goal. The advice is aimed at musicians, but anyone can use it.

How to Stick With Good Habits Every Day by Using the “Paper Clip Strategy”, wherein productivity guru James Clear explains a simple way to help you not only form good habits, but also work your way through any task no matter how boring.

'Getting to Done' on the Linux command line, wherein you learn about some command line tools for Linux that can help you get and stay productive. Yes, the Linux command line isn't only for geeks!

Various

Why paper jams persist, wherein you learn the engineering behind paper jams (and printers), and what engineers do to try to make jams a thing of the past.

Do Flashbacks Work in Literature?, wherein author and translator Tim Parks ponders the use of the flashback in fiction, framed around a comment made by another writer that flashbacks are infuriating.

Inside the OED: can the world’s biggest dictionary survive the internet?, wherein we learn about the slow pace of the development of the biggest English-language dictionary and how it's not able to keep pace with the internet or the constant changes in the language.

And that's it for this Monday. Come back in seven days for more curated links to start off your week.

Scott Nesbitt


If you enjoy The Monday Kickoff, please consider supporting it by buying me a coffee, or making a micropayment via Liberapay or PayPal. Even if you don't, I'll keep doing this. Your support (even if you just read this space) is appreciated!


The Monday Kickoff is licensed under CC0 Public Domain.