The Monday Kickoff

Start your week with nine curated reads, 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.

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Arts and Literature

The Pleasures of Tsundoku, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Book Piles, wherein Antoine Wilson looks at stockpiling books and sees it not as obsession or boarding, but as a source of pleasure and literary discovery.

The changing art of the subeditor: ‘You had to read the type upside down’, wherein Suzanne Warr looks back at how newspaper copy editors did their jobs in the days before it all went digital.

The Death of the All-Powerful Director, wherein we discover how the failure of Heaven's Gate, and the behaviour of its director, changed the way in which Hollywood studios green light and fund movies.

Productivity

Hundreds of Ways to Get S#!+ Done—and We Still Don’t, wherein we learn why it’s so hard to make a to-do app that works, but why people often feel so distraught by their hunt for the perfect organizational system.

Use the Two-Minute Rule To Stop Procrastinating, wherein Fadeke Adegbuyi explains how knocking those little jobs that accumulate in our task lists can lead us to increased productivity.

How Productivity Tools Can Waste Your Time, wherein we learn something I've been saying for a long time: searching for that perfect app isn't going to make you more productive. Doing the work is.

Odds and Ends

Baseball and Japan, wherein we get a brief look at how America's favourite pastime became such a huge phenomenon in Japan.

How are cassettes still a thing?, wherein Radio New Zealand reporter Tony Stamp delves into why the venerable tape format has persisted even though there are more modern options for storing and sharing audio available.

The strange 19th-Century sport that was cooler than football, wherein we learn about competitive pedestrianism, a wildly popular professional sport in the 19th century, which spawned spectacles, highly-paid competitors, and rabid fans.

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

Scott Nesbitt

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.

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Arts and Literature

Il Maestro, wherein director Martin Scorsese weaves a moving paen to the artistry of Federico Fellini and the sheer visual magic of his work.

The right angle, wherein James Panero ponders the joys, the wonders, and the timelessness of Isaak Walton's classic treatise on fishing, The Compleat Angler.

Why 1971 was an extraordinary year in film, wherein Christina Newland explores why that year brought so many powerful films before the eyes of the movie-going public.

History

The Long Shadow Of Colonial Science, wherein we learn a bit about some dark chapters in the history of science, ones which involved bolstering colonial power and outright theft.

The Art of Making Debts: Accounting for an Obsession in 19th-Century France, wherein Erika Vause examines the (often humorous) way in which the 18th and 19th century French viewed debts and the relationship between creditors and debtors.

The Twopenny Hangover, wherein Mike Dash looks at the stories of, and the truth (or lack thereof) behind, a particular sort of lodging house that supposedly existed in England from the 19th century until the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Business and Economics

Navigating a new digital era means changing the world economic order, wherein Shamel Azmeh ponders the economic effects of the our digital world and the need to set out a new regime of global governance for the digital age.

Darwinism and Markets Don’t Mix, wherein Matthew Barad argues that if capitalist markets really are Darwinian, it’s clear that they select for ultra-short term and extractive thinking that severely damages the world.

How McKinsey Destroyed the Middle Class, wherein we learn how management consulting firms, like McKinsey, helped hollow out corporations and, as a result, drove wages down and made upward mobility within the corporate structure almost impossible.

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

Scott Nesbitt

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.

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Technology

Why We Should End the Data Economy, wherein Scott Staton explains why we need to push for that, not only to protect ourselves but to protect democracy.

DuckDuckGo's Quest to Prove Online Privacy is Possible, wherein we learn a bit more about the upstart search engine's attempts to convince people that giving up one’s privacy online is not, in fact, inevitable.

Cozy Tech, wherein we learn about how some tech firms are replacing cold textures and materials in their products, which is leading to an upswing in textiles as a component of tech devices.

Ideas

Coleridge the philosopher, wherein we learn that the famed poet was also a prolific, and highly respected, writer of philosophy.

A Life of Meaning, Without Buying, wherein Leo Babauta why many people buy things to get a sense of fulfillment, but don't realize that gaining a sense of fulfillment comes from looking inside themselves and not to material things.

The Silences Between: On the Perils and Pitfalls of Translation, wherein Mark Polizzotti argues that moving between two languages involves more than translating words and ideas, but also taking cultural interpretations into account.

Odds and Ends

Wild Rice Waters, wherein Emily Hicks and Melody R. Stein take us on a journey through the waterways of Minnesota to learn more about efforts to restore wild rice and the obstacles those efforts face.

Heartlands: Shinkoenji, wherein we're taken on a tour of a section of Tokyo, known for its shops and hangouts, but which also boasts an impressive collection of temples and shrines.

Into the Mystical and Inexplicable World of Dowsing, wherein Dan Schwartz meets some of the people who find water with sticks and has some of his ideas challenged.

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

Scott Nesbitt

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.

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Productivity

Not-to-do list: a conscious way to break bad habits, wherein Anne-Laure Le Cunff introduces a simple technique to help you break bad habits and to focus on what you really need to do.

The Practice of Truly Enjoying Time Off, wherein Leo Babuta offers some advice about how to take time off and not feel stressed or guilty about it.

In Defense of Thinking, wherein Cal Newport argues that taking time to deeply think about a problem or task lays the foundation of actually dolving it or getting it done.

Space

Should We Terraform Mars? Let’s Recap, wherein Brian Gallagher looks at the (mainly online) war of words around whether humans should change the Red Planet and whether that's even possible.

Could humans have contaminated Mars with life?, wherein geneticist Christopher Mason ponders whether or not there could be life on Mars, in the form of microbes or spores that hitched a ride on one of the close to three dozen probes we've sent there.

Is Mars Ours?, wherein Adrian Mann examines some of the ethical issues around humans colonizing and changing Mars in our (and our planet's) image.

The Dark Side of Technology

Why Is Ransomware on the Rise?, wherein we learn how the rules, reasons, and consequences of the titular cyber attacks have changed and what companies should do (but which many don't) to prevent attacks.

This Manual for a Popular Facial Recognition Tool Shows Just How Much the Software Tracks People, wherein we learn how the user guide for a particular facial recognition tool provides insight on just how people can be identified and followed through its facial recognition.

How to Negotiate with Ransomware Hackers, wherein we delve into the murky world of ransomware attacks and learn more about the people who negotiate with the perpetrators.

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

Scott Nesbitt

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.

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Science

What’s Behind the U.S. War on Science?, wherein Vincent Ialenti examines why so many Americans not only distrust science and scientists, but also why they have lost faith in expertise itself.

The Lithium Mine Versus the Wildflower, wherein we learn about the fight, spearheaded by a pair of passionate botanists, to save a rare plant species, one literally sitting on top of a mineral that can help fight climate change/

What is daydreaming? Parts of the brain show sleep-like activity when your mind wanders, wherein we learn that mind-wandering seems to happen when parts of the brain fall asleep while most of it remains awake.

Productivity

Tagging is Broken, wherein Tiago Forte explains why using tags to organize information is inefficient and counterintuitive.

Wanting More Time for Your Meaningful Work, wherein Leo Babauta offers some simple, yet powerful, advice that can help you make the time and space to do what you really want to do.

Multitasking is a menace – it should come with a health warning, wherein Emma Beddington concludes that multitasking is a necessary evil, but that we shouldn't lionize those who seem to be able to do it.

Crime

The Bank Robbers Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight (Or Do Anything Right, Really), wherein we learn about a trio of hapless would-be gangsters who chose the wrong English bank to try to rob.

The Lazarus heist: How North Korea almost pulled off a billion-dollar hack, wherein we learn how hackers from the secretive communist regime tried, and very nearly succeeded in digitally robbing the national bank of Bangladesh.

The Sky Thief, wherein we learn about Beebo Russell, who stole an Alaska Air passenger airplane from Seattle's airport and what happened afterwards.

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

Scott Nesbitt

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.

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Business and Economics

Amazon Prime Is an Economy-Distorting Lie, wherein we learn how the ecommerce giant has been using its virtual monopoly to raise prices among its sellers, and using those gains to subsidize its popular Amazon Prime service.

Cryptocurrency Isn’t All Bad, wherein Mark Leon Goldberg looks at decentralized finance which makes financial services available on blockchain without conventional intermediaries like banks or brokers, and its potential for poorer nations.

Why it's the end of the road for petrol stations, wherein Justin Rowlatt argues that the availability of easily-accessible charging stations is what will make or break electric vehicles.

Ideas

Why humans find it so hard to let go of false beliefs , wherein Elitsa Dermendzhiyska examines why it can be difficult to resist misinformation in the face of corrective evidence.

The Tyranny of Time, wherein we learn why more and more people are arguing that we need to urgently reassess our relationship with the clock.

What Renaissance?, wherein Henrik Lagerlund argues that the Renaissance is an invention by historians, a fiction made in order to tell a story – a compelling story about the development of philosophy.

Work

Can pop-up work holidays help workers de-stress?, wherein we learn how and why companies (at least in the U.S.) have started offering employees unscheduled “self care” days on top of regular paid time off, but how that might not be enough to stave off employee burnout.

The 'Zoom towns' luring remote workers to rural enclaves, wherein we learn how smaller towns in the U.S., far away from the usual corporate and tech hubs, are trying to attract remote workers with the promise of a lifestyle that brings them closer to nature.

Atlassian’s Vision for the Future of Work Is a Cyber-Taylorist Nightmare, wherein Ben Conway argues that the long-term goal of the maker of such software as Jira and Confluence is one that compels us to work, limits our autonomy, and outmaneuvers and divides us when we organize to fight back.

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

Scott Nesbitt

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.

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Science

Here’s why we don’t understand heavier-than-air flight, wherein Brian Skinner discusses how, despite building and flying machinery for over 100 years, scientists are still puzzled by how that happens.

The fight against fake-paper factories that churn out sham science, wherein we learn how editors of scientific journals, and others, are trying to combat the systemic production of falsified research.

Quantum music, wherein we learn a bit about the history of melding music with physics, and why that isn't such a fanciful notion.

Crime

The Strange Story of Dagobert, the “DuckTales” Bandit, wherein we learn how a struggling artist decided to turn to crime to fund his work and how that made him something of a folk hero in Germany.

Did Paying a Ransom for a Stolen Magritte Painting Inadvertently Fund Terrorism?, wherein we learn how money paid to recover stolen pieces of European art may have wound up in the coffers of the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations.

The Snitch, wherein we learn how convicted fraudster Scott Kimball became an FBI informer, and used that as a platform to commit far worse crimes.

Odds and Ends

UFOs Were Born Among America’s Cold War Fears, wherein we learn a little about the history of the U.S. military's investigations into unidentified flying objects, and where that's leading towards today.

In Praise of Small Menus, wherein Rachel Sugar explain the joys and benefits of eating at restaurants which offer a limited selection of dishes.

Inside Youth Baseball's Most Notorious Dad-On-Dad Rivalry, wherein David Gauvey Herbert takes us into a brutal, bruising rivalry between two Long Island fathers who took their sons, and America's favourite pastime, far too seriously.

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

Scott Nesbitt

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.

Another month has rolled around, long before I think it should have. But who am I stand in the way of the march of time?

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Politics and Government

The Underground Movement Trying to Topple the North Korean Regime, wherein we learn about the origins and actions of Free Joseon, a group that started as an aid and assistance group for North Koreans but which morphed into a direct action organization.

The Death of Distance, wherein Samrat Choudhury looks at the history of border conflicts between India and China, and how current tensions in the Himalayas could result in war.

Beyond the Nation-State, wherein we learn that the concept of the nation state isn't as venerable as we've been led to believe, and how that concept just might be damaging our ability to think creatively about how to tackle the pressing global challenges that transcend both borders and levels of governmental organization.

Business and Economics

Inside Pictet, the Secretive Swiss Bank for the World’s Richest People, wherein we get a glimpse into a firm that most people have never heard of and learn about its attempts to remain relevant and to thrive in a changing world.

Why Cryptocurrency Is A Giant Fraud, wherein Nathan J. Robinson explains why he believes cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are a sham and how, after careful analysis, the case for their use by most people collapses utterly.

Why the next stage of capitalism is coming, wherein Matthew Wilburn King argues that capitalism is at an inflection point and must become more human-centric to evolve and survive.

Odds and Ends

The Origins of Japanese Curry, wherein we discover how a dish associated with India morphed in form to become a staple of Japan's diet.

One Man’s Amazing Journey to the Center of the Bowling Ball, wherein we learn how a former drag racer and low-level professional bowler became one of the top bowling ball designers and how he influenced that profession.

Goodbye to the Future: The Last Days of Tokyo’s Nakagin Capsule Tower, wherein we learn about the origins of Japan's first capsule building (that wasn't a hotel) and it's upcoming fate.

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

Scott Nesbitt

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.

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Work

Is extreme working culture worth the big rewards?, wherein we get another look into the high-pressure world of finance and why many, including younger workers, stick with it despite all of the BS.

Weary of Work, wherein we learn a bit about the attitudes towards, and theories about, the causes of fatigue among workers that developed in the early 20th century and which helped shape modern work culture.

How overwork is literally killing us, wherein we learn that karoshi isn't a phenomenon confined to Japan and that more people are dying from overwork than from malaria.

Arts and Literature

A Writer From the Future: Who Was Sci Fi Iconoclast Izumi Suzuki?, wherein we learn a bit about the Japanese science fiction author who lived, wrote, and died by her own rules.

The bleak Hollywood masterpiece that attacked 'fake news', wherein Mark Allison looks at Billy Wilder's film Ace in the Hole and how it perfectly lampoons and encapsulates the dangerously manipulative power of mass media.

The NFT Funhouse Mirror, wherein Samantha Culp looks at the (digital) world of non fungible tokens and how they seem to be a funhouse mirror reflecting the flaws and asymmetries of the current art market.

Technology

GeoWorks: The Other Windows, wherein we learn a little about a beloved, niche graphical user interface, its fate, and how it's making a comeback of sorts.

When Hackers Were Heroes, wherein Thomas Haigh looks back at Steven Levy's seminal book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution and examines how the promise of those days in computing history actually played out.

Behind the painstaking process of creating Chinese computer fonts, wherein we learn a little about the work of Bruce Rosenblum and a team of programmers and designers in the early 1980s to create a usable Chinese operating system and its requisite fonts.

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

Scott Nesbitt

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.

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Technology

The Cyber Cold War Is Here, wherein we learn a bit more about a war in the digital shadows that is rapidly, and exponentially, escalating.

On Telegram, Cubans are coming together to revolutionize the internet, wherein we learn how access to the internet is starting to change the island nation, and how it has the potential to change the country in the future.

Appropriate Measures, wherein we learn about small, simple technologies that can help communities become more self-sufficient.

Writing

Here's why Substack's scam worked so well, wherein Annalee Newitz explains why she thinks that everything about the popular newsletter publishing platform — especially its editorial policies — is a complete sham and how she fell (in a small way) for the scam.

The High Bar of Expectations Can Crush Our Creativity, wherein Leo Babauta advises writers (and other creators) to show up and create, from a place of aliveness rather than burdening themselves with the weight of the expectation to create art.

Notes on Craft, wherein Jonathan Lee walks us through his love of opening lines of great novels, and how that helps him start writing his own books.

Online Life

Paid in Full, wherein Drew Austin ponders how, contrary to the rosy visions of the early internet, the online world is becoming more like an expansive matrix of built-in ownership and payment infrastructure.

Hell Site, wherein Aral Balkan looks at how and why Twitter (and services like it) are the hell sites of the title, and offers some alternatives.

Reducing The Waste From Our Digital Lives, wherein we learn about the little breadcrumbs and clues about ourselves that we leave behind online, what those clues say about us, and how they can be used against us.

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

Scott Nesbitt

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