Kickoff For June 18, 2018

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.

Confession time: I don’t read much, if any, news these days. That’s difficult for someone with a degree in journalism to admit, especially in public. To be honest, most news these days either depresses me or bores the you-know-what out of me.

It’s not that I’m trying to insulate myself from everything that’s going on in the world. Far from it. The news … well, it doesn’t capture my imagination any more. Instead, I take comfort (on many levels) in reading what I share with you each Monday. It might not be news, but those article look at topics that interest me and which I care about. And in a depth that we don’t get from the news.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:


The Long Game of Creativity: If You Haven’t Created a Masterpiece at 30, You’re Not a Failure, wherein we learn that we don’t necessarily have our best ideas when we’re young, and that creativity often needs time to percolate.

Post-Authenticity and the Ironic Truths of Meme Culture, wherein we get a lesson in modern media. And it’s a harsh, sometimes depressing, lesson at that.

Pay for your words, wherein Peter Pomeratsev explores what he calls the real nightmare of social media: that the firms culling our data from those platforms know more about us than we realize about ourselves.


An Ice Fountain Brings Water to the Himalayan Desert, wherein we hear the story how (and why) engineer Sonam Wangchuk used ice stupas to bring water to a remote and arid Himalayan village, and how (and why) he wants to do that elsewhere in the world.

How Complex Networks Explode with Growth, wherein we learn about how fragile, rather than robust, complex networks become as they grow, and how the physics of coffee can help detect problems in those networks before they blow up.

My Adventures With the Trip Doctors, wherein we discover the potential and promise of using certain psychedelics to treat mental health issues, and the obstacles that lie in the path of therapists who advocate that therapy.


In defense of being average, wherein Mark Manson argues that being exceptional isn’t the new normal, and that not being extraordinary doesn’t mean you’re worthless.

The Doting Father Who Robbed Armored Cars, wherein we learn part of the story about an seemingly ambitious, upstanding man who was allegedly the mastermind behind a string of brutal armoured car robberies in Houston, Texas.

James Fallows on the Reinvention of America, wherein the writer for The Atlantic argues that the United States is moving toward becoming a better version of itself faster than most Americans realize.

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

Scott Nesbitt