Kickoff For September 24, 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.

Here’s something that caught my ear when listening to a podcast recently:

There’s more information out there, but no one seems smarter than they were 15 years ago.

— Nick Ruffini

Ruffini was talking about music, but he could have been talking about anything. The lesson? More information doesn’t make you smarter or wiser. It’s how you use that information that matters.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:


It’s Harder Than It Looks to Write Clearly, wherein Francine Prose examines what clear writing is, why people can’t or don’t write clearly, and ways to fix that.

Order Out of Chaos: Patterns of Organization for Writing on the Job, wherein technical writer Richard Rabil, Jr. examines how structure leads to better writing (and not just with technical writing, either).

Notes on Craft, wherein journalist Fred Pearce discusses writing both short-form and long-form non fiction, and the challenges and rewards of working on both.


The Land Before Binary, wherein we’re introduced to computing that doesn’t rely on ones and zeroes. Yes, really!

What It’s Like to Download Your Facebook Data, wherein Anna Wiener pulls 13 years of her personal information from the social network and is reminded of just what she’s put up there over the years, and what Facebook isn’t telling us about how it uses the information that you share.

The Bullshit Web, wherein Nick Heer looks closely at the web we’ve been given, finds it wanting, and sees it as a pile-up of garbage on seemingly every major website that does nothing to make visitors happier.

Odds and Ends

When a Magician’s Curse Swung Boxing’s Biggest Bout, wherein we hear the tale of how the antics of magician, hypnotists, and part-time boxing manager Jimmy Grippo may (or may not) have helped influence the outcome of a light heavyweight title tilt in 1939.

Forget the Open Concept: It’s Time to Bring Back Rooms, wherein Kate Wagner argues against the current trend in open concept living and explains why walling off the rooms in our home might not be a bad thing.

Mixing science and art to make the truth more interesting than lies, wherein we learn that to fight ignorance and pseudo science, it might be better to communicate actual science with a combinations of words and images.

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

Scott Nesbitt