Kickoff For October 1, 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.

Welcome to October! Daylight Savings Time has kicked in here in New Zealand, and with it comes the usual kick to my internal clock. It’s cruel losing an hour like that, but all a boy can do is try to adapt. That doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:

Arts and Literature

Does Literature Help Us Live?, wherein Tim Parks argues that while literature can be bleak, it can give us hope and can inspire us to keep going on exactly as we always have.

How Musicians Make Money — Or Don’t at All — in 2018, wherein we’re given a sobering peek into the financial realities of trying to make a living as a musician, and learn that most are barely hanging on while they try to create their music.

At Home in Filmistan, wherein William Nakabayashi takes us on to journey to a sprawling studio in the suburbs of Mumbai, which is the home to movie productions but also to indigenous villagers who have occupied the area for over 100 years.


Language at the End of the World, wherein we learn about rongorongo, the written script of the people of Easter Island, which no one has been able to decipher, and the rather interesting cast of characters which has tried (and is still trying) to crack it.

One of the Greatest Archeological Mysteries of All Time, wherein we get a bit of background about the discovery of the terra cotta army in Xian, China and the wider historical and archeological mysteries that discovery opened up.

Ghosts on the shore, wherein we discover Japan’s relationship with the spirits of the departed, and how that relationship has changed (often, for the better) in modern times.


The Need for Workplace Democracy, wherein Nathan J. Robinson floats the idea that companies need more governance from workers, not just for the benefit of those workers but for the benefit of companies as well.

Tesla, software and disruption, wherein Benedict Evans plumbs the (recent) depths of technology and business to illustrate how a firm creating a so-called disruptive technology, no matter how unpolished at the start, can change the basis of competition in an industry.

We fired our top talent. Best decision we ever made, wherein we learn that a team’s strength is not a function of the talent of individual members. It’s a function of their collaboration, tenacity, and mutual respect.

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

Scott Nesbitt