Kickoff For October 8, 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.

I’m often asked where I dig up the various articles that I recommend in this space. You might have noticed that there are a core set of publications that I peer into each week. Then, there are other articles and outlets buried in my set of bookmarks that I sometimes turn to. Of course, I can’t forget the pointers friends and posts on social media send my way. All of that makes for some great reading.

Speaking of which, let’s get this Monday started with these links:

Arts and Literature

History from a High Angle, wherein Richard I. Suchenski examines the work of director Masaki Kobayashi, who combined Japanese and western aesthetics and amazing filmmaking technique to craft some of the 20th century’s most moving films.

Bad Romance, wherein we get a glimpse into the cutthroat world of self-published romance novels, the lawsuit that pitted two authors against each other, and how writers game the system on Amazon.

1921 · 1946 · 1984 · 2018 A Genealogy of the Totalitarian Novel, wherein we’re introduced to the long-forgotten, early Soviet era novel We, Yevgeny Zamyatin’s banned work that influenced classic novels like Brave New World, 1984, and Player Piano, and how the events in Zamyatin’s novel have stunning parallels to the world of today.


7 Axioms for Calm Technology, wherein user experience expert Amber Case argues that with the flood of internet-connected devices coming into our homes, developers need to to make those devices less obtrusive. To help them on their way, Case supplies the seven axiom of the title of this article.

“I Was Devastated”: Tim Berners-Lee, the Man Who Created the World Wide Web, Has Some Regrets, wherein Sir Tim reflects on what his creation has become, where it took some wrong turns, and what he’s trying to do to return the web to its roots.

What Digital Transformation Is Not About, wherein Paul Taylor busts some myths around the murky idea of digital transformation and reminds us that technological shifts require equal measures of changes of perspective and action.

Odds and Ends

The Dancing Plague of 1518, wherein we hear the tale of the epidemic of the choreomania that gripped the city of Strasbourg in the summer of 1518, an affliction which drove people to dance themselves to injury and, sometimes, death.

Color or Fruit? On the Unlikely Etymology of “Orange”, wherein we discover more about the word ‘orange’ than we might ever want to know, which seems to be the only basic colour for which no other word exists in English.

The Spy Who Drove Me, wherein Julia Ioffe recounts her encounters with an Uber driver while attending a security conference in Aspen, a driver who could have been a well-informed and inquisitive individual or a spy.

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

Scott Nesbitt