Kickoff For November 12, 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.

Instead of me pontificating, here’s an idea we should all embrace:

I can’t be working efficiently and at my top game worrying about what other people think about me, or are going to think about me.

— Anson Mount

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:


How the First Punk in East Germany Became an Enemy of the State, wherein we meet Britta Bergmann, a teenager from East Berlin who used a love of punk rock to express her individuality under a repressive government and became a target of that government.

War and Peace in Chicago, wherein Walter Nicklin looks back at the protests at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, and sees times and how political engagement have changed over the last 50 years.

How AI could kill off democracy, wherein we learn that artificial intelligence (AI) systems can sometimes make better decisions that humans, but that relying on algorithms can lead to a loss of the ability to hold people accountable.


He Could’ve Been a Colonel, wherein we hear the story of Ollie’s Trolley, the hamburger restaurant that seems poised to take the fast food world by storm, but which arrived on the scene decades too soon.

Missing the Dark Satanic Mills, wherein we get a glimpse into the history of the factory, and with the glimpse we start understanding why factories have always been places of great fascination.

The Real Cost of Working in the House of Mouse, wherein we learn about how workers — sorry cast members — at various Disney theme parks are barely scraping by (and often not even that) thanks to the parent corporation’s focus on profits over people.


The New Reading Environment, wherein the editors of n+1 magazine explore the often fraught relationship between editors, writers, and readers, and how that relationship has changed (maybe not for the better) in the age of online reading and social media.

How to Write a Synopsis in 4 Easy Steps, wherein we learn that preparing an effective summary of what you’re writing is no easy task and are offered some solid advice for doing the job properly.

Reclaiming the Freedom of the Rough Draft, wherein we learn that the first draft of anything we write doesn’t need to be polished or disciplined or structured or even good. It’s our starting point for writing that will be good.

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

Scott Nesbitt