Kickoff For December 17, 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.

There’s a lot going on in the world right now, and I’m not just talking about what’s making the biggest headlines. Sometimes, you just need to step back to clear the palette of your brain. I hope this week’s collection of articles is part of your antidote for what’s going on and what could be overwhelming you.

And just a reminder: my newsletter, called Weekly Musings, is going live on January 9, 2019. If you’re interested, you can subscribe here.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:


How social networks can save lives when disasters strike, wherein Daniel P. Aldrich outlines his reasearch into why people don’t leave in the face of danger and how people’s social networks impact their evacuation behavior.

We’re Not Ready for Mars, wherein Justin Nobel presents a contrarian view of space exploration and colonization, and argues that the attitudes, hubris, and (lack of) morals that are destroying the Earth will do the same in space.

Can libraries save America?, wherein we discover the true power of libraries — places where people from all walks of life can come together in a safe space to learn, to escape, and to join a wider community.


How to write the perfect sentence, wherein we get some solid advice, and some great examples, of how to make your sentences sing and shine.

The Step Before Writing, wherein we learn something that I’ve been saying for years: when publishing on the web (or elsewhere), quality is more important than quantity. And quality starts with planning.

The Gilded Age of (Unpaid) Internet Writing, wherein Rebecca Schuman looks back at her introduction to webzines in the late 1990s, and how those publications have devalued (in dollar terms) the work of writers to this day.

Odds and Ends

Project for a Trip to the Golden Venture Crash Site, wherein writer Lisa Chen tries to find the scene of the 1993 wreck of the Golden Venture, and weaves a tale what happened to the migrants who fled that sinking ship.

These 1930s Housewives Were the Godmothers of Radical Consumer Activism, wherein we hear the tale of how a group of housewives in Depression-era Detroit took to the streets, and to Washington, to protest the high price of meat, and what became of their efforts.

Glorious pages and paper balls, wheerin we’re introduced to a sweeping history of secret intelligence services in Russia, and learn why it’s important to take a long view of both intelligence and international relations.

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

Scott Nesbitt