Kickoff For March 18, 2019

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.

What happened in Christchurch last Friday still leaves me numb. I’m not going to go on about that at length in this space. What I’m feeling is still a bit too raw.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:


Journeys of Reverence: A daughter and mother’s decades on the Shikoku henro pilgrimage, wherein Catherine Ludvik recounts the times she and her mother undertook the 88 temples pilgrimage in Japan, and what they learned about Buddhism, themselves, and their fellow pilgrims.

Are We Approaching Peak Stuff?, wherein we listen to the debate about whether or not the work has reached the apex of consumption, and how technological progress and efficiency gains sometimes lead, counterintuitively, to more consumption rather than less.

Learning from Weirdos, wherein, through the lens of a review of the book Outsider Theory, we learn how outsiders can come to shape the literary and cultural worlds.


The Cost of Living in Mark Zuckerberg’s Internet Empire, wherein Brian Phillips laments what the online world has become and how our jadedness towards the internet is really a form of grief.

How Cartographers for the U.S. Military Inadvertently Created a House of Horrors in South Africa, wherein we learn how a mistake with technology — combined with an unwarranted sense that we know more, and to a higher degree of certainty, than we actually do — made a Pretoria home the nexus of (false) claims of criminal activity.

“The Linux of social media”—How LiveJournal pioneered (then lost) blogging, wherein we learn about the origins of the pioneering blogging platform, its growing pains, and how it entered its terminal decline.


This is What Happens When You Sue Your Boss, wherein we delve into the weird and wacky world of employer/employee arbitration, and see that it can be as much farce as it is cutting costs and legal fees.

Dirty dealing in the $175 billion Amazon Marketplace, wherein we enter the world of professional sellers on Amazon, and discover how quickly they can lose their livelihoods due to the actions of ruthless competitiors, to unforgiving algorithms, and to an inflexible set of rules.

Fracking Incarnate, wherein we hear the tale of the rise and fall of Aubrey McClendon, a grifter in the fracking game, and learn how companies like his could cause the next financial meltdown.

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

Scott Nesbitt