Kickoff For April 22, 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.

It’s been a little over a year since I started the Monday Kickoff. While I think the format works, I’m wondering what you think. I’d like your help in charting the form that the Monday Kickoff takes in the future.

How can you do that? By completing this short poll. Don’t worry: I won’t be collecting email addresses or anything like that. The poll is open until 31 May, 2019.

With that out of the way, let’s get this Monday started with these links:

Arts and Literature

The Philosophy of Creative Writing, wherein we learn how the philosophy behing new humanism help shape the tone and tenor of creative writing programs at American universities.

Touching the untouchable, wherein author Hanif Kureshi reflects on the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, and the wider effects it had on British society.

One of film’s greatest epics is a 7-hour adaptation of War and Peace. Really., wherein Charles Bramesco takes a close look at Sergei Bondarchuk’s ambitious adaptation of the Tolstoy classic, and explains why and how the film works. Having see the movie twice, I’m in awe of it.


Wake up, humanity! A hi-tech dystopian future is not inevitable, wherein we learn that sometimes, the future is cancelled and that perhaps we should put the brakes on some of the tech that we’re creating.

They know where you live, wherein we’re exposed to the dangers of apps and services that collect our data and track us, and how people in the tech industry can try to mitigate those dangers.

Do Not Disturb: How I Ditched My Phone and Unbroke My Brain, wherein tech journalist Kevin Roose learns about that bad smartphone habits that broke his brain, and how he tackled the problem.

Odds and Ends

Designing the game console of the future (in 1997), wherein we hear the tale of Julian Harper who, as a teenager, entered a contest to design a game console (in the hopes of winning one) and how that put him on the path to a career in media.

Japanese Banks Will Finally Stop Using a Piece of 1800s Technology, where we learn that Japanese banks will no longer allow customers to use hanko (personal stamps) to open accounts or perform transactions. Another bit of tradition is dying …

The $200,000 Heist That Tore the ‘Star Wars’ World Apart, wherein we learn how one man, addicted to collecting Star Wars memorabilia*, slapped the community of collectors in the face by stealing from the acknowledged doyen of their hobby.

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

Scott Nesbitt