Kickoff For May 13, 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.

A quick note: I’ll be fiddling with the site over the next few days. You might get a warning about The Monday Kickoff being insecure during that time. It isn’t. I’m hoping that the changes are quick and seamless, but you know how technology can be.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:

The Dark Side of Technology

What Happens if the Law Starts Treating Facebook and Twitter Like Traditional Publishers?, wherein Joshua Geltzer examines Section 30 of the U.S. Communication Decency Act, and explains why even lawmakers misunderstand it, and tries to explain what the section of the Act really means.

If Stalin Had a Smartphone, wherein David Brooks opines that modern technologies can, and does, make things easier for the people who want to control us and that we thought the new tools would democratize power, but they seem to have centralized it.

How Tech Utopia Fostered Tyranny, wherein we discover that in spite of the best intentions of wide-eyed technologists and users, modern technology can help governments keep tabs on everyone and make the world a less democratic place.

Arts and Literature

How I Began to Write, wherein Gabriel Garcia Marquez recounts the road he took to becoming a journalist, essayist, and novelist.

Unmutual friend, wherein Jim Bowen delves into letters from an acquaintance of Charles Dickens’ family, which detail the breakup of the author’s marriage and how he tried to have his wife committed to an asylum.

Why Are Writers Drawn to Boxing?, wherein Josh Rosenblatt explains the almost irresistible hold that fisticuffs has over some wordsmiths, not just as a subject of their writing but as something to attempt.


The Astronomical Cost of Clean Air in Bangkok, wherein we’re introduced to the horrible state of the environment in Thailand’s capital, which most denizens of that city can’t escape.

As We Approach the City, wherein writer Mik Awake discusses his sojourns around New York City with fellow writer Emily Raboteau to discover art installation pieces that try to raise awareness of climate change.

An Indigenous Critique of the Green New Deal, wherein we learn about indigenous scholar Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s ideas about climate change, and her contention that combatting climate change will require changes to our thinking about our relationship with the land, water, and each other.

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

Scott Nesbitt