Kickoff For November 4, 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 hard to believe that 2019 will be over in a handful of weeks. This year seems to have zoomed by, faster than other years have. But seeing as we still have nine more weeks left in 2019, why not make the most of them?

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:


Why do we work so hard?, wherein Ryan Avent muses about the pros and cons (with, for him, the pros outweighing the cons) of the treadmill that’s become our work lives.

How to escape the ‘hyperactive hivemind’ of modern work, wherein Cal Newport talks to the BBC about why people get so caught up in the web that’s work, how that’s harming them, and offers some ideas about how to untangle ourselves from that web.

The Myth of Making It, wherein Soraya Roberts delves into why some people, no matter how much they earn or achieve, always seem to believe they haven’t done enough, don’t have enough, and want more.

The Dark Side of Technology

Data Leviathan: China’s Burgeoning Surveillance State, wherein we learn more about the surveillance technology that China is deploying in Xinjiang region (and elsewhere) to exercise social control, what that means, and about the backlash against that technology.

The Disturbing Power of Information Pollution, wherein we discover how pervasive false or distorted information on the internet (and elsewhere) is, and how it can affect us regardless of how wary and skeptical we are.

How Google Discovered the Value of Surveillance, wherein Shoshana Zuboff walks us through how Google went from being just a search engine to something bigger, scarier, more invasive, and more insidious.


The Embodiment of Kintsugi, wherein Shir Lerman Ginzburg explains how she applies the idea underlying the Japanese way of repairing broken pottery to her academic research and her personal process of dealing with depression.

Does English Fulfill the Dream of a Universal Language?, wherein we discover that English adapts to the needs of people speaking it more than it shapes those people’s ideas or ideals.

My Prison Reading, wherein Kian Tajbakhsh recalls and recounts the books that saw him through his months in an Iranian prison, and reflects on the effects those books had on him.

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

Scott Nesbitt