Kickoff For January 13, 2020

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.

The last seven days made up a strange roller coaster of a week, didn’t they? I hope that doesn’t set the tone for 2020.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:


Is paper really better than plastic?, wherein we learn more about the process of making paper than we might want to, but also learn that process (and what happens afterwards) isn’t always as clean and sustainable as we suspect.

The Planet Needs A New Internet, wherein we discover how the world’s changing climate will endanger the infrastructure of today’s internet, and learn about the kinds of changes we need to make the future internet sustainable.

Why ‘flight shame’ is making people swap planes for trains, wherein we learn more about the growing flight shaming phenomenon, how it’s changing the travel habits of some, and why it might not be for everyone.


How We Misremember the Internet’s Origins, wherein Ingrid Burrington explains that the internet came to be as a result of ad hoc actions and experiments undertaken with little sense of foresight or posterity, and not grand and idealistic plans.

Unix at 50: How the OS that powered smartphones started from failure, wherein we get a bit more of the history of the venerable and ubiquitous operating system and learn how its creator didn’t let a significant defeat stop them.

Nokia’s collapse turned a sleepy town in Finland into an internet wonderland, wherein we learn how the town of Oulu in Finland’s far north bounced back after the mobile phone giant, which was the area’s biggest employer, went into a downward spiral.


Nietzsche’s Eternal Return, wherein Alex Ross examines the continuing appeal of the German philosopher’s thinking to people of a range of intellectual and political persuasions.

Fugitive Libraries, wherein Shannon Mattern looks at the history of black libraries in America, and how librarians and others are trying to remedy the lack of diversity in libraries.

Why Data Is Never Raw, wherein we learn a few fundamental truths about what we call data, one of those being that it’s not always as pure and untainted as we like to think it is.

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

Scott Nesbitt