Kickoff For January 20, 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.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:


Why Lafcadio Hearn’s Ghost Stories Still Haunt Us, wherein we delve into the writer’s life and motivations, and why his works still grip us over 100 years after his death.

The CIA’s Secret Quest For Mind Control: Torture, LSD And A ‘Poisoner In Chief’, wherein we learn about the work of Sidney Gottlieb, who ran the CIA’s MK-ULTRA mind control program, and how he was the unwitting godfather of the entire LSD counterculture.

The Soviet InterNyet, wherein we’re told the tale of how two attempts to create an internet-like network in the Soviet Union were scuttled, and the warning that provides to the internet today.

Online Life

We street-proof our kids. Why aren’t we data-proofing them?, wherein we learn how insidious and invasive data tracking by tech giants is, and how we’re failing young people by not better teaching them how to protect their data and their privacy.

404 Page Not Found, wherein Kate Wagner waxes nostalgic about the internet she came of age using, before it became the fragmented, commercial, digital wreck we know today.

Technostress: how social media keeps us coming back for more even when it makes us unhappy, wherein we discover some research that shows how addictive social media can be, and how some people try to deal with the stress of that addiction but only get sucked further into the black hole that’s social media.

Arts and Literature

‘Your ego has to be left at the door’: the secret life of the understudy, wherein we hear, first hand, about the experiences of talented people who work in the shadow of others but whose efforts are key to the success of those others.

Translation and the Family of Things, wherein writer Crystal Hana Kim recounts how she discovered that poetry helped here find new meaning within and across linguistic boundaries in her own family (and in the wider world).

The Chelsea Affect, wherein playwright Arthur Miller recalls the months during which he lived in New York’s Hotel Chelsea, and the parade of interesting and downright strange characters that passed through the hotel’s doors during that time.

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

Scott Nesbitt