Kickoff For March 30, 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:

Arts and Literature

Why Angry Librarians Are Going to War With Publishers Over E-Books, wherein we’re taken on a journey into the byzantine, restrictive world of ebook licensing to libraries, and how some libraries are trying to fight back against one particularly recalcitrant publisher.

Why Newspaper “Scoops” Don’t Work in Narrative Nonfiction, wherein Steve Luxenberg explains that while journalism and narrative non fiction are similar, they have slightly different goals and that while a bombshell revelation is often prized in the former, it can ruin the flow of the story in the latter.

The Art of War is Actually a Manual on How to Avoid It, wherein Michael Nylan discusses the insights he gained from translating Sun Tzu’s classic treatise and how the book contains lessons for the modern age.


The Dark Side of Light, wherein we get a peek at some cutting-edge research into light pollution and its wide-ranging effects on our environment.

In the beginning, wherein we see how a revolutionary cosmological discovery actually wasn’t, and learn about the effect that had not just on the world of cosmology, but on the wider scientific community.

Galactic Settlement and the Fermi Paradox, wherein astronomer Jason Wright looks at why there may be other civilizations that have settled the galaxy, but not in the way we usually think about settlement.


The American Corporation is in Crisis—Let’s Rethink It, wherein Lenore Palladino argues that the concept of the primacy of shareholders is essentially flawed and that it’s hindering corporations, and offers ideas about how to change the situation.

The Bankrupt American Brands Still Thriving in Japan, wherein Laura Bliss explains why and how former retail giants that collapsed in their home country have found a second life in the Asian island nation.

Inside Documents Show How Amazon Chose Speed Over Safety in Building Its Delivery Network, wherein we learn of the (sometimes deadly) consequences of treating people like machines, and of pushing a flawed system into the world without proper ramp up or testing.

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

Scott Nesbitt