Kickoff For April 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:


The Mysterious Lawyer X, wherein we learn how a talented and driven Australian lawyer made her name defending heavy-duty criminals, while at the same time informing on them to the police, and learn about the personal and professional prices she paid for that.

The Doctor, the Dentist, and the Killer, wherein we learn how the breakup of a relationship led to obsession and a murder-for-hire plot.

Bank of the Underworld, wherein we learn about the rise and rapid fall of Liberty Reserve, a digital currency and online money transfer service that was widely used by criminal enterprises of all sizes.

The Dark Side of Technology

Technology Sabotaged Public Safety, wherein Ian Bogost explains how technology companies have created so many so-called innovations in what’s essentially a vacuum, but without any regard for what the actual impact of those innovations might be.

The Captured City, wherein Jathan Sadowski argues that the technologies and systems that make up the so-called smart city are the next step in the high tech militarization of society.

Your online activity is now effectively a social credit score, wherein we learn how companies are using records of online activity to restrict and, regularly, terminate peoples’ services even if they’re not doing anything harmful or illegal.

Business and Economics

Why so many of the world’s oldest companies are in Japan, wherein we discover the reasons, many of them unique to Japan, than enable firms of all sizes to endure for 100 years or more.

Welcome to the Bullshit Economy, wherein David Dayen argues that many modern tech firms have messed up the economy and the rot that those firms have caused has seeped into politics as well.

In the Shadow of Big Blue, wherein Ellyn Gaydos looks at IBM’s legacy of damage to health and to the environment in American towns in which the tech giant once had factories.

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

Scott Nesbitt