Kickoff For June 15, 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.

I’m not in the mood to try to type an intro that’s pithy, borderline wise, or marginally amusing. So, let’s get this Monday started with these links instead:


How firms move to secret offices amid Covid-19, wherein we discover that some companies have secure sites the open when disasters strike, and learn what’s involved in shifting employees and operations to those sites.

Why Today’s Shopping Sucks, wherein Brigid Schulte explains one reason why customer service has deteriorated in the last few years: scheduling algorithms, which force employees to highly-variable shifts which cause stress and uncertainty.

The reason Zoom calls drain your energy, wherein we learn about the psychological and physical factors that videoconferencing and chatting so fatiguing, and discover a few ways to mitigate that fatigue.


On the Trail of a Silver Thief, wherein we learn about some very daring and very precise burglaries in the American south, and about Blane Nordahl who’s accused of being behind those heists.

The Black Widow Bank Robber’s Web of Secrets, wherein we learn (some of) the story of Linda Calvey’s descent into crime, a story with many sides and which leaves even more questions unanswered.

The Pirates of the Highways, wherein we get a glimpse into the world of cargo theft, a crime with often innocuous targets but which can reap large rewards for determined thieves.

The Dark Side of Technology

Facial recognition is spreading faster than you realise, wherein we learn that in the UK (and probably elsewhere), authorities are deploying facial recognition tools in places we don’t expect.

Killing Giants, wherein Nina Medvedeva ponders the rise of the giants of platform capitalism and how we can try to take power and agency back from them.

From Manchester to Barcelona, wherein Ben Tarnoff examines capitalism and the modern world of technology, compares it to 19th century English textile mills, and concludes that tech is able to harvest value from us simply for existing.

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

Scott Nesbitt