Kickoff for July 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:

Business and Economics

Why Dominant Digital Platforms Need More Competition, wherein Charlotte Slaiman explains why governments need to regulate those kinds of companies to promote competition on and against dominant digital platforms.

Paul Samuelson brought mathematical economics to the masses, wherein we learn how the economist took a complex and arcane branch of his field and made it palatable not just to his colleagues and students, but to the general public.

A Brief History of the Gig, wherein we discover that the rise of ride-hailing companies in San Francisco in the 2010s parallels the changes to the city’s taxi business in the 70s and 80s, with similar (bad) effects on drivers.


Thief steals two planes with a signature and a stamp, wherein we learn how easy it can be for identity thieves to illegally take possession of large items, and discover the effects of that kind of fraud on the victims.

We’re In A Golden Age Of White Collar Crime, wherein Michael Hobbes examines how the U.S. justice system has more or less given up on prosecuting white collar criminals, and what that kind of crime is more prevalent than ever.

The 19th-Century Nurse Who Was Secretly a Serial Killer, wherein we learn about Honora Kelley (aka Jane Toppan) who went from orphan to maid to nurse, who harboured a variety of resentments, and channelled that into a killing spree.

Odds and Ends

Eastern Sports and Western Bodies, wherein we learn a little about how the so-called Indian clubs became the fitness rage in England and America, then gradually disappeared.

Under a Sky Fall Full of Stars, wherein David Searcy reflects on the joys of observing the night sky using an old brass telescope.

The rise of Japan’s ‘super solo’ culture, wherein we discover how some of the younger generation in Japan is trying to shrug off the country’s traditional group mentality and do things on their own.

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

Scott Nesbitt