Kickoff For July 27, 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:


Cryptography Pioneer Seeks Secure Elections the Low-Tech Way, wherein Ronald Rivest (the R in the RSA cryptographic algorithm) discusses what he believes is a more secure way of voting, one in which technology takes a bit of a back seat.

Meet the Chinese operating system that’s trying to shift the country off Windows, wherein we’re introduced to Unifed Operating System, a Linux distribution developed in China as part of a move to facilitate the gradual replacement of American technology in the Chinese government and pillar industries.

Hail the Maintainers, wherein Andrew Russell and Lee Vinsel argue that creating new technology is all well and good, but that maintaining it is just as important, and also raise questions about the technology that we create.


Productivity Is Not Working, wherein Laurie Penny wonders if being productive, constantly grinding and hustling, and optimizing aren’t the most important things in these trying times.

How to Focus in the Age of Distraction, wherein we learn a few reasons why we get distracted so easily, and are offered some really good advice about how to fight those distractions and get things done.

On Doing Less to Produce More: A Novelist Embraces a Minimalist Lockdown, wherein we learn how a writer ignored distractions (which weren’t unique to the COVID-19 lockdown) and actually managed to get more done in less time while in lockdown.

Online Life

When the Internet Was Made of Sound, wherein we take a trip down memory lane, to the days when people got online using a noisy dialup modem, and learn what each of the sounds issuing from those modems did.

My Oversubscribed Life, wherein Kelly Stout looks at the attractions of subscribing to everything material that you need in your life, and the anxiety and sheer number of problems that can cause.

When David Bowie Launched His Own Internet Service Provider: The Rise and Fall of BowieNet, wherein we get a brief history of the internet service that the singer and tech geek founded in 1998, which included a nascent social network.

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

Scott Nesbitt