Kickoff For August 3, 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:

Politics and Government

Time for a New Liberation?, wherein Timothy Garton-Ash reflects on the promise of the Velvet Revolutions of 1989 and how much of that promise failed to materialize.

Science fiction offers a useful way to explore China-Africa relations, wherein Nedine Moonsamy looks at some recent SF short stories published in Africa, and examines what those stories say about how Africa looks at China and its growing influence on the continent.

In Toronto, Google’s Attempt to Privatize Government Fails—For Now, wherein we learn how Google’s attempt to turn a large plot of Toronto’s public land into a private lab for data collection failed, and why local governments need to focus heavily on privacy when embedding data-collecting technology in the urban landscape.

Arts and Literature

The Origins of Scandinavian Noir, wherein Wendy Lesser recounts the long history of the mystery novel in Nordic countries and how the genre evolved into its modern state.

Wait, What?, wherein Soraya Roberts explores the cognitive dissonance of western arts and entertainment awards, exemplified by the 2020 Oscar win of Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho.

How Black women are reshaping Afrofuturism, wherein Jonita Davis takes us on a journey into the Africa-centric subgenre of science fiction and introduces us to the new, female voices who are taking it into interesting realms.

Odds and Ends

America’s ‘fried chicken war’, wherein we learn about the origins of a friendly rivalry between two Kansas families that started selling fried chicken just to survive, and whose wares still attact diners from all over.Phone Call in The Age of Coronavirus]

Phone Call in The Age of Coronavirus, wherein Marcia Aldrich ponders the differences between traditional phones and mobiles, and concludes that Cell phones have destroyed the sense of the occasion of a call.

The “Junk Mail” Men: Selling Your Data for over a Century, wherein we dip into the what’s new is old again files and learn that companies were using our information to hit us with highly-targeted advertising long before the internet.

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

Scott Nesbitt