Kickoff For August 10, 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 WW2 flying wing decades ahead of its time, wherein we learn why aeronautical engineers are still looking to the 1940s designs of the Horton brothers to create the next generation of military aircraft.

The Secret History of a Cold War Mastermind, wherein we learn about American bureaucrat Gus Weiss’ highly-creative efforts to undermine the Soviet drive to acquire Western technology, including one exploit that may or may not have happened.

The Many Lives of Norman Selby, the “Real McCoy”, wherein we’re introduced to Norman Selby, a boxer, entrepreneur, actor, convict, and many other things who never seemed to be able to embrace who he actually was.


Failed States, wherein Kelly Pendergrast looks at how we lionize those who fail quickly in the tech startup world, but make pariahs of those who are existential failures.

Move Always Toward a Deepening Obscurity, wherein Philip Conners examines his love of the wilderness of New mexico, and why he’s embraced the tranquility and obscurity of it.

A place of silence, wherein Liam Heneghan argues that silence and stillness are essential to human life and sanity, and that we need to adapt our cities to that idea.

Online Life

This Is the Internet We Were Promised, wherein Angela Misri argues that, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re starting to get an internet that reflects the dreams and ideals of its early, heady days in the 1990s.

Browse Minimally, wherein Ernie Smith tries to convince us that our web browsers do too much and ponders the question What if we cut things down to the bare minimum?

The Pioneer of Online Gambling, wherein we hear the story of how Steve Schillinger launched the World Sport Exchange betting site in the 1990s, and how it all fell apart.

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

Scott Nesbitt