Kickoff For November 23, 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.

And we’re back. The last week has been a blur. A busy, stressful blur. Why? My family and I moved house seven days ago. Since then, it’s been a matter of adjusting to a new part of the city and a new home. And, of course, there’s the seemingly never-ending fun of unpacking boxes and trying to figure out where everything goes. Life could be worse, though.

With that out of the way, let’s get this Monday started with these links:


Privatisation is bad economics and worse politics, wherein Alon Harel presents a moral and philosophical argument against privatizing public services and assets.

The New Nuclear Threat, wherein we’re taken through the history of planning for nuclear war, and learn that the threat of such a conflict is still strong.

Disinformed to Death, wherein Jonathan Freedland looks at how disinformation has become so widespread, the threat that it poses, and how we can try to counter it.

Business and Economics

Companies Made Millions Building Unemployment Websites That Didn’t Work, wherein we learn that large consulting and tech firms seem to be more interested i](n snagging fat government contracts than making sure the quality of the work they deliver is up to scratch.

Electric Crypto Balkan Acid Test, wheren we learn how cryptocurrency mining rigs in North Kosovo caused major power fluctuations throughout western Europe, and how that came about.

The Battle to Invent the Automatic Rice Cooker, wherein we learn about what it took for a Japanese manufacturer to create a kitchen appliance that cooks rice by itself, and how that appliance took the market by storm.

Online Life

Look Who’s Talking, wherein Megan Marz examines how user experience writing has evolved in an attempt to make the digital sound more human.

How to know if your online shopping habit is a problem — and what to do if it is, wherein we discover the signs of addiction to buying goods (whether we need them or not) via the internet, and get some advice on how to cut back or stop.

How Link-Begging Became the Most Annoying Search Engine Tactic, wherein we learn about the so-called link economy and how some people are using it as a quick, dirty, and cheap way to build authority online without doing a lot of hard graft.

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

Scott Nesbitt