Kickoff For December 28, 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.

It’s hard to believe that this is the last week of 2020. I don’t have to tell you what a weird, wild, and downright strange ride it’s been. Like many of you, I’ll be happy to see the back of 2020. Let’s hope that 2021 is a better year.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:


Real experts know what they don’t know and we should value it, wherein we learn why true expertise is hard to come by an](d why the voices of so-called pundits and charlatans are heard so clearly.

How Pseudoscientists Get Away With It, wherein we learn how scientific fraudsters use science (which they often scorn) to gain your confidence and then distort the facts for their own purposes.

Cooking from Memory, wherein Barclay Bram explores the idea of culinary memory, which can taint our later experiences with the food we love or discover.


Number Fever: The Pepsi Contest That Became a Deadly Fiasco, wherein we learn how a marketing campaign in the 1990s went wrong, and which is still the cause for simmering resentment to this day.

Why we should be wary of our loud, overconfident colleagues, wherein John Oswald looks at why people in business settings who are the most assertive aren’t always the most competent.

How Amazon hid its safety crisis, wherein we learn that what the ecommerce giant tells the world about its safety record at its warehouses is a sham, and that injuries and accidents have actually increased.


The Pretender, wherein we learn how one half of a nice, normal couple harboured a gambling addiction which compelled her to steal and, eventually, drove her commit multiple murder.

Last Call for Gumshoes, wherein Phil Bronstein waxes nostalgic about the San Francisco private investigators of old, and how they might be a dying breed.

The FBI Team Sent to ‘Exploit’ Protesters’ Phones in Portland, wherein we’re seemingly transported back to the days of J. Edgar Hoover and learn about the modern ways the Bureau keeps tabs on those on the left wing.

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

Scott Nesbitt