Kickoff For April 19, 2021

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:

Business and Economics

Texas Republicans Discover the True Meaning of Free Markets, wherein after the extreme weather in Texas in February, 2021, Nathan J. Robinson rightly points out that [P]rice gouging is a feature, not a bug, of free markets.

The Nature of Money, wherein M.K. Anderson looks at how the financial system, and punishments for theft and fraud in that system, skew positively to the moneyed while the poorer suffer.

What bankers should learn from the traditions of pastoralism, wherein Ian Scoones looks at the lessons in resilience and risk management that the financial world can learn from itinerant animal herders.


How to Quiet Your Mind Chatter, wherein we learn a technique or two that can help us to tell that annoying, distracting voice inside our heads to shut up.

Rank and File, wherein Robert Minto explores his attempts to become a better note taker, and his eventual revelation that a scholar’s notes were not a life’s work, but only a tool.

Why we procrastinate on the tiniest of tasks, wherein we learn why we let the small stuff loom large and some strategies to change that.

Arts and Literature

How the English Language Failed Banana Yoshimoto, wherein translator Eric Margolis looks at the original English translation of the Japanese’s author’s breakthrough novel, finds it wanting, and discusses how it helped Yoshimoto become an international literary icon that nearly was.

The Cave of Time, wherein we learn the origins of the Choose Your Own Adventure children’s book series and why it became so popular.

Why Computers Will Never Write Good Novels, wherein Angus Fletcher refutes the claims of AI researchers the computers can pen literature, arguing that causal reasoning is beyond digital brains.

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

Scott Nesbitt