Kickoff For June 21, 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

The Debt Never Promised, wherein Benjamin Thorp muses about personal finance and personal debt, and how it effects us and our relationships.

After Neoliberalism, wherein Jonathan Levy ponders the idea of surveillance capitalism and how tech giants play an outsized role in global economics and politics, as well as in our social lives.

Libertarian Rex, wherein we learn how billionaire Rex Sinquefield swooped into St. Louis and tried, and failed miserably, to turn it into a libertarian paradise.


Screwed over: how Apple and others are making it impossible to get a cheap and easy phone repair, wherein Ritesh Chugh looks at how electronics manufacturers are fighting against a fair and competitive market for repairs, and [to] produce products that are easily repairable.

Data Mining for Humanists, wherein Dave Mandl looks at the idea that the tools and techniques of so-called Big Data can be used to advance our knowledge of culture, or even reshape culture for the better.

The Shallowness of What Tech Calls Thinking, wherein we learn more about tech’s ideological underpinnings and understand why we should be more wary of tech and those who run big tech firms.

Odds and Ends

The Quest for a Floating Utopia, wherein Boyce Upholt looks at seasteading and whether or not it will, as its proponents claim, help change the world for the better.

When the Techies Took Over Tahoe, wherein Rachel Levin looks at the good (yes, there is a bit) and the bad of the denizens of Silicon Valley who decided to move en masse to the town on the border of between California and Nevada during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How the Pentagon Started Taking U.F.O.s Seriously, wherein we learn about Leslie Kean’s efforts to get the government and the public to look deeply at UFOs, the opposition she’s faced, and the results of that seemingly quixotic task.

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

Scott Nesbitt