Kickoff for July 12, 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:


Attention is not a resource but a way of being alive to the world, wherein Dan Nixon argues that far from being something for tech companies to exploit, attention is what joins us with the outside world.

The Filing Cabinet, wherein we learn a bit about the origins of the filing cabinet and how it became the pre-eminent way to store and sort information, one which continues to inform the way we do that in the digital age.

Looking Closely is Everything, wherein Craig Mod explains that paying attention to even the smallest details is a key to unlocking the world and, by extension, becoming a better person.


Cracking the Case of London’s Elusive, Acrobatic Rare-Book Thieves, wherein we learn how and why a group of intrepid daredevil thieves committed a dozen risky thefts, and how they were caught.

Follow the Money, wherein we learn about an elaborate cross-border money laundering scheme, how it was slowly pulled apart, and how the prosecutions in the case suddenly dried up.

The Secrets of the World’s Greatest Jailbreak Artist, wherein we learn about Rédoine Faïd, an audacious French thief, who modelled himself after crooks in various movies, and who became known for daring prison breaks.

Odds and Ends

The Signs that Make a City, wherein Owen Hatherley looks at how signs and their typography can add to the ambiance and flavour of a city.

How College Became a Ruthless Competition Divorced From Learning, wherein we learn how higher education in America has become an all-purpose tool for acquiring income and status rather than for shaping minds.

The Bridge at the Center of the City, wherein we’re transported to a section of Tokyo where stands a bridge now ugly, but a bridge which tells the story of the city.

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

Scott Nesbitt