Kickoff For November 8, 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:


Hanko, wherein we learn how Japanese people came to use and, in some cases, rely on stylized seals in their daily lives and why hanko have started to fall out of favour.

The Centuries-Old Sport of Karate Finally Gets Its Due at the Olympics, wherein we learn how Japan adopted an Okinawan martial art, and the long road that art took to becoming an Olympic sport.

Before Pong, There Was Computer Space, wherein Noah Wardrip-Fruin looks at the video game that started an industry, but which never gained traction (and not because it was too complex).

Arts and Literature

Still Farther South, wherein John Tresch explores the mysteries of Edgar Allan Poe’s novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket and looks at how Poe hints at the malleable nature of reality.

The Mystery of Truman Capote’s Final, Lost Novel, Answered Prayers, wherein Adrienne Gaffney charts Capote’s fall from (social) grace and whether the manuscript of the book he claimed to be working on before his death actual exists.

The 100-year-old fiction that predicted today, wherein we learn a bit more about the works of Karel Čapek and Yevgeny Zamyatin, and their different approaches to dystopian visions of the future.


In 2030, You Won’t Own Any Gadgets, wherein Victoria Song posits a looming future in which we’ll be renting/subscribing to all of the devices, software, and services that we pay for rather than owning them outright.

Does Tech Need a New Narrative?, wherein Anna Wiener looks at how the narrative in Silicon Valley (and elsewhere) has shifted from disruption to building, but to build what and for whom?

India’s nostalgic passion for old typewriters, wherein we learn why these once-ubiquitous office machines are so prized in India (and it’s not just nostalgia).

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

Scott Nesbitt