Kickoff For January 31, 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:


The Rise of the Elite Anti-Intellectual, wherein we learn about the modern origins of populist anti intellectualism, often promoted by those who can consider themselves to be among the elites whom they decry.

The Tiredness Virus, wherein Byung-Chul Han argues that the COVID-19 pandemic, and its attendant isolation and lockdowns, have afflicted many of us with a deep seated ennui, an ennui which we can’t shake.

Same Old, wherein Sun-Ha Hong looks at how speculative visions of a techno-utopian future present an unchanging, uncritical view of society itself, and not a good view either.


Remote Work Incentives Are a Scam, wherein Jake Maynard argues that offering cash incentives to remote workers to entice them to relocate to rural areas is something akin to gap years for white-collar professionals, a mid-life AmeriCorps.

Loving Your Job Is a Capitalist Trap, wherein Erin A. Cech argues that the advice around following your passion has personal and financial risks, and offers some ideas about how to passion seeking less financially risky.

The Great Escape, wherein David Dayen talks with employees who have, or are on the verge of, quitting to learn about the whys underlying the so-called Great Resignation.

Odds and Ends

Gentrifying New York, wherein Leonard Quart laments the changes to the city, ones which are blunting its character and which are done not to help create a more equitable and just city, but to garner immense profit for its developers.

The American Prison System’s War on Reading, wherein Alex Skopic explores why several correctional departments in the US are restricting or banning donations of books to prisoners.

Japan’s Concrete Housing: The History of Danchi, wherein we learn about the origins of the bleak-looking apartment blocks that popped up around Japan after World War II, their decline, and how people today are trying to revitalize existing danchi for a new generation.

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

Scott Nesbitt