Kickoff For February 28, 2022

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:

Online Life

Social Media Is Attention Alcohol, wherein Derek Thompson argues that social media, especially Instagram, is like a social lubricant that can be delightful but also depressing (of which the weighting is heavily on the depressing side).

Can Matt Mullenweg save the internet?, wherein we learn about what drives the co-founder of Automattic, and why he believes open winning the web is not a matter of if, only when.

Who Owns Our Data?, wherein Aziz Z. Huq looks at how current laws don’t provide for ownership of our data, and discusses a model for collective ownership of personal data to counter that.


Notes on Newsletters, wherein Ben Evans offers a brief history of the email newsletter and how it led to services like Medium and Substack (and others).

From Construction to Teaching: Seven Writers On Their Day Jobs, wherein a group of scribes you haven’t heard of (at least not yet) discuss how they make ends meet while trying to launch their writing careers.

Can “Distraction-Free” Devices Change the Way We Write?, wherein Julian Lucas surveys the landscape of devices that purport to help writers focus on their work, and (whether inadvertently or not) veers into the area of tool fetishism among scribes.

Odds and Ends

The Loneliness Of The Long-Distance Pilot, wherein we get a piece of essay fiction about the daily struggles and stresses of a remote combat drone pilot.

My Parents Collect Cans for a Living, wherein Jessica Yauri discusses how she slowly went from shame to pride about how her family earns money to pay their bills.

Doughnuts: The fried treat that conquered the modern world, wherein we learn the genesis of the popular snack, and how the confection has long been tinged with nationalism.

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

Scott Nesbitt