Kickoff For March 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:


In 1989, General Magic Saw the Future of Smartphones, wherein we dig into the what’s new is old again files with a look at how the Motorola Envoy presaged the phone interfaces that we use today.

Big Data Stream, wherein Theodora Dryer looks at water management and optimization algorithms that have helped cause water crises in the American west, and at alternatives which can help solve the problem.

Seeing Without Looking, wherein M.R. Sauter examines the failed Sidewalk Labs project in Toronto and how the project’s pervasive data collection technology lives on.


The messy history of our modern, Western calendar, wherein we learn a bit about the long, fractious history that led us to the admittedly imperfect calendar that we use today.

The forgotten medieval habit of ‘two sleeps’, wherein we learn that the sleeping habits that we take to be our norm are of a more recent vintage, and discover how some of our ancestors slept.

Learning Sixteenth-Century Business Jargon, wherein we learned why English mercantile houses enforced strict codes of conduct and behaviour, and why they prized the ability to communicate effectively in their employees, whether in English or in foreign tongues.

Arts and Literature

How to Write a Book in Ten Days, wherein Meg Elison outlines how to do just that, and what you need to do after those 10 days pass.

Francis Ford Coppola’s $100 Million Bet, wherein we tread some familiar ground in an interview with the legendary filmmaker, and learn about a risky but very personal cinematic project that he’s itching to tackle.

Why the great books still speak for themselves, and for us, wherein Roosevelt Montás argues that the so-called Western canon isn’t only for privileged white people, but offers everyone a chance to hear a living voice to issues of urgency and relevance in their own lives.

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

Scott Nesbitt