Kickoff For July 4, 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:

Business and Economics

The Most Important Economic Policy Model Nobody Understands, wherein Mark Paul explains the (flawed) model used by the US Congressional Budget Office to determine the cost of programs, and why it has so much power over the economy.

Primitive communism, wherein Manvir Singh refutes the idea that hunter-gatherer societies knew little or nothing about the concept of private property, and why the narrative of primitive communism persists despite the contrary evidence.

The $2 Billion Mall Rats, wherein we learn about the American hedge fund that bet against bonds heavily weighted with debt issued to shopping malls, and how that bet paid off for them (thanks, in part, to the COVID-19 pandemic).

The Dark Side of Technology

The Oversight Bloc, wherein we learn how a broad coalition of community groups in San Diego fought against, and were able to get defunded, a surveillance system that had wider uses and implications.

The streets have eyes, wherein we learn about the growing pervasiveness of surveillance technology deployed in New Zealand’s cities, about the opaqueness of what they’re being used for and by whom the data is being used, and whether or not those cameras are effective.

‘Bossware is coming for almost every worker’: the software you might not realize is watching you, wherein we learn about the tools that more and more companies are covertly deploying to keep an eye on their employees, and the issues inherent in those tools and their use.

Odds and Ends

The surprising afterlife of used hotel soap, wherein we learn how a backyard enterprise started a charity that recycles leftover soap bars from hotels and puts them in the hands of children in need around the world.

The Icelandic Bakery That Buries Its Bread in Hot Springs, wherein we learn about the interesting, and near-zero energy, way in which baker Sigurður Rafn Hilmarsson makes his rye bread.

Overgrown Okinawa, wherein Kyle Johnson takes us on a short architectural tour of the Japanese island and how nature there is interacting with older buildings built using modern techniques.

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

Scott Nesbitt