Kickoff For December 12, 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:

What is longtermism?, wherein William MacAskill explains why short-term thinking is dangerous to us as a species, and why we should embrace the opposite.

Scammers Are Scamming Other Scammers Out of Millions of Dollars, wherein we dip into the there’s no honour among thieves files and hear sad tales of online con people being conned themselves, and how they actually don’t like it.

The Death Cheaters, wherein we’re taken into the world of a small group in a Toronto, Canada suburb and their attempts to use various techniques and technologies to prolong their lives (at $100,000 per person).

Ode to the Library Museum, wherein we’re introduced to the simultaneous preciousness and precariousness of ancient books, and to the effort required to preserve them.

Buckminster Fuller’s Greatest Invention, wherein we learn that a lot of what we thought about the architect and theorist is either incomplete or incorrect, and that (unsurprisingly) much of his image was cultivated via self promotion and self belief.

The Technocrat’s Dilemma, wherein Alexander Stern examines how science gets used to legitimize policies guided by political interests.

Just how important is eye contact between musicians? And what does it signal?, wherein we learn a bit about how conductors use eye contact to communicate with members and sections of an orchestra, and about the importance of eye contact between musicians.

How to buy U.S. dollars in Beirut, wherein we get a glimpse into the (nominally illegal) markets for foreign currency that people in Lebanon routinely use, markets that are helping keep the economy afloat.

The Kilogram, wherein Jeremy Bernstein explores how the unit of measuring mass was determined, and what happened to the standard kilogram.

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

Scott Nesbitt