Kickoff For January 16, 2023

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:

How 60 Knights Paused a War to Fight a Battle Royale Death Match, wherein we learn about a 14thcentury melee between groups of English and French knights, the reasons for which aren’t really know and which had little effect on the outcome of the War of the Breton Succession (during which the battle was waged).

The Disappearing Art Of Maintenance, wherein Alex Vuocolo looks at the New York City subway system to understand why maintenance, though not glamorous or even valued, is important to public infrastructure (and more).

Why Adults Still Dream About School, wherein Kelly Conaboy examines the reasons our anxieties, especially about dealing with authority figures, manifest themselves as stressful dreams about being in school, even years after graduating.

How to nurture a personal library, wherein Freya Howarth looks at why we build our own libraries and ways in which we make those libraries a curated collection of books that reflect us, and not just a pile random of tomes.

The ‘dangerous’ books too powerful to read, wherein we get a look at how some books get a bad reputation (morally speaking), why and how the powers-that-be try to ban them, and at the efforts to fight those bans.

How a “Collective Madness” in 18th Century France Led to Financial Ruin and a Scheme to Lock Up Women and Ship Them Into Exile, wherein we learn how a Scotsman with radical financial ideas tried to turn around the economy of 18th century France, an attempt which (in small part) relied on forced labour.

Japan struggles to give up floppy disks and fax machines for the digital age, wherein we learn about the difficult battle Japan’s latest Digital Minister faces to try to get government departments to let go of some entrenched technologies from the 1980s and move into the cloud age.

The Watch That Came In From The Cold, wherein we learn, via the long journey taken by his Rolex watch, about the fate of a civilian pilot flying missions for the CIA in the 1950s.

What Modern Humans Can Learn From Ancient Software, wherein Paul Ford argues that to understand software and how it evolved, we really need to use an emulator to run old (and I mean *old**) programs.

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

Scott Nesbitt