Kickoff For January 30, 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:

The Myth of the Public Good, wherein Andy Hines examines the idea of public good, where it went off track in the United States, and why it’ll be difficult to put the idea back on its original path.

The Clash Of Two Gilded Ages, wherein Yuen Yuen Ang explores the parallels between the growth of modern China and the rise of the United States as an economic power in the 19th century.

A Nation like Lava: Piłsudski’s Vision, wherein we learn about Józef Piłsudski, a Polish national hero post World War One, about the forces and ideas that shaped him, and why he was both reviled and revered.

What’s Wrong with Technocracy?, wherein Matthew Cole attempts to explain what the titular concept is, and why its intersections with elite domination and minoritarian rule merit serious scrutiny.

Smart Streetlights are Casting a Long Shadow Over Our Cities, wherein we get a look at some of the technologies powering so-called smart cities, learn a bit about the history of the streetlight as a tool for surveillance, and why we should be wary of smart one.

The Wizards of Mind Control, wherein we learn about the astonishing ways some parasites can infect animals and pull their behavioral strings.

How Douglas Engelbart Invented the Future, wherein we learn a bit about how the computer scientist went about changing the way humans could handle complexity and urgency, that would be universally helpful, and how that informed modern computing.

The world is moving closer to a new cold war fought with authoritarian tech, wherein Tate Ryan-Mosley surveys the use of surveillance technology around the world and how the state can use technology to increase its control over its citizens.

Thomas C. Foster on the Seven Deadly Sins of Writing, wherein the writer and writing teacher looks at the factors that can make people doubt their writing and their ability to write.

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

Scott Nesbitt