Kickoff For February 20, 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 NASA Launched Its Asteroid Killer, wherein we get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the American space agency’s 2022 mission to crash a probe into an asteroid, to test whether that could knock a potential planet killer off course.

Prometheus and the Fishpond, wherein Sigrid Schmalzer argues that techno-optimism that portrays unending growth as compatible with sustainability is a sham, and that it’s a potentially dangerous political and economic idea.

Who Gave The Battery Such Power?, wherein Ian Morse examines the tension between damaging mining and the need to dig up products that might help slow climate change.

U Dhammaloka, the Irish Buddhist monk who faced down imperialism, wherein Laurence Cox introduces us to a radical Buddhist monk from the Emerald Isle who, in 1901, performed a small act at a Burmese temple that was one of many an affront he committed against Britain’s imperial power.

The Dark Side of Frictionless Technology, wherein Charlie Warzel examines the idea that modern tools, while easier to use, make us more dependent on those who are doing the building or repairing.

My Strange, Seductive Stint as the Hugh Hefner of Moscow, wherein Vijai Maheshwari recounts his time as a journalist in mid-1990s Moscow, a time of great upheaval in Russia, and discusses the mad year when he was editor in chief of the Russian edition of the men’s magazine.

Why the Middle Ages have such a bad reputation, wherein Eduardo Baura García explains that what we consider the medieval era was not just barbaric and dark, and why we have a derogatory view of the so-called Middle Ages.

Into The Pre-Gap: Forty Years Of The CD, wherein we learn a bit about the origin and history of the compact disc, and why (even in the face of digitized music) it’s still a viable format.

The High Cost of Living Your Life Online, wherein Thor Benson explains the downsides of spending so much time in, and posting so much to, the online world.

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

Scott Nesbitt