Kickoff For March 13, 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 Polyhedral Perspective, wherein we learn how geometric solids went from being a mathematical curiosity to becoming an element in Renaissance art.

Freeman Dyson and Me, wherein physicist and author Jeremy Bernstein reflects on his 50+ year long friendship with Dyson and the effects that relationship had on him.

Why Family Isn’t Everything—And How We Can Create More Liberatory Alternatives, wherein Sophie Lewis explains that the idea of family (and, more importantly, the happy family) is unrealistic and utopian.

Emails Are Forever, wherein Hannah Gold explains how the comprehensive records of our time will not be paper based and how archivists have been trying to devise strategies to deal with that.

The Improbable Origins of PowerPoint, wherein we get a glimpse into the history of the presentation software and learn that it wasn’t intended as a tool of mass communication but was a recovery from dashed hopes that pulled a struggling startup back from the brink of failure.

The Influencing Machine, wherein we learn about how some people suffering from mental illness attributed that illness to being manipulated by elaborate machines being controlled sinister individuals with sinister motives.

Where My Characters Come From, wherein author Haruki Murakami discusses how the fictional people who inhabit his novels come into being on the page, and how they develop (often seemingly on their own).

The GIF Is on Its Deathbed, wherein Kaitlyn Tiffany argues that while the venerable file format (and its animated incarnation) is outdated and has had its day, but that there will always be, at least, a handful of masochists who want to struggle to make a GIF.

What happens when you donate your body to science, wherein we learn why donated corpses are so important to some branches of science, and what researchers and students learn from them.

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

Scott Nesbitt