Kickoff For March 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:

Constraints: A Hometown Ode, wherein Anne P. Beatty recounts how she was able to go home again, and how time and distance made her appreciate her hometown and how it shaped the person she became.

The big idea: why we shouldn’t try to be happy, wherein Kieran Setiya argues that instead of striving for happiness we should try to live as well as we can.

What The West Misunderstands About Power In China, wherein Xiao Ma looks at some commonly held myths and misperceptions about Chinese politics, and explains how areas of the country are run by local leaders.

Saint Malo: The first Asian settlement in the US, wherein we learn about how Filipino fishermen came to live in Louisiana in the 18th century, and their enduring legacy.

The Costs of Digital Utopia, wherein Evgeny Morozov looks at the price, which most of us don’t realize, of the futures that so-called techno-capitalists are pushing on us, a set of costs that are very one sided.

The Rise of ‘Luxury Surveillance’, wherein we learn about devices, many hawked by Amazon, which keep an eye on their users and which those users enthusiastically embrace and pay for, but which also enable surveillance in wider society.

How We Remember Last Weekend, wherein we learn about research that might point to how the different parts of our brains work to help us remember, and the wider implications that could have for the idea of consciousness.

The Promise and Peril of Space Tourism, wherein we’re introduced to a different way to experience the so-called Overview Effect, which isn’t as expensive or as polluting as using rockets to get into space.

The Heavy Price of Longtermism, wherein we learn what the titular movement is about, some of the moral, ethical, and plain human problems with the problems behind the movement.

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

Scott Nesbitt