Kickoff For March 27, 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:

Maybe You Missed It, but the Internet ‘Died’ Five Years Ago, wherein we’re introduced to the internet death theory, which posits that the internet has been almost entirely taken over by artificial intelligence, and the ways in which the theory’s proponents try to prove it.

The Beautiful, Brutal World of Bonsai, wherein we learn about how an American named Ryan Neil apprenticed under a top bonsai master in Japan, the hardship he’s faced as a professional in that arena, and get a glimpse into the world of bonsai artists.

How centuries-old whaling logs are filling gaps in our climate knowledge, wherein we learn about the vast amounts of weather date held in logbooks from whaling vessels, and how they could be novel guides to understanding the course of climate change.

The Exploited Labor Behind Artificial Intelligence, wherein we learn about the ghost work behind teaching artificial intelligence systems, and about the underpaid and exploited humans performing that work.

On ChatGPT, wherein Paul Taylor looks at the titular AI chat bot, how it does what it does, and where it currently falls flat.

The Hibernator’s Guide to the Galaxy, wherein we’re introduced to the latest thinking around putting astronauts into hibernation on long space voyages, and how researchers are looking to the animal kingdom for ideas.

History is in the making, wherein Stephen Davies argues that focusing on key political dates and events isn’t enough to understand history, and that we need to know about other dates and events to gain a better understanding of how the past helped shape the present.

The Genealogy of Chinese Cybernetics, wherein we learn about the influence, both good and bad, that engineer Qian Xuesen had on Chinese science and policy through his advocacy and application of cybernetic theory.

The US ski resorts built by WW2 soldiers, wherein we learn about how recreational skiing was popularized in the US not by stereotypical ski bums but by veteran mountain troops who fought in the mountains of Europe.

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

Scott Nesbitt