Kickoff For April 10, 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:

Choice Reading, wherein we learn about the Library of Choice Reading, a series of reprinted European books that were published as a counterpoint to the mass-produced volumes and periodicals that started appearing in late 19th century America.

Why Your Brain Isn’t Into the Future, wherein we learn about the idea of the hazard rate, which posits that because of uncertainty (personal or otherwise), it’s natural for us to discount future rewards for more immediate ones.

The case for turning off your Zoom camera, wherein we learn that keeping our cameras off during virtual meetings can make us more present, productive, and engaged, despite what many managers seem to believe.

Searching Earth For Alien Worlds, wherein we learn how scientists are using planetary field analogs on our world to learn more about the conditions on other planets.

Japan was the future but it’s stuck in the past. wherein Rupert Wingfield-Hayes looks at why the country is still in the doldrums, over 30 years after its financial bubble burst.

ChatGPT Is a Blurry JPEG of the Web, wherein Ted Chiang muses about large language models and AI chatbots, and how they fashion an illusion that those tools actually understand material, when they’re just regurgitating and paraphrasing it.

How New Ideas Arise, wherein Paolo Belardi explains the many ways in which ideas come to us, and how artists and scientists use their ideas.

How We Learned to Be Lonely, wherein Arthur C. Brooks explores how many haven’t recovered from the isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemics, and offers advices about how to escape the cycle of loneliness.

The World Through a Copyeditor’s Eyes, wherein Jeff Reimer explains what he, and other like him, do for a living — a misunderstood and (in my opinion) often-undervalued job.

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

Scott Nesbitt