Kickoff For April 17, 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:

Illusory Wealth: Victor Dubreuil’s Cryptic Currencies, wherein we learn about the life and work of the titular artist, work that was both realistic and a swipe against capitalism.

ChatGPT Is a Mirror of Our Times, wherein Philip Ball argues that technology like ChatGPT holds up a mirror to ourselves, revealing in its shortcomings what cannot be automated or defined by an algorithm: what constitutes the core of humanity.

What Feathers Know, wherein we learn how ornithologists are using a technique called stable isotope analysis to learn more about what birds do and what they can do.

Mastodon Isn’t Just A Replacement For Twitter, wherein we learn about how and why users fleeing corporate social media for more open alternatives must adjust their usage and behaviour patterns (it’s hoped for the better).

The infrastructure behind ATMs, where we learn a bit about the hows and whys (at least, behind the scenes) of automated banking machines.

The Man Who Fixes the World’s Finest Violins, wherein we learn about luthier John Becker, a master craftsman who views his work as an act of historical and cultural preservation.

Failure is Infinite, wherein Stephen Akey muses upon the various types of failure that writers experience, and why all of that doesn’t really matter.

A New Drug Switched Off My Appetite. What’s Left?, wherein Paul Ford discusses the effect a drug to help him lose weight has on him, and ponders the future of other such medications.

The Band That Best Captures the Sound of the ’70s, wherein Kevin Dettmar argues that the band Blondie reflected the music scene in which they were immersed, and in doing so exemplified a motley era in popular music.

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

Scott Nesbitt