Kickoff For July 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:

Beware a Culture of Busyness, wherein Adam Waytz explains that being busy isn’t a measure of creativity or productivity on the part of employees, and offers some advice for reversing the prevailing reverence for busyness into something that actually benefits both employees and employers.

Nixon, NASA, And How The Federal Government Got Design, wherein we learn how, in the 1970s, US government agencies revamped their visual images, and about the bold, radical way in which they did it.

Throngs of Himself, wherein we learn about academic Paul Linebarger, who had an outsized influence on the fields and study of international studies and psychological warfare, and who also wrote pioneering SF under the name Cordwainer Smith.

Japan’s sleepy tech scene is ready for a comeback, wherein Roland Kelts looks at how a core of entrepreneurs are trying to revive their country’s long moribund tech and startup scene.

Apollo: How Moon missions changed the modern world, wherein we learn the benefits that those of us here on Earth reaped from NASA’s crewed moon missions in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

American Hippopotamus, wherein we learn of a fanciful scheme to import hippos to America and raise them for meat, and how two enemies became allies to try to make the scheme a reality.

The Work of the Audiobook, wherein we learn a bit about what goes into create the spoken version of a tome, from writers adjusting their styles to finding the right narrator to some of the production tricks used.

Why You Can’t Hear TV Dialogue, wherein explores the reasons (some of them technical) many people can’t make out what’s being said on a TV show. And, no, you’re not losing your hearing …

The Birth of Brainstorming, wherein we learn about Alexander Faickney Osborn, the head of an ad agency who helped pioneer and publicize a method for groups to quickly come up with and develop ideas.

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

Scott Nesbitt