Kickoff For August 7, 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:

Crooks’ Mistaken Bet on Encrypted Phones, wherein we learn why criminals flock to hardened smartphones and private networks set up to support them, and how law enforcement has been able to penetrate those supposedly impenetrable networks and catch some of those crooks.

Astrophysics and stale beer: What life is like working at the South Pole, wherein we get not only a look at what it’s like to work at an Antarctic research station, but also the motivations of some of the people who choose to work there.

Was Modern Art Really a CIA Psy-Op?, wherein Lucie Levin examines the closer-than-expected relationship between the Museum of Modern Art and the intelligence agency, and how art was used to win the hearts and minds of allies and nations sitting the fence during the Cold War.

The Prehistory of Glass Windows, wherein we learn a bit about how windows were made, and how they were viewed, in the time before glass became the material from which windows are made.

One man’s quest to make pickleball quiet, wherein we discover that the popular game is shockingly loud, and the ways in which retired engineer Bob Unetich is trying to dampen the sound of balls against rackets.

We need “good jobs” to restore trust and save capitalism, wherein Zeynep Ton argues that America needs more better-paying, less dehumanizing jobs to not only ensure that workers can support themselves but to also rebuild frayed bonds of trust between workers and employers.

The internet is unusable now, wherein Rachel Cunliffe argues that all of the (bad) things that make up much of the modern web — SEO, popups, overlays, algorithms, and the like — have made finding and engaging with anything online far more difficult than it needs to be.

Japan’s Akiya Houses, wherein Laura Pollacco looks at why there are so many empty houses in the Japanese countryside, and what’s involved in buying and renovating one.

Notes on Craft, wherein Natasha Caulder explains how taking up bouldering helped her face and accept any failures she encountered as a writer.

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

Scott Nesbitt