Kickoff For August 28, 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:

Prepare for the Textpocalypse, wherein Matthew Kirschenbaum ponders how, thanks to AI, machines are on the verge of putting out text ad infinitum, flooding the internet with synthetic text devoid of human agency or intent.

AI: the key battleground for Cold War 2.0?, wherein we learn about how some American tech firms and contractors are trying to cash in on the current AI boom and creating wares for the US government to combat China in a new (virtual) arena.

My High-Flying Life as a Corporate Spy Who Lied His Way to the Top, wherein we learn about a struggling actor who entered the world of corporate espionage in a sideways sort of way, and found that he had a talent for the work.

Space Junk, wherein we learn about the amount and dangers of the debris orbiting the Earth, and why the European Space Agency is taking it upon itself to spearhead the cleanup of that junk.

Memories of Water, wherein Amitangshu Acharya recounts the role of small bodies of water in Bengal, and the deeper meaning and purpose of that water to the denizens of the region.

Why the Age of Revolution loved the classical world, wherein Francesca Langer explains the intellectual role [the classical past] played in the emergence of modern democracy and why we still encounter the physical symbols honouring that past.

The Unbelievable Zombie Comeback of Analog Computing, wherein Charles Platt examines why analog computers and components, or at least something resembling them, are having something of a resurgence in a number of fields, including artificial intelligence research.

What to Do If Your House is Overflowing with Books, wherein Emily Grosvenor offers some tips and techniques that can help you thin out that pile of books (read and unread) that’s cluttering up your space.

AI Is a Lot of Work, wherein we learn that a lot of the intelligence behind AI is human, and how masses of low-paid workers are powering that via a lot of tedious, repetitive labour.

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

Scott Nesbitt