Kickoff For September 4, 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.

A new month and a new … well, whatever is upon us. It’s hard to believe that 2024 is rapidly coming into clearer view, too. When did time start moving so quickly?

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:

In AI We (Don’t) Trust, wherein Lam Thuy Vo ponders the dangers of a world, seen and mediated through an algorithmically curated lens, and the effects that has on us as individuals and as a society.

Tape Heads, wherein we learn about the Mellotron — a precursor to the analog synthesizer that used magnetic tape rather than circuitry to produce sounds — and the way in which this novel instrument changed popular music for a short period.

What Turned Jaron Lanier Against the Web?, wherein we learn we learned how the famed technologist morphed into the fiercest and weightiest critic of the new digital world.

Journey to the Golden Age, wherein Avetis Muradyan look at what the term golden age meant at certain points in history, and why people looked back to those times as ideals and for inspiration.

The Ether Dreams of Fin-de-Siècle Paris, wherein we learn why sniffing ether and chloroform became popular in both medicinal and recreational circles, and how it shaped some 19th century literature.

Gadgets and Gizmos That Inspired Adam Smith, wherein we get glimpse at some common everyday carry items from the 18th century, and how the manufacture and sale of those items may have been an influence on the titular economist’s thinking.

Clean Water, wherein Omotara James examines the pollution and contamination of Okinawa’s water supply, past and present, caused in large part by the American military bases there.

Faulty Memory Is a Feature, Not a Bug, wherein we learn about memory and forgetting, and how both are related to imagination and creativity.

Fusion and the Holy Grail, wherein Tristan Abbey looks that the technical and regulatory obstacles in the way of nuclear fusion powering the world, and how we’re a long way off negotiating both obstacles.

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

Scott Nesbitt