Kickoff For November 6, 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.

The year’s another month closer to running down. It’s happening so quickly, isn’t it?

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:

The ancient technology keeping space missions alive, wherein we learn how engineers keep satellites and spacecraft, many of them well over 20 years old, running well beyond the proposed life of those missions.

Rome’s libraries were shrines to knowledge — and imperial power, wherein we learn why public libraries in the empire’s capital were as much about projecting power as they were about spreading learning.

The limits of our personal experience and the value of statistics, wherein Max Roser argues that there are limits to what we can learn about the world around us first hand, and that to truly understand the world (or just part of it) we need data.

A Small-Town Paper Lands a Very Big Story, wherein we get a glimpse into the power and importance of local journalism with a small Oklahoma paper that broke the story about problems and corruption in the local sheriff’s department.

One win, 17,000 defeats - life as a Washington General, wherein we learn about the basketball team that’s consigned to perennially lose against the Harlem Globetrotters, and about the joys and frustrations of being a member of that team.

A visit to the one-man computer factory, wherein we visit a craftsperson who makes functional, somewhat whimsical, but beautiful computers in wooden cases.

The rise of pity marketing, wherein Sarah Manavis looks at how struggling creatives are posting sob stories on social media to try to advertise themselves and their work, and how it’s not a viable long-term strategy for building an audience.

No absolute time, wherein we about English philosopher David Hume’s ideas about time and how they influenced Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Landing, wherein Maen Hammad looks back at how he discovered a community of skateboarders in Palestine, and how that helped him get in deeper touch with his roots.

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

Scott Nesbitt