Kickoff For December 11, 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:

A cut too far: The people who can’t give up paper, wherein we learn where and why some people and some profession rely on printed matter, and it’s not just obsessed fetishists.

Rethinking the Luddites in the Age of A.I., wherein Kyle Chayka discusses a book about the Luddite movement that contends the adherents of the movement were for the rights of workers above the inequitable profitability of machines, and how that relates to reactions against modern tools powered by artificial intelligence.

The Lie Detector Was Never Very Good at Telling the Truth, wherein we get a closer look at the early history of a very flawed device that the law once leaned heavily upon.

Citizenship Restored, wherein Daniel Trilling recounts the process he went through to gain German citizenship, and the surprises about his family that he discovered along the way.

Are We Losing the War on Cancer?, wherein we learn that even though massive amounts of money, brain power, and effort have been put into fighting the titular disease we’re no closer to eliminating it, and we get a look into why that is.

Think Again, Al Jolson: Japan’s Silent Movie Culture Is Still Going Strong, wherein we’re introduced to the benshi, Japanese silent film narrators who even in this day and age are still going strong, albeit in a smaller way than in their heyday in the early 20th century.

Big Tech Is Watching You as You Drive, wherein Paris Marx looks at the promises tech lords made about fixing transport, why those promises were never realized, and how they’re keeping people dependent on cars while keeping a closer eye on drivers.

The Art of Ugliness, wherein we’re introduced to the work of painters whose work tried to extract some essential ugliness from human beings and make it beautiful.

Vergil’s secret message, wherein Julia Hejduk explains why, when reading ancient classic texts, we should keep our eyes and brains open to acrostics hidden therein as those will open a whole new set of meaning to us.

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

Scott Nesbitt