Kickoff For December 18, 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 Monday Kickoff is going on a short holiday hiatus. The next edition will hit the interwebs on January 8, 2024. I hope you all are able to take some time off over the next couple or three weeks to relax and be with the people closest to you.

With that out of the way, let’s get this Monday started with these links:

What does spending more than a year in space do to the human body?, wherein we’re introduced to the toll that living off this planet takes on astronauts, and what that means for humans who will undertake longer space journeys.

An Apocalyptic Meditation on Doomscrolling, wherein Erik Davis examines why we’re attracted to terrible news and why we feel compelled to take in as much of it as we can.

The Quiet Revolution of the Sabbath, wherein Casey Cep explores the concept of the Sabbath, how it’s evolved over the ages, and its potential effects on our physical, mental, and spiritual well being.

The 15-Minute City Conspiracy Theory Goes Mainstream, wherein David Gilbert explores how paranoid concerns about an idea for liveable cities have started being embraced by members of the British government.

War elephants: How Carthage used a ‘psychological’ weapon the Romans failed to master, wherein we get a look into how those massive land animals were used by armies of the ancient world, some more effectively than others.

Why humans can’t trust AI: You don’t know how it works, what it’s going to do or whether it’ll serve your interests, wherein Mark Bailey examines the reasons why we can’t put our faith in so-called artificial intelligence and, by extension, the people who develop those kinds of systems.

How we’ve enshittified the tech economy, wherein Ethan Zuckerman explores how online platforms have become worse for everyone (except the people running them), and how the idea of platform cooperativism could provide an alternative.

The ends of knowledge, wherein Rachael Scarborough King and Seth Rudy argue that an artificially or externally imposed end can help clarify both the purpose and endpoint of our scholarship.

Sun Tzu and the Art of Becoming Famous, wherein we learn some of the reasons why, out of hundreds of treatises on warfare and strategy from China, The Art of War became the best known of them.

See you in 2024!

Scott Nesbitt