Kickoff For April 27, 2020

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.

Even though we're in what some people are calling a new normal, things are still pretty weird around the world. And scary. And frustrating. And demoralizing. To take your mind off that, I've got some good reads for you this week.

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Online Life

A Better Internet Is Waiting For Us, wherein Annalee Newitz ponders an online world without social media, or a social media over which you have more control, and discovers that world could be a better place than today's internet.

The Death of the Good Internet Was an Inside Job, wherein Jason Linkins laments an internet killed by algorithms and social media (but one that's not actually dead).

The Internet of Beefs, wherein Venkatesh Rao takes us on a journey into the depths of what the internet has become (and, really, always has been), showing us what a zero-sum cesspool the online world can be.

Writing

Why Grammar Nerds Keep Getting So Furious With the Associated Press, wherein we discover how easy it is to get under the skin of certain pedants, ones who could choose not to use the AP style guide rather than venting their anger.

The Year in Pivoting to Video, wherein David Roth recounts his experiences at online media companies that invested heavily in video content but discovered that, as it turned out, people did not really watch very much video.

Telling Stories In Order to Live: On Writing and Money, wherein Sarah Menkedick shares the realities (a few of them quite harsh) that she learned since becoming a full-time freelance writer in 2008.

Ideas

The Deadly Consequences of Rounding Errors, wherein we learn that choosing the wrong method for rounding numbers can have deep, and sometimes disasterous, consequences in a number of areas of our lives.

From the pyramids to Apollo 11 – can AI ever rival human creativity?, wherein the authors argue that while artificial intelligence can aid humans in creating and innovating, AI can't replace the human imagination and what that imagination can wrought.

The Symbolic Seashell, wherein we discover how the humble beauty of the seashell has had a huge influence on humans over the ages.

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

Scott Nesbitt