Kickoff For August 18, 2021

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:

Business and Economics

Amazon Prime Is an Economy-Distorting Lie, wherein we learn how the ecommerce giant has been using its virtual monopoly to raise prices among its sellers, and using those gains to subsidize its popular Amazon Prime service.

Cryptocurrency Isn’t All Bad, wherein Mark Leon Goldberg looks at decentralized finance which makes financial services available on blockchain without conventional intermediaries like banks or brokers, and its potential for poorer nations.

Why it's the end of the road for petrol stations, wherein Justin Rowlatt argues that the availability of easily-accessible charging stations is what will make or break electric vehicles.

Ideas

Why humans find it so hard to let go of false beliefs , wherein Elitsa Dermendzhiyska examines why it can be difficult to resist misinformation in the face of corrective evidence.

The Tyranny of Time, wherein we learn why more and more people are arguing that we need to urgently reassess our relationship with the clock.

What Renaissance?, wherein Henrik Lagerlund argues that the Renaissance is an invention by historians, a fiction made in order to tell a story – a compelling story about the development of philosophy.

Work

Can pop-up work holidays help workers de-stress?, wherein we learn how and why companies (at least in the U.S.) have started offering employees unscheduled “self care” days on top of regular paid time off, but how that might not be enough to stave off employee burnout.

The 'Zoom towns' luring remote workers to rural enclaves, wherein we learn how smaller towns in the U.S., far away from the usual corporate and tech hubs, are trying to attract remote workers with the promise of a lifestyle that brings them closer to nature.

Atlassian’s Vision for the Future of Work Is a Cyber-Taylorist Nightmare, wherein Ben Conway argues that the long-term goal of the maker of such software as Jira and Confluence is one that compels us to work, limits our autonomy, and outmaneuvers and divides us when we organize to fight back.

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

Scott Nesbitt