Kickoff For December 6, 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:

Technology

Socialist Cyborgs, wherein we learn how, starting in the late 1980s, Bulgaria became the launching point for many an early computer virus.

Tokyo's Government Is Finally Saying Goodbye to the Floppy Disk, Kind Of, wherein we learn that the city's government is, in some cases reluctantly, starting to move away from the venerable storage medium in favour of online systems.

Retro Collectors are Uncovering Hoards of Old Data, wherein we hear stories of people buying older computing hardware and discovering software and data that both unearths some computer history and which can be troubling.

Online Life

Leave no trace: how a teenage hacker lost himself online, wherein we learn how a young Dutch computer enthusiast came to hack his country's main telecommunications operator, and what happened to him afterwards.

How to Make a Website, wherein we learn a bit about the origins, and reasons for the longevity of, WikiHow, the venerable crowdsourced how-to website that everyone forgets until they need it.

Meet the Self-Hosters, Taking Back the Internet One Server at a Time, wherein we learn about digital hobbyists who are trying to revive, in a small way, the idea of the decentralized web by running the software and services they use on their own web servers.

Ideas

Mediocratopia: 11, wherein Venkatesh Rao argues that in times of stress, lowering your standards is, in fact, the virtuous thing to do.

Reading Like a Roman: Vergilius Vaticanus and the Puzzle of Ancient Book Culture, wherein we learn about a particularly well-preserved book by Virgil, and how it survived so long in that state for so long when other works didn't.

Political Science Has Its Own Lab Leaks, wherein Paul Musgrave argues that ideas, often half formed or misunderstood, can move from academic environments and can gave widespread, negative effects on the world.

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

Scott Nesbitt