Kickoff For February 8, 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

Why Can’t I Fix My Own Phone, Toaster, or Tractor?, wherein Jon Keegan looks at why device manufacturers don't want people repairing the gear that they nominally own, and concludes that manufacturers look at the service phase of the device life as a huge profit center.

Uber made big promises in Kenya. Drivers say it's ruined their lives, wherein we learn how the ride sharing platform's ruthless and capricious business model is causing hardship for unwitting drivers in the African nation.

China’s Radical New Vision Of Globalization, wherein we learn about Beijing's dual circulation economic strategy which is, despite what China's leaders say, is a departure from the country's previous moves.

The Dark Side of Technology

‘Like Being Grilled Alive’: the Fear of Living With a Hackable Heart, wherein ... explores the wonders and the dangers of connected medical devices, especially ones implanted in our bodies.

The Zoom Gaze, wherein Autumm Caines looks at videoconferencing and concludes that it makes us more conscious of how visibility is mediated by technologies.

The Xinjiang Data Police, wherein we learn how and why the Chinese government hired and trained close to 100,000 people in predominantly Muslim areas of the country to digitally spy and report on their fellows.

Odds and Ends

Fungi, Folklore, and Fairyland, wherein Mike Jay looks at the recorded history of psychedelic mushrooms in Britain and how they could have been the fuel for the nation's fairy mythology.

Engels — the communist as hedonist, wherein we learn about the conflicting sides of the co-author of The Communist Manifesto, which he seemed to effortlessly shift between.

The veteran spy plane too valuable to replace, wherein we learn how the U2, first designed and built in the 1950s, has survived and is still relevant today.

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

Scott Nesbitt