Kickoff For July 11, 2022

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:

Online Life

False Futurism, wherein Paris Marx argues that the so-called metaverse is just going to be another way to go online, but with even more corporate control.

Finding Heroes In A Messy Digital World, wherein we learn why it's so difficult, in these internet-driven times, to find good moral exemplars, and are offered a few ideas that can help us with that search.

Our Misguided Obsession with Twitter, wherein Cal Newport points out that the social media platform is hardly a town square, in which the voice of the masses is amplified, but rather a megaphone for the loud and the elites in our society.

Arts and Literature

Philip K Dick: the writer who witnessed the future, wherein Adam Scoville looks at how the SF author was able to presciently envision aspects of our modern age 40 and more years ago.

‘It was the poor man’s studio’: how Amiga computers reprogrammed modern music, wherein we learn how an early multimedia computer helped to not just democratize and make affordable (to a degree) music production, but also helped develop several styles of popular music.

Quatermass: The sci-fi series that terrified a generation, wherein we learn how a thinly-budgeted trio of serials on British TV not only entertained and terrified a generation, but also helped create the template for so-called event television.

History

The Wild West Outpost of Japan’s Isolationist Era, wherein we learn about Dejima, a section of Nagasaki during Japan's feudal times — the only place in the nation in which foreigners could set foot on Japanese soil.

The Most Important Scientist You’ve Never Heard Of, wherein we learn about Clair Patterson, a researchers with multiple achievements to his name, the most important of which was his life-long fight (and victory) against leaded gasoline.

The Battle of the Gauges, wherein we get a look at nineteenth century tensions and frustrations around the width of railway tracks, and learn about the wide-ranging consequence of the resolution of the struggle to solve that problem.

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

Scott Nesbitt