Kickoff For July 8, 2019

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.

July is a week old, and before we know it the end of the year will be upon us. It all happens so fast, doesn't it? Sometimes, I feel that we don't get enough time for reflection. So I guess we need to take as much of that time as we can.

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Ideas

How Did Conspiracy Theories Come to Dominate American Culture?, wherein we learn that conspiracy theories have been woven into the fabric of America since the beginning of the nation, but now have emerged as the belief system of the twenty-first century.

A Social – and Personal – History of Silence, wherein Jane Brox explains why silence is necessary is a world filled with sound and noise.

An Appalachian Trail, wherein we learn that the Appalachian Trail was meant to be more than a hiking path. It was meant to be a wholesale reinvention of social life, economic organization, and land use.

The Dark Side of Technology

China wants to shape the literary taste of its netizens, but is it working?, wherein we learn that China's censorship extends to fiction posted online that could potentially offend the government — including a writer whose editors deleted the number 64 from his story.

Using GPS instead of maps is the most consequential exchange of technologies in history, wherein Lucian K. Truscott IV explains that GPS supplanting physical maps could have some very bad consequences, especially for the military.

What Turing Told Us About the Digital Threat to a Human Future, wherein Timothy Snyder examines mathematician Alan Turing's imitation game and ponders, 70+ years on, the effects of that idea on humanity in light of the rapid development of artificial intelligence.

History

Tracing the Incredible Journey of Polynesians Around the Globe, wherein Christina Thompson ponders how, when, and why groups of prehistoric people were able to find and colonize islands scattered throughout the south Pacific.

Japan's World War II poster propaganda against Britain in India, wherein we learn about Japan's efforts to win the hearts and minds of people on the Indian sub continent (and the rest of Asia) during World War II.

The curious origins of the dollar symbol, wherein we're exposed to some interesting theories about where the ubiquitous symbol for money came from.

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

Scott Nesbitt