Kickoff For May 20, 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.

Remember, there's still time to cast your vote on the format that The Monday Kickoff will take in the future. So, please, take part in the poll. And, no, I'm not using it to collect email addresses for any purposes (nefarious or otherwise).

And a quick thank you to the folks who pledged support over the last couple of weeks. That's helped offset the cost of a domain renewal and provided small donations to a couple of open source projects.

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Politics and Government

A constitution should help a country govern, not hobble it, wherein Samir Chopra compares and contrasts the constitutions of the U.S. and India, finds common ground, but also a number of fundamental and significant points of divergence.

Geopolitics for the Left, wherein Ted Fertik examines the Marshall Plan, and the thinking behind it, to illustrate that it led to America's current foreign policies and thinking, and what all that could mean in the future.

Why we need to reinvent democracy for the long-term, wherein Roman Krznaric argues that governments need to move away from their short-term thinking and myopia, and consider how to make both the present and future better places.

Writing

Writing Sex for Money is Hard F*cking Work, wherein we learn that professional writers need to pay the bills, too, and get a glimpse at the kinds of hack work they take on to keep the wolf from the door and to make space for their more serious work.

The Most Important Writing Lesson I Ever Learned, wherein Steven Pressfield reminds writers that no one actually wants to read their work, and describes how to go about making that writing worth the audience's time.

Simple words work best for all users – including those with special needs, wherein we're reminded that writing in a simpler style doesn't mean dumbing things down, and that it can make what your writing more palatable to all readers.

Odds and Ends

The People Who Eat the Same Meal Every Day, wherein we enter the world of people who take comfort in simple, repetitive meals, and who shun the complication and mental overhead of extreme variety in what to eat. I can relate to this ...

Cisco Trash Map, wherein Miranda Trimmier recounts the history, past and future, of the abandoned town of Cisco, Utah, through the lens of a friend who's trying to develop a plot of land there.

I Lost My Life to Airbnb, wherein freelance writer Rebecca Holland recounts the five years she rented out her studio apartment in Chicago using Airbnb, and how she eventually learned the true value of home.

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

Scott Nesbitt