Kickoff For September 9, 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.

There's a slightly different mix of reading on offer this week, but it's a mix that touches a few ideas that have been poking at my brain for the last little while. Which, I guess, is why they're collected here.

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Business and Economics

How Utilities Stall Progress on Alternative Energy, wherein we learn how some large energy companies in the U.S. may be using the law and their leverage to slow down the adoption and spread of renewable energy, all in the name of maintaining their status quo.

How to build a business that lasts more than 200 years, wherein we peek into the world of shinise, Japanese companies that have been in business, and in the hands of the same families, for over 100 years, and learn how some shinise survived the passage of time and changes in tastes.

Why states and cities should stop handing out billions in economic incentives to companies, wherein we learn that governments throwing all that money at corporations rarely (if ever) results in the touted benefits or returns.

Productivity

Once I wasted 1,152 hours being productive, wherein Annie Mueller learns something I've been saying for years: tools don't make you productive. You and your focus do.

You Don’t Need to Clear the Decks to Focus on Important Work, wherein Leo Babauta explains why looking for the perfect time and place to tackle that big piece of work isn't the way to do the deed, and offers advice about how to fit that work into everything else in your life.

Why busy-ness is so damaging, wherein Jackie Smith and Joyce Dalsheim examine how capitalist society wants to keep us continually busy, and how being busy limits our ability to improve our overall happiness, promote greater equity, or save our endangered planet.

Odds and Ends

The High Priest of Heavy Metal, wherein we're introduced to Robert Culat, priest and metal aficionado who has no trouble reconciling the extreme music he loves with his faith.

The Revenge of the Poverty-Stricken College Professors Is Underway in Florida. And It's Big, wherein we learn about the efforts to unionize low-paid adjunct professors at Florida universities, professors who are part of the working poor.

A less polite version of Japanese is helping foreigners stay safe during disasters, wherein we learn how government workers in the Japanese city of Soja are adopting a simplified, less formal style of Japanese (known as yasashii nihongo) to effectively communicate with foreign residents during times of crisis.

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

Scott Nesbitt