What do you read?

One of my goals, internet-wise, is to cultivate high quality sources of writing, deliberately at odds with the sort of bite-sized, click-bait nonsense that fills so much of our time and bandwidth if we let it.

Who do you read, and why?

One of the better sources of articles I’ve found, on a massively wide range of topics, is Quillette - https://quillette.com

For long and massively in depth reads on understanding the particular direction that an influential chunk of left-leaning culture is heading, New Discourses is excellent - though requires a lot of chewing. https://newdiscourses.com

For a bit lighter and updated content. https://www.theamericanconservative.com tends to be more relevant. It’s a conservative leaning outlet, but far from “bog standard Republican” that makes up Fox News and many other less-tied-to-reality sources these days.

And, of course, JMGreer, at https://www.ecosophia.net

My most enjoyable internet reads are shorter articles or blogs authored by first hand sources - people who are somewhat experts or hands on in what they’re writing about. Versus people who never leave the computer, and just remix other writing on a hot topic of the day. So “Syonyk’s Project Blog” is almost a quintessential example of what I’d add to my RSS subscription.

No surprise, i also read forums quite a bit, usually smaller or well moderated because a back and forth of different viewpoints is usually more interesting than an uninterrupted, uncritiqued, one-sided manifesto.

Between those blogs and forums, and the inevitable visits to social media I get much more than enough of the “culture war”, “political football” type topics to seek out or subscribe to any of that on my own. I’ll click on any link that a reasonable person/community posts. Online, the underlying mechanisms (controversy = views = money) makes everything more inflammatory and divisive than it should be. I’m of the opinion that most people want the same things, are scared about the same things, just maybe the priorities are slightly different, and the corner cases where disagreements occur are unduly amplified.
I’m interested in meta-analysis of the conflict, identifying the techniques used, rather than continually read repetitive articles beating up strawman positions so I can feel like “my side” is more right and just.

Some specifics sites:

  • I’ve only read a small fraction of the articles, and don’t subscribe myself because they’re too long, but whenver it gets brought up in discussion I usually find Slate Star Codex’s writing to be good and interesting.

  • meaningness.com is another site that has some good articles, but also I get burnt out just reading only a fraction of whats on there, and then it turns into word salad to my brain.

More than anything I really value EFF’s blog Deeplinks Blog | Electronic Frontier Foundation for anything related to the intersection of technology and politics.

A little random but I really enjoyed The Possibilian (The Possibilian | The New Yorker)

Toronto Life did an awesome series called “Sidewalk Essays” with various viewpoints on technology and surveillance Toronto needs to maintain control of its transit planning

The Intercept has an awesome series on Chicago police corruption called “Code of Silence” https://theintercept.com/series/code-of-silence/

Not sure if the following would qualify as “bit-sized nonsense” but for politics I’ve been reading a few journalists on substack

And for general news

(Really looking forward to others suggestions)