Reading List

It used to be the case that blogs put up “blogrolls” but for some reason that has fallen out of fashion. I wanted to do that in post form to just document where I get my information and opinions. While it’s good to be exposed to varying viewpoints, it’s somewhat masochistic to exclusively or largely read things that make you angry. So this is sort of a list of people with whom I often agree, or, even when I disagree, I enjoy reading. But occasionally I do intentionally read things that I predict will make me angry, and so that’s also part of this post.

Sport and Culture: Grantland is where I get all of my sports and most of my culture: Down Goes Brown and Katie Baker are two of my favourite hockey writers. If I ever read about football, which I do roughly with the frequency of Seattle Seahawk superbowl appearances, I read Bill Barnwell. I would read Brian Phillips on most topics, from soccer and sumo, to sports and cultural issues I don’t care about at all.

Apart from Grantland, the only sports commentary I read frequently is Pass it to Bulis. They are fantastic, and they’ve done us the honour of occasionally reading us, too, which is cool of them. I do occasionally check out Canucks Army, too, but they are too pro-tanking for me. Other than that, I used to read Ellen Etchingham, who was the positive example we wished to follow when we started this blog, but she has seemingly stopped writing. I also used to read Tyler Dellow, but he also stopped writing, and in fact deleted all he had written, when hired by the Oilers.

American Politics and Economics: Liberals I usually read and agree with are Jonathan Chait and Matt Yglesias. The conservative I find most insightful is Noah Millman. Although I have a suspicion that he’s only a conservative mostly in the same way that I’m a conservative – temperamentally. I also read Daniel Larison (who has too much wishful thinking about whether the public agrees with him on foreign policy), Rod Dreher (who is occasionally insightful and occasionally just unbelievably bad, especially in dealing with any sort of minority issues). I think reading Reihan Salam is a good idea because it can sometimes seem like conservatives don’t actually have any solutions to the world’s problems. Because Reihan Salam is the fairest person writing about the conservative agenda sympathetically, it helps me to read him in order to figure out whether that’s true or not. I used to read David Frum, but I noticed that he combines seeming maximally convincing when I agree with him with being maximally unconvincing whenever I don’t. That is also the case for Jon Chait, but since I agree with Jon Chait a much larger portion of the time, and Chait is a fantastic writer, too, I almost never read Frum. On the left, I read Ta-nehisi Coates on everything because he is, much as it’s cliche to point out, the best pundit on the internet today, Dahlia Lithwick and Scott Lemieux on the courts. I read the Stranger for Dan Savage, Charles Mudede, and Lindy West back when she was there. But mostly Mudede, because he is at least one of either fun or illuminating. And also cause he once had a cover story called “Seattle’s Sexiest Trees” which was about Seattle’s sexiest trees, and that is sweet. I read Sady Doyle, though it usually makes me unhappy, because she judges art entirely through a political lens. I also can’t tell whether she believes what she is saying on many cultural issues, like, for example, the claim that Song of Ice and Fire is motivated by GRRM being a rape fetishist, etc.

General Interest: I read Scott Alexander’s blog. It’s usually on an interesting topic, I usually learn something, and it’s also bizarre to be in a place that is one degree of blog away from both this one and this one. I also read the group blogs Crooked Timber and Lawyers Guns and Money (where djw is my favourite poster).

Russia and Ukraine: The Guardian has the best news reporting on Ukraine and Russia that I can find. Guardian reporters Alec Luhn and Shaun Walker are reliable and often see through the bullshit. The Maxes of Buzzfeed, Seddon and Avdeev, also do excellent reporting / photoreporting. If I want to practice Dutch at the same time as reading about Russia, I go with Olaf Koens. I find Julia Ioffe interesting but too russophobic and Kashin even more interesting but too russophilic. I read Sputnik & Pogrom whenever I want to read a good essay and yet feel angry at the contents because it’s written by an extremist Russian nationalist, and Vzglyad when I want to read a terrible essay and feel even angrier. I look at the pictures in Varlamov’s blog. I occasionally see what Petr & Mazepa is up to. I used to read Pavel Pryanikov’s Russian Planet, but I don’t read it now that it isn’t Pavel Pryanikov’s. Peter Pomerantsev occasionally, though unfortunately rarely, has wonderful Russian World-related vignettes.

Miscellaneous: Language Log is the best blog on the internet, and is about linguistics to some extent, but mostly just about everyday use of English language. For ideas on physics teaching, which is now my job, I read Starts with a Bang. It is excellent popularizations of physics, explained both clearly and correctly. That is really hard. For paleoanthropology news I read John Hawks, since, though I don’t share many of his opinions, his blog is excellent. I like the poetry curation choices of Rabih Alameddine. He is also by far the best (only universally worthwhile?) person to follow on twitter. The Economist’s obituaries are the best part of the magazine, so I read those. I don’t actually read advice columns all that much, but if I did, it would be Ask Polly and, just for sheer novelty value, Ask Andrew W.K. The only jokes I would ever care to see on the internet are either ones Mallory Ortberg wrote herself or personally approved, or a McSweeney’s list.

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One Response to Reading List

  1. Pingback: Iran Deal Post №3: Are Enemies Useful? | Rated Zed

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