Monday, October 26, 2009

Something Cool for Monday

No gaming stuff today - Mondays are for reminding myself that there's good in the world, and sharing a bit of that good.

I read a lot of stuff daily, just out of habit. Google Reader helps me maintain most of it - I have a fat stack of RSS feeds and searches that it all pulls into one place so I can go through it and see what's to be found. This works pretty well, and I think most infovores have their own variant on this. However, there is one resource I like to hit that exists outside this automated process.

Arts & Letters Daily is a link site, but it's one that is manually maintained by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Manually is kind of important here because there's a natural culling to the process: has 3 categories, and at most adds one or two links per day to each category. Each link will be to something thoughtful and interesting, the kind of thing you may feel like you're missing out on in a world of blog-post-backslapping. That combination of low volume and high quality makes for something delightful to read and easy to keep up with.

In some ways this seems positively archaic (in that way that only things on the Internet can truly be archaic) - a relic of an era of hand-crafted content, ruled by librarians with a quiet fist. But that's what draws me back to it - there are precious few thoughtful, quiet corners of the Internet, and is far and away one of my favorites.

If you visit, do yourself a favor and scroll to the bottom of the sidebar to the "Classics" section, where they keep links to several must-read essays and articles, including Fukuyama's "End of History"[1], Orwell's "Politics and the English Language" and many others.

1 - Fukuyama's essay is worth reading from a purely historical perspective. Consider when it was written (1989), and then think that as odd as some of it may sound today, a lot of people really bought into this back then. It's now far enough in the past that it merely makes me smile rather than, say, foam at the mouth, which was my usual response for Fukuyama for many years.

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