I read a lot of feeds, but like I said before, the value of those blogs looks a lot like a long-tail graph. I find a buried diamond every once in a while, but for the most part, I find my favorite posts coming from the same writers. So what are my top three and who, if I had to get rid of the rest of my reader, would I keep? It was a really easy decision.
Seth Godin ( http://sethgodin.typepad.com/ )
Seth’s blog is one of the common sense, “doesn’t everyone think this way?” kind of sites. The thing is that most people don’t think that way and what seems obvious is really counterintuitive to how most of us operate. I like to read Seth because he is sort of a second conscience. It seems like every time I start to get cocky or self-important he drops something that forces me to recalibrate. He reminds you that you can’t be lazy, that to trick the customer is a short-term gain but long-term death sentence, that in a service economy the ultimate resource is relationships, and that you simply cannot afford to emulate in this fast-paced market. While everyone else is rehashing yesterday’s news and speculating on Google’s plan, Seth is giving advice on what YOU can do today. As in business, so in life (as RG would say) and thus much of his methodology applies to you on a personal level as well. That you shouldn’t overreach and have to save ideas, is just as important at home as it is in the office. These are some of my favorite posts: The Verizon guy who turned down the iPhone, Do Business Books Work?, We don’t like you, go away and Changing The Future This video of Seth is really good too. I don’t always save his stuff or print it up, but the lessons get absorbed.
Overcoming Bias: ( http://www.overcomingbias.com/ )
Despite its awful design, Overcoming Bias might be the most consistently intellectual challenging blogs I’ve ever read. And boy is it on a tear lately. It analyzes the social, psychological, cognitive and evolutionary issues that face today’s conscious people. Wikipedia can provide you with a list of cognitive bias, but they only matter with context and application–something that OB provides. So much of what we were bred to do–jump to conclusions, stereotype, exclude, hate, accept superficial answers, refuse to ponder important questions–directly contradict the ideals or means of keeping a free society. Only through a concerted effort and collective knowledge can we ever hope to spite these primal instincts. Their stuff on religion gives you the depth of Dawkins without the verbosity and redundancy. The writers really understand how to play with the format and actually make you think. Some of my recent favorites: Update Yourself Incrementally, The Importance of Saying Oops and Tell Your Anti-Story If you want to be a thinker who is free from the missteps, mistakes and subjectivities of your peers, this is the one of the ONLY sites on the net that can help you do it.
The Volokh Conspiracy (http://volokh.com/ )
Volokh is set up similarly to Overcoming Bias in that it is sort of a commune of professional thinkers and writers. Of course, this unfairly contributes to their supremacy of most others, but who cares? I don’t have time for handicaps, all I want is stuff that is good. It focuses on a lot of law stuff (which I normally skip) but their exposes on news, trends and moral issues are amazing. Obviously the Socratic Method is huge there, but not in the annoying way you would think. Yesterday’s piece on homicides in the Wild West was fantastic and so was this investigation of information cascades. Eugene is probably the best writer in the group, and he asks the best questions. Some of my favorites: Sexual Assault Problem, The Real Che Guevara, Buzz Aldrin on Property Rights in Space. Ahh, and their grasp of the English language is astounding. I hate grammar people but Eugene’s posts on what words can be used or where they came from are actually ones I look forward to. Since I’d rather be killed than go to law school, Volokh is a way I can engage in the discourse without having to sit next to douchebags and self-important dweebs.
What do you think the three best blogs are? It’s easy to check, look at which ones you’ve emailed to your friends the most, printed, starred in your reader, or tagged to your Del.icio.us account? Post ‘em in the comments or email me, but I don’t think you can beat my selections.