The Best Content Curators on the Internet
“I am not Einstein. But I have an advantage- I can read Einstein”.
I love reading, but we have far too much information and far too little time. Information consumes our attention and thus information consumes our life. Enthusiastic Futurist Kevin Kelly coined the term filter-of-filters to determine what we need now to navigate information superabundance.
Here are some filters, curators and authors to follow, as well as some of my all-time favourite articles. Some of these will be familiar, some will be controversial. And a great many of them I disagree with in some way, but that’s exactly the point.
In my spare time I try and put these ideas together into articles, and they can be found here on Medium.
[I plan to keep this list updated as and when I find more sources. Please feel free to suggest curators and writers !]
Article Aggregators + Thoughtful Content Curators.
The Browser. The best filter on the internet and the best value paywall. An expertly-curated email with the best 5 articles from the 600–700 they read every single day. Some favourites:
- How This All Happened by Morgan Housel. A characteristically clear and concise economic history since WW2. Massive explanatory power for today’s world. Morgan’s whole catalogue is incredibly high quality.
- ‘Neural Annealing: Toward a Neural Theory of Everything’ in Opentheory. Even though I probably only understood ~60–70% of this article it was still one of the most interesting things I’ve read.
- ‘How to Be Successful’ by Sam Altman. Yes, it’s a listicle from a 35yo VC. But Altman is unusually bright and has the benefit of seeing thousands of case studies from his time at Y Combinator.
- 52 Things I learned in… Tom Whitwell’s annual exercise is always fun and diverse.
Brain Pickings- Maria Popova. A wonderful site with a mix of spirituality and philosophy.
- Essential Life-Learnings from 14 Years of Brain Pickings. This is her best-of article combining favourite insights.
Five Books. The best 5 books on a given topic, as explained by an expert in that field.
- Some favourites: Chinese Philosophy selected by Michael Puett, Burnout selected by Josh Cohen, Comfort Reads selected by Neil Gaiman.
Damn Interesting: Greatest Hits. Exactly what it says it is- articles that are mostly crazy historical non-fiction.
- The Zero Armed Bandit. My favourite article, and one of the best ever. ‘The story of a treacherous contraption that appeared mysteriously in a Lake Tahoe casino.’
- White Death. How a lone Finnish sniper accumulated 505 kills during WW2.
- Ten Minutes in Lituya Bay. The story of an Alaskan tsunami higher than One World Trade in 1954.
Edge.org- conversations by year. Mostly science & technology focused. Their annual question books are wonderful.
- The local-global flip- Jaron Lanier. Unbelievably forward-thinking criticism of big-tech.
- Fitness Landscapes- Stewart Brand. Simple and profound explanation of co-evolution.
Farnham Street. Articles and Podcasts. Fairly well known but still excellent site and podcast on ‘mastering the best of what other people have already figured out.
On Being. Soothingly calm and spiritual podcasts and essays for chaotic times.
Interesting Writers To Follow.
- What you can’t say- one of my all-time favourites, and particularly prescient now.
- Keep your identity small.
- The acceleration of addictiveness.
Scott Alexander. Slate Star Codex. His top articles via the wayback machine. [Often controversial] musings of a rationalist polymath psychiatrist.
- I can tolerate anything except the outgroup. On tribalism. Relevant.
- Meditations on Moloch. Long and absolutely terrifying, still not entirely sure why.
Charles Eisenstein. A spiritual philosopher with a gift for taking alternative perspectives.
- The Miracle of Self-Creation. Extremely profound 3 essay series on attention & personal growth. Excellent.
David Fuller & Alexander Beiner. Rebel Wisdom. Interesting meta-analysis of sense-making and spirituality.
- Lost Ways of Knowing. On alternative kinds of thought that can navigate us out of a time of crisis.
Tim Urban. Wait But Why. (Very) longform examinations of interesting topics.
- The Tail End- a startling visualization of the time left in your life.
- A Sick Giant- on tribalism, ideas and modern America.
- Why Procrastinators Procrastinate.
- The Fermi Paradox- why we haven’t found alien life.
Derek Thompson. The Atlantic. I’m largely trying to stay away from ephemeral current affairs, but Derek’s work is far superior to most content out there.
Matt Levine. Bloomberg. The best writer in finance, with the best daily email. On his day the best writer anywhere.
- Investors have to sell stocks too. A classic of his genre.
David Perell. Here’s a mix of his own writing and favourite links/articles.
- Peter Thiel’s Religion is a particularly good examination of mimetic theory and contrarianism.
Crowdsourced Books and Articles
Goodreads’ Best Rated Books of All Time. Quite the eclectic list.
Pocket App’s most viewed articles monthly. What other people are saving in the article-storing app.
Blinkist’s Non-Fiction book list. The 15-minute summary app shares their most popular books.
Tim Ferriss- Tools of Titans: mega-book list from all 120 contributors. Even though his more aggressive life-hacking days now seem to be behind him, aggregating the wisdom of 120 varied and successful people was a fascinating exercise. The Tao Te Ching and Atlas Shrugged were the 2 most popular books. Quite the contrast.
Finally- assorted articles I have loved.
- Brene Brown: The Midlife Unravelling. The best description of an existential crisis I have ever read.
- J.D. Vance on American Poverty. Chris Arnade’s work is also great on this topic. I also enjoyed The Origin of Populist Surges Everywhere by Philip Auerswald.
- How Work Became an Inescapable Hellhole by Anne Helen Petersen. Hyperbolic title but a revealing examination of how much of our life is now dominated by technology and alerts.
- David Brooks: The Nuclear Family Was A Mistake. Robust argument for improving the structure of modern families. I also enjoyed the difference between ‘resume virtues’ and ‘eulogy virtues’ in The Moral Bucket List.
- Balanced Sheets by Alex Williams. Great explanation of the link between global trade and inequality as described in Michael Pettis & Matthew Klein’s book Trade Wars Are Class Wars.
- Andrew Sullivan: America’s New Religions on the religious void being filled with politics and The Poison We Pick about the opioid crisis.
- The Most Important Question of Your Life by Mark Manson. Not a huge fan of all of his work but this is really great. ‘A more interesting question — a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before — is what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.’
Follow me @tomowenmorgan on Twitter for more curated content.