A running list of links I find worthwhile, RSS feed included. Previously these were saved to Pinboard but more recently they're saved directly to this site through a simple WordPress plugin. This section of the site is still a work-in-progress.

Fantastic essay from Paul Graham on the art of writing usefully. He boils it down to importance + novelty + correctness + strength and expands on the role each plays in an essay.

Useful writing makes claims that are as strong as they can be made without becoming false.

Paul Graham

February 22, 2020 writing

It feels like blogging is still frozen in amber today because we haven’t yet figured out how to attach status to it. People have been blogging for decades, but the most successful bloggers still look surprisingly old-school, with entire micro-communities that thrive solely in their comments and adjacent forums. Although there are an endless number of blogging platforms, they’ve all struggled to create value beyond utility. They provide technical infrastructure for writing and publishing, but not social infrastructure.

Nadia Eghbal

February 22, 2020 blogging, newsletters

Barrett Swanson takes a trip through the world of the paranormal to report on why it retains such appeal for many. It’s an Automattic production, so I’m naturally biased, but I find The Atavist to be doing some of the more interesting web-native magazine publishing out there.

February 8, 2020 society

A still-relevant set of blogging tips from Alexander Chee that dates from 2010. It focuses on blogging as an author, but I found the core of it held up even if your profession isn’t that of a writer.

February 8, 2020 blogging

Craig Mod is one of my favorite writers on the web. Here he uses pizza toast as a frame for looking at not only travel within Japan, but the country’s changing demographics and consumption habits. The photography, as is typical with Craig’s work, is a stellar complement to the writing.

December 27, 2019 photography, travel

Ultimately, it’s my belief that social networks are systems that can be intentionally designed, and intelligently managed, to ensure that their primary impact is a positive one for the people who use them, and for the world.

Anil Dash

December 1, 2019 blogging

Despite the clickbait headline and the strongly opinionated advice it does outline a solid set of foundational habits: optimize for focus in your first 3 hours of the day, start the day with a protein-heavy breakfast, and focus on replacing bad habits rather than preventing them.

December 1, 2019 routines, work

Pretty incredible story from Allie Conti at VICE. This kind of risk is also a big part of why I feel more confident booking through Airbnb’s Plus tier of listings (where they do in-person verification).

November 24, 2019 crime, travel

Solid overview of mental models around entropy from the Farnam Street folks. Particularly memorable is the distinction between passive stability and active stability.

November 16, 2019 strategy, thinking

Great piece of travel writing (and photography) that focuses on the Pamir area of Tajikistan. The project’s sponsor, Studio D, is doing some of the most interesting, non-tech sector, work I follow (their 2018 end of year report gives a good overview).

It’s the question of what comes after the grand narrative moves on that has drawn me here. What is it to live in this deep-furrowed channel by this parent stream of humanity in the 21st century, long after the withdrawal of the Soviet and the civil war that followed? What is it to live in these mountains now, where the impressed imaginations of history can’t keep the water running clean?

Patrick Pittman

November 16, 2019 hiking, travel