As some people expressed interest in RSS feeds I follow, here they are.
For every feed I want to include some recent good item (if there's none, then obviously I should just unsubscribe). Standard fair use disclaimer here (some comics are explicitly CC-*, but most aren't; it's all legit fair use, no matter what Rupert Murdoch thinks).
WebcomicsFirst, I love webcomics, and there's plenty of those in my feed. Most of them are "one self-contained funny story per item" type, which work very well with RSS readers.
Abstruse Goose is sort of xkcd-ish, crudely drawn smart jokes about science and pop culture, less obsessed with girls than xkcd, and without mouse-over tooltips.
oglaf.com calls itself "Comics. Often dirty.", and is exactly that. Most of it is NSFW, so if you need something to read while sipping a morning coffee in the office, and waking up, it's probably not it. This sample is from quite far back, not because more recent ones weren't good, but because it was hard to find one that was SFW. It's also very nicely drawn, unlike most comics here.
Cyanide & Happiness is an extremely well known comics, strangely with multiple people drawing it, all in more or less the same style. I'll use this opportunity to rant about one infuriating thing about their RSS feed is that very often comics get into RSS feed before they get live on their website (it happened like 4 times just last month).
Order of the Stick is something completely different - instead of being "one funny a day", it actually has a multi-year story of a team of adventurers playing Dungeons&Dragons-inspired campaign and making fun of the rules as they go. Well, at first it was "make fun of D&D vaguely connected strips" format, I think it got significantly worse as it tried to get serious, and most of the humour is about OotS characters, not D&D. Here's one really old strip that you'll get even if you don't follow OotS.
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal is another one of those good funny comics - it delivers daily, and has fairly mainstream appeal.
xkcd probably got more cult following than any other webcomics ever. In addition to fans, there are blogs of xkcd hate, and even RSS-able Web 2.0-style website Is xkcd shitty today - their answer always being YES, most often unfairly. It can get really cutesey and sad, or mindlessly evil, or philosophical, or anything else. There are many meciocre xkcds, but it reaches pure comics awesomeness level more often than any other comics I know. And don't forget the mouseover tooltips.
Zero Punctuation isn't really a webcomics - it's a weekly sarcastic video game review. It's universally loved as it tends to find faults in games and make fun of them, while most of the so called "reviewers" just rehash press releases. Here's one old review of one particularly good game:
ReadingAll right, I sometimes read and not just look at pretty pictures.
538 is probably the only blog about political polling in existence. It has some highlight, such as predicting results of 2008 American elections much better than anyone else, and finding out that one polling firm was a total fraud, and all their results were fabricated.
It contains a mix of detailed analyses of particular elections (not terribly interesting, unless you happen to live there), criticism of bad polling and bad analysis, and probably most interesting of all - big picture view of shifts in public opinion. Unfortunately it's mostly about USA, and rarely writes about Europe and other places.
Less Wrong is a spin-off of Overcoming Bias, or what Overcoming Bias used to be before becoming Robin Hanson's personal blog. It's filled with insightful posts about human rationality, and biases in thinking, and philosophy of thought. It also has scary amount of discussion that's only understandable to insiders. Some examples:
- A lot of irrational beliefs protect against other irretional beliefs, if you get selectively rational it might kill you.
- A post about a well-documented condition where people without a limb are completely unaware of not having it, and it's absolutely impossible to convince them otherwise.
- Why deontologists must not try to hide behind real world excuses while thinking about their morality (does not affect consequentialists)
Marginal Revolution is one of the Freakonomics-style "economics made fun, now with more anecdotes" blogs. It publishes insanely often, five posts a day pace is entirely typical. Unlike this blog, which gets more like five posts a month. A lot of it is reposts of interesting things they found somewhere else, what saves you from following too many feeds. Like repost of this bathroom scales that tweets your weight for all world to see as motivating factor, and experiments with placebo coffee.
Actually 90% of Marginal Revolution is reposts with tl;dr summaries, comments, and counter-arguments. It's pretty good this way. Sometimes they get into crazy libertarian mode, especially when discussing health care, but it doesn't happen that often.
Paul Krugman's blog, and New York Times column (which is like blog, just with longer posts). Krugman can get annoyingly dogmatic about whatever the left wing of Democratic Party believes at time, and often gets horribly "wonkish" about tiny details of macroeconomic analysis. Some good posts:
- Why teabaggers call Obama a "Nazi" instead of a "Commie" like in good old times?
- Economic growth post-Reagan was actually much worse than pre-Reagan
- How patterns of international trade changed in the last century
- Politicians have no interest in cutting deficits, as the only time in modern history deficits fell spectacularly, most people believed deficits increased anyway
- How the gold standard during Great Depression (and dollar pegging now) caused protectionism and made matters much worse
Overcoming Bias used to be Eliezer's blog about rationality, then Eliezer moved to Less Wrong, and Overcoming Bias is all Robin Hanson's. Robin has three big ideas: everything people do is about signaling status, modern medicine doesn't work, and prediction markets are universal solution to every problem. Robin has way too many crazy libertarian moment, so if your libertarian-phobia is stronger than mine do not read. Some good recent posts:
- Overview of evidence for panspermia
- Estimated 41% of "elections" worldwide are fraudulent (mostly poor countries obviously)
- Evidence for flu vaccines is dubious
Some nice posts:
- "Local" food wastes much more fuel than supermarket food from other side of the world
- Transoceanic trade in age of sail
- Manufacturing workers complaining about Indians killing their jobs, in 1681
- The mystery of why, in spite of long history of missed predictions, the media still takes peakoilers seriously
- Contrary to peakoilers' claimn, fertilizer is not made of oil
- Iraqi government (and probably indirectly American taxpayers) buys thousands of divining rods for bomb detection
- Pigs can be hackers too
- You can reliably reproduce any physical key from just a crappy photo shot long distance
- Suicide bomber hid bomb in his ass. Coming soon - cavity searches before boarding any plane
- Bush fought the wars and the wars won
- History of Tibetan military
- What new piracy looks like
- A century of killing in Colombia
Enjoy your reading.