This collection is a hodge-podge of fun or engaging things. Nobody will like everything on this list, but hopefully there’s something in here that sparks your interest.
There’s no way to include every site that’s left a mark on me, so I have included only a choice few that have kept me interested for a long time.
For anyone who wants to understand modern science without the jargon and mathematics attached, this online magazine is the best place to go. Previously known as Nova, this is run by the Australian Academy of Science where I was once an intern. Articles are written with the help of working scientists.
Quite contentious for the types of individuals associated with it and the mis-treatment of many community members, LessWrong still had a notable impact on me as a young man at the end of high school. In the same ‘Rationalist’ group as (archived) Slate Star Codex, LessWrong has content on various topics, from philosophy to psychology, self-improvement to the far future, all with a focus on removing bias and thinking statistically (they’re big fans of Bayes Theorem). Dipping my toe into Rationalist sites as a teenager was the start of my self-improvement journey.
I would recommend starting with “The Sequences”, the most generally useful pages for those yet uninitiated. For others who prefer something a bit less serious, Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is a fan fiction written by one of the pioneers of LessWrong. It is a rationalist HP, where Aunt Petunia married a biochemist. I’m sure you can figure out the rest.
A collection of philosophy essays, all under 1000 words, covering many areas of philosophy. Short enough to read on the bus (or the toilet).
An independent news and opinion website. Writers are only allowed to publish on topics in which they have proven expertise. To feature in The Conversation is one of my career goals.
This deserves a whole category, but as literally everyone has heard of YouTube I’ll make do with noting down a few of my favourite channels. I may write posts on some of these in the future.
- Every Frame a Painting
- Now You See It
- The Cinema Cartography (previously Channel Criswell)
- The Royal Ocean Film Society
Basically as varied as the internet itself, Reddit is the ultimate forum, with a ‘subreddit’ (forum within Reddit) to go for whatever niche you’re looking for.
Some of my favourites for interesting posts, recommendations and information include:
- The ‘Ask’ subreddits, full of questions and answers. The good ones include r/AskHistorians, which has answers from experts who include many references.
- r/listentothis and XYZ for new music recommendations
- r/MaleFashionAdvice for fashion inspiration
- r/EatCheapandHealthy for recipes.
Some good discussion comes up on r/Change My View, and r/IAmA (I am a ___, Ask Me Anything) features Q&A with Barack Obama, Snoop Dogg, a North Korean prisoner and many others answering questions from the public.
I often go to Reddit to get answers to my questions - I search “query + reddit” in Google. Someone is bound to have asked it before!