Let us learn the tough stuff in a way that's fun and easy.
October 15, 2010 1:08 PM   Subscribe

Looking for blogs and regular columns that make difficult subjects accessible and interesting.

I suspect this question has been asked before, but I'm not sure how to search for it with the vague terms I have in mind. Plus I want my own special snowflake answers.

In a passing comment on an FPP, kimota clued me in to The Last Psychiatrist.

I really like it so far, because he writes about these psychological issues in a way that is (as the Ask says) interesting, accessible, and not impenetrably (for a layman) academic.

It brought to mine Billmon, a blogger who, on his old site, would write about economics a lot and from a sort of, "Here. Let me try to explain this to you" kind of way. I remember one post about salaries, where he compares money to candy, and asks us to envision a world where everyone is as passionate about candy as most little kids are, and how everyone wants more of it. He wrote, "The company you works for gives you candy, but with the idea that THEY will get even MORE candy because of the work you do for them."

Okay, not the most groundbreaking stuff, but I appreciated the way he used a metaphor to bring home whatever larger point he was trying to make so that we didn't need an economics agree to understand his opinion.

I want more of that, on pretty much any subject: The economy, psychology, sociology, politics....whatever blogger or writer made you say, "Wow! S/he makes me feel like I understand this tough issue now!" It's a good feeling.

(Another example...I work peripherally with investment banking, and even though I come in contact with a lot of them, I STILL don't quite understand hedge funds, what they are, why they are, and how they work. Somewhere out there is a better teacher than Wikipedia)
posted by mreleganza to Society & Culture (6 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
NPR's Planet Money which is both a blog and a podcast and the Stuff You Should Know podcast, though I submit the latter is sometimes a bit heavy on conventional wisdom and often doesn't tell you much more than you'd get from Wikipedia.
posted by proj at 1:58 PM on October 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

PLoS Blogs. Most of them focus on medical research, but there's an anthropology blog as well.
posted by nangar at 2:17 PM on October 15, 2010

Biology blog Pharyngula. PZ Myers has an amazing gift for explaining things really lucidly.
posted by ms.codex at 11:28 PM on October 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Steven Strogatz explains mathematics concepts in a conversational style. His recent post on countable and uncountable infinite sets is a good example.
posted by scose at 2:27 AM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Cheap talk for economics, game theory, and politics. Also check out Yale's online beginner courses.
posted by doublehappy at 2:41 AM on October 16, 2010

Seconding "Stuff You Should Know"
posted by thinkingwoman at 6:16 AM on October 16, 2010

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