Where do I click from here?
February 16, 2011 8:06 PM   Subscribe

Where do the really smart people hang out online, and discuss varied topics?

I already know about Metafilter, of course. I like the Straight Dope Message Board, Arts & Letters Daily, and I've been meaning to check out the James Randi forums. I already StumbleUpon, too. What other online destinations can you suggest that won't rot my brain, but rather challenge it? I'd like to brush keyboards with people smarter than I. I'm not opposed to light-hearted or silly, but I am opposed to stupid, and I need something to balance out my daily dose of Fail and cats with captions. I like discussion on a variety of topics.

Thanks for any recommendations!
posted by Savannah to Computers & Internet (19 answers total) 95 users marked this as a favorite
Slacktivist's blow-by-blow walkthrough of how the Left Behind books are problematic from an Evangelical POV is quite fantastic, and there's material there for days. There is sometimes quality discussion to be had in the comments.
posted by kitarra at 8:14 PM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Something Awful forums are big enough to include some trash, but there's a lot of good, intelligent discussion going on in there.
posted by unixrat at 8:18 PM on February 16, 2011 [4 favorites]

Specifically, the Debate and Discussion subforum of the SA Forums have generally intelligent discussion. It looks like it's currently closed to non-members at the moment, though.
posted by ODiV at 8:30 PM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Hacker News. Not necessarily tech-related, they try to post stories that are "deeply interesting," as they explain.
posted by mnemonic at 8:37 PM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


And, in general, the comments on good blogs.
posted by John Cohen at 9:16 PM on February 16, 2011

Check out the comments on avc.com for good discussion on business and entrepreneurship
posted by jourman2 at 9:48 PM on February 16, 2011

Thirding Something Awful.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:23 PM on February 16, 2011

Space Collective
posted by carsonb at 11:09 PM on February 16, 2011

I like Crooked Timber: it's a little bit academic listserv for the social sciences, and a little bit 'random topics of interest'. High signal/noise ratio, but not up its own arse.
posted by holgate at 1:01 AM on February 17, 2011 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you, everyone! I am looking forward to checking out all the suggestions. I have a login for Something Awful--it's time to go back for a second look.

This should keep me from mindlessly clicking on celebrity gossip blogs and pictures of unfortunate people at Wal-Mart.

Off to explore! Thank you.
posted by Savannah at 5:59 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Something awful a place for really smart people hang out online? It's pretty much a single step up from 4chan.
posted by ShootTheMoon at 8:07 AM on February 17, 2011

The MaxFun forums (for the group of podcasts under the Maximum Fun umbrella, including Sound of Young America) have a lot of positive and intelligent folks.
posted by marcin_zissou at 8:20 AM on February 17, 2011

reddit. Checkout their best of 2010 and see if you like it.
posted by caelum at 11:43 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

PLoS blogs - a collection of science blogs. Most of them are focused on medical research, but not all of them.

Language Log - a group linguistics blog, if you're interested in that kind of thing.
posted by nangar at 11:44 AM on February 17, 2011

posted by harmfulray at 11:57 AM on February 17, 2011

Quora is quite popular amongst the techies right now.
posted by squasher at 8:05 PM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Fourthing Something Awful. Like any large community, it has its seedy areas, and even some areas you really don't want to be ever. If, however, you stick to the "Debate and Discussion" area you will find some really intelligent discussion. I've found it to be more good than bad.
posted by jnnla at 4:43 PM on February 18, 2011

...oh...the Ask / Tells are some of the best things on the internet that I have ever read. Truly fantastic resource. Really really.
posted by jnnla at 4:44 PM on February 18, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for all the tips...

...I've been so busy clicking and surfing, I forget to come back and say "thank you". Thank you!
posted by Savannah at 6:17 PM on April 4, 2011

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