Elevate my whatever.
February 11, 2014 12:41 PM   Subscribe

What blogs are well written and worth following to broaden my mind?

I want a more productive waste of time when I'm online. Topics might include:

Philosophy and ethics
Current art and artists
Craftsmanship in any form

And um, I don't know what else, so go wild.
posted by jsturgill to Writing & Language (26 answers total) 181 users marked this as a favorite
The New Yorker's Culture Desk is frequently tasty.
posted by mr. digits at 12:49 PM on February 11, 2014

Time's Flow Stemmed
posted by perhapses at 12:54 PM on February 11, 2014

three quarks daily
posted by BabeTheBlueOX at 1:03 PM on February 11, 2014

Medium is thoughtful.
posted by tinymegalo at 1:04 PM on February 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Also: Bookforum's Omnivore.
posted by mr. digits at 1:09 PM on February 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Rarely updated these days, but the archives are good: Mills Baker's Meta Is Murder. Incomplete tag archives for philosophy, art, and morality.
posted by griseus at 1:48 PM on February 11, 2014

The Volokh Conspiracy. Recently it changed from being independent to becoming part of the Wapo stable.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:00 PM on February 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Millions - contemporary and classic literature, reviews, articles by authors, random humor, and more.
posted by matildaben at 2:06 PM on February 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Letters of Note is a regularly updated collection of letters from writers, baseball players, former slaves, a widow, and at least one alien.

Plus: an apology template created by a ninth century Chinese bureaucrat.
posted by maudlin at 2:09 PM on February 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Remember that professor you had who was really smart and passionate and whose lectures were both accessible and intellectually rigorous? He (and it's mostly he's) might be writing for The Reality-Based Community, a group blog mostly from public policy academics. They tend to write on their areas of expertise (e.g., drugs and crime, social welfare, art policy, environmental policy, nonprofits) but also post when they have something to say about other issues of the day.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 2:11 PM on February 11, 2014 [5 favorites]

Brain Pickings
posted by mimo at 2:13 PM on February 11, 2014

Also awesome and Canadian: Hazlitt, which features writing from at least one MeFite.
posted by maudlin at 2:13 PM on February 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Girlfriend's ex-coworker runs a very slick food-and-design blog called Baker-Builder.
They just had a kid, so it skews much more toward the new parent crowd than it used to.
posted by oceanjesse at 3:21 PM on February 11, 2014

Thug Kitchen still seems active.
posted by oceanjesse at 3:22 PM on February 11, 2014

I think I'd like to suggest that you try one of the longform journalism aggregators like Longreads. It obviously isn't a single source blog but it should provide you with interesting things to read.

A blog-like thing I've enjoyed for its posts is Venue where they're traveling in the US and writing about places and things they find. Another place/travel-based site is Roads and Kingdoms it also has a food tendency.
posted by sciencegeek at 3:36 PM on February 11, 2014

Jihadica is an important blog if you're interested in reading analysis of the modern Mujahideen.
posted by oceanjesse at 3:51 PM on February 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

+1 to BookForum's Omnivore as a place to get totally immersed in great long-form pieces on a range of topics.
posted by amaire at 4:04 PM on February 11, 2014

Lots of literary linkages:
Arts & Letters Daily
The Paris Review

Ribbonfarm can be pretty fascinating, if a little long winded. You could start with The Gervais Principle, which was internet-famous a few years ago.
posted by Bron at 5:24 PM on February 11, 2014

Whoever pointed out Brainpicker, I suggest you carefully consider the mode of operation of that blog (and similar others). While the amazon affiliate link "brouhaha" isn't ultimately that damning for anybody, it reveals a bit about how the site operates. It's a similar model to boingboing (which I used to love): a very ADHD-driven, shallow look at 3rd party media properties in a handful of niches likely to activate the curiosity of the target geek demographic, with almost no supplementary analysis (other than how "delightful" the subject is), framed with extremely lucrative but downplayed ads or affiliate links. The authors usually don't engage with critical comments at all, or engage in a very snarky, get-thee-out-of-my-kingdom way.

It's not bad in and of itself, and I've really enjoyed these sites while I didn't know better, but I feel substantially less burdened about my media consumption now that I've cut it out of my diet. Certainly, if the author is seeking to "elevate", this may not be the destination of choice.

[ADDENDUM: BB's longer-form articles looked promising at one point, and I never really looked back closely -- criticism may no longer apply!]
posted by parkan at 6:23 PM on February 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Last Psychiatrist is great.
posted by gemutlichkeit at 7:42 PM on February 11, 2014

Wood's Lot
posted by islander at 11:30 AM on February 12, 2014

Whispers in the Loggia and Joe Saward are incredibly dense, thoughtful, and reasoned attempts at decoding, deciphering, demystifying, divining, and disentangling the inscrutably complex politics of the Catholic church and Formula 1, respectively.
posted by clorox at 6:58 PM on February 12, 2014

If you like a bit of philosophy of mind...

Conscious Entities
Mind Hacks
Brain Hammer
The Splintered Mind

Hey, I've got a bit of a story going there, haven't I?
posted by Segundus at 7:31 AM on February 17, 2014

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