Discover more from Razib Khan's Unsupervised Learning
Cyber Monday 50% discount, plus who I read and why
Substack savings, reading lists and my must-read newsletters
The best things in life are free, and/or at the library. For me, that set overlaps slightly with a handful of things also worth investing in. In a separate post, I detailed why I think everyone who can afford to, should own a Whole Genome Sequence for themselves and all their loved ones. Now, I have three more favorite categories of picks for you.
Best for the early bird: Annual subscriptions to this newsletter are discounted 50% starting now. That discount lessens by 1% per hour until 11:59 pm EST Monday, Nov. 28.Two notes: 1. Cyber Monday is the one day each year I give a steep discount. And 2. I set this as a forever discount, so if you’d like to lock the rate in long-term, today’s the day.
Book lists for my 10 must-read book subjects follow below.
My 10 favorite Substack reads (many with Cyber Monday discounts) follow below.
Books, what else?
With friends like these
Indispensable reads from a handful of my favorite thought-criminal friends and other assorted original thinkers
Erik Hoel of The Intrinsic Perspective is either a writer who swallowed a scientist, or a scientist who swallowed a writer. Whichever it is, he’s become a must-read for me, and I encourage you to subscribe now as he has just left academia and gone paid (here’s our recent podcast).
Chad Orzel’s Counting Atoms. Chad’s a physicist, so you can expect posts on that topic, but also commentary on science in general, culture and science fiction. He’s been on my podcast two times, and I’ve enjoyed his output from our parallel posts in the “science blogosphere” for over fifteen years.
Leighton Akira Woodhouse of Social Studies. An erstwhile academic sociologist and current writer and documentarian, Leighton has excellent commentary on broader social issues like the rise of the New Class as well deep-dives into the chaos engulfing San Francisco (here’s our podcast)
Sarah Haider’s Hold that Thought consistently puts quality over quantity. She’s one of the few people who came out of New Atheism who seems to have avoided being sucked up into the woke-memeplex or the anti-woke memeplex (here’s our podcast; Sarah holds the memorable distinction of having cost me a subscriber who huffed that they wouldn’t give me another cent because I platformed Sarah, who dared admit being among the millions who listen to Joe Rogan).
Stuart Ritchie’s Science Fictions has nothing to do with speculative fiction, but brings a healthy skepticism to the world of “I f**king love science.” It should be noted that Ritchie also looks like a hedgehog, but he’s just Scottish (I don’t know which is worse, and also, here’s our podcast).
Katherine Brodsky’s Random Minds isn’t exactly random. I admire her voice because she says what she thinks and doesn’t seem to “read the room” before doing so. Far too often contemporary public intellectuals are cagey or engage in ass-covering qualifications of the form “I don’t agree with everything [fill-in-the-blank-human] says, but…” Katherine doesn’t do that, which makes her an even more refreshing read (here is our podcast).
Richard Hanania’s Newsletter. Dick is probably most widely known for his legend-level trolling, but he is going to shift his newsletter to paid, and I presume produce more content like his magisterial review of Joe Henrich’s The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous.
Democracy and Other Problems is Shadi Hamid’s new project, and relates to his recent book, The Problem of Democracy: America, the Middle East, and the Rise and Fall of an Idea. Unlike some prominent public intellectuals, Shadi has always seemed less interested in whether you are one of the “cool kids” than whether you have something interesting to say (he for one, consistently does, in my opinion).
Glenn Loury’s Substack (with very frequent appearances by John McWhorter) is a must-read because very few academics with tenure are as candid as Glenn about the state of the American intellectual scene in this decade. Tenured academics, especially outside of the hardest of sciences, are extremely conformist, so I’m very happy to support Glenn (here is a podcast I recorded with him).
Have a good Monday. Thank you, sincerely, for supporting my writing and conversations.