2016 feed reader shortlist

One of the greatest interview questions I have been asked to date was “where do you get your news from”; I’m immensely grateful when authors I enjoy reading divulge their sources of information and inspiration. So without further ado I present to you: George’s 2016 feed reader shortlist.

Information Technology

John D. Cook’s blog is about applied mathematics in programming with occasional thoughtful reflections about his consulting experience. I particularly enjoy his straight to the point, no-frills writing style which, however, never fails to draw parallels between abstract topics and practical applications.

The QuirksBlog scrutinizes browser features and their adoption around the web. It’s the place to go when you need to know which browser support HTTP2 or how far webGL on a Linux Chromium will get you.

Jeremy Keith likes talking about web application design principles and considerations, and he does that well. His writings draw quite some attention, so make sure you don’t skip the readers’ comments.

Hacker News is the new Slash-dot. ‘nough said.

The High Scalability blog is an institution when it comes to designing, evolving and operating distributed systems. Todd Hoff summarises interesting talks and his frequent guest authors, all architects of startups or even large IT organisations, share their successes and failures.

Matthew Green discusses cryptography, the science and politics behind it in A few thoughts about cryptography, proving that cryptography doesn’t have to be a dry and tedious topic.

Science & Maths

Gravity and Levity and Ask a mathematician used to be one of my favourite blogs which bring advanced physics or tricky mathematical concepts closer to the layman, though topics have recently been veering towards popular science.

If you ever wondered how high you can build a stack of cards or what your best strategy for betting in any game is then Nick Berry’s DataGenetics is the place to go.

In Algorithmic Assertions Craig Cidney gives me quantum circuit headaches. It’s a fine example of a topic that vastly exceeds my grasp but leaves me with enough pointers to know where to go to if I ever will have to read up on it. Or so I hope.


Seeking Alpha long investment ideas is a rather high-traffic feed of stock analyses. Although a bit USA-centric with occasional excursions across the pond, I like the focus on strategic topics and how recent political developments affect them, e.g. oil and the war in Syria, lithium and the sway to electric cars following Dieselgate or banking and Trump’s promised market deregulation.

Politics, Society & Culture

In Math = Love a high-school teacher writes about her daily experience teaching and educational experiments; frankly, I’m just there for the hilarious “Things teenager’s say” episodes.

Abandoned Footnotes takes the reader into deep political waters such as communication strategies in politics or determining freedom metrics for countries.

The Conversationist hosts a plethora of op-eds about current issues, sometimes offering novel views. A fair deal leftist, imho, but still readable.

Scott Adams’ blog (aka Dilbert) came to my attention for his insightful analysis of the US 2016 presidential election. While I don’t hold the election winner in nearly as high an esteem as Adams does, his reasoning about how and why things turned out the way they did is worth reading.

No honourable mentions

The aforementioned sources are by far not my only readings which, as a matter of fact exceeded the magic 1K subscriptions in 2016. The two criteria for making the list were a) whether the source maintained a high level of quality and output throughout 2016 and b) I happened to know about it :-). Sources deliberately omitted were:

  • Product or engineering blogs of the large and famous companies we all follow anyway
  • Newspapers
  • Authors writing only opinion pieces
  • Authors whose few good pieces went under in an otherwise unremarkable output

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