Author Topic: What should I be reading?  (Read 1521 times)

MgoSam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3684
  • Location: Minnesota
What should I be reading?
« on: February 02, 2023, 11:49:52 AM »
Hi,

What is the best way you use to stay informed on what is going on in the world, economy, and more? I'm looking for suggestions to stay current while also avoiding feeling like the world is going to end.

Philociraptor

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1131
  • Age: 34
  • Location: NTX
  • Eat. Sleep. Invest. Repeat.
Re: What should I be reading?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2023, 12:20:38 PM »
I just use news.google.com and curate over time. It learns about what you like to read, it gets better over time.

Re: staying sane while doing it, I check news sources against https://adfontesmedia.com/interactive-media-bias-chart/ and tell it never to show most sources that aren't in the green box; takes out most of the sensationalist stuff.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2023, 12:23:47 PM by Philociraptor »

ChpBstrd

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6712
  • Location: A poor and backward Southern state known as minimum wage country
Re: What should I be reading?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2023, 12:36:24 PM »
A list of things not to read would be easier!

Bottom line:
All news is now clickbait unless you pay the journalist. If you are not paying the journalist, someone else is - namely the ads which fund clickbait and use cookies to follow you around. The Washington Post, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal are good candidates, although each has a lot of fluff content about celebrities and who-said-what-on-social-media.

One cannot expect quality information from an ad-supported media ecosystem. Avoiding misinformation is now much more important than staying current.

Each also has their weaknesses and has published false information in the past (e.g. all the anti-vaxxer editorials on WSJ, various Trump-related items in the NYT - though both sides have grievances here). The problem is that it's uneconomical to subscribe to multiple information sources, both in terms of time and money. Thus, many people like me settle on reading their headlines online. Reuters.com and APnews.com are also fairly good sources. I've actually been impressed by Al Jazeera too, except for news about Saudi Arabia.


Tass

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3223
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Crossing some mountains
Re: What should I be reading?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2023, 12:39:29 PM »
I read NPR for general news and Politico for political details. I looked them up on the media bias chart; both are rated center-left and fall between "fact-based reporting" and "complex analysis." These both notably are both free, and NPR is publicly funded (as a counterexample to the "all free news is clickbait" argument above, though to be clear I generally agree with that).

For a while I also read WSJ but their editorial page was absolutely poisonous. I'd consider their news reporting (avoiding the editorial page) for a more center to center-right view.

chasingsnow

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 355
  • Location: Small Mountain Town British Columbia, Canada
Re: What should I be reading?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2023, 01:01:04 PM »
There is a couple good blogs out there that kind of riff on economic trends, market trends, housing etc. I cant speak to something in USA but in Canada Greater Fool by Garth Turner is excellent.

erp

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 158
  • Location: Alberta, Canada
Re: What should I be reading?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2023, 04:37:46 PM »
I'm basically a shill for the Economist - dollar for dollar I find it to be among the best general reporting I can find. It's got a strong "markets are the best" bias, but they're very upfront about it.

Publicly funded broadcasters are a decent option too - I think there's a need for CBC in Canada. If I had my way, non-USA countries would fund our respective public broadcasters significantly more than we do. As it is, our national narrative is often strongly based in whatever the USA media system is concerned with, regardless of how applicable that story is in another country. (I might add that CBC doesn't actually do much great reporting, I only wish that they did)

I tend to agree with ChpBstrd - paying for your news starts to make a lot of sense if you're invested in getting detailed reporting (you *can* find free content, but it's hard to find very reliably accurate free content which doesn't have an agenda at odds with my goal of finding out what's going on).

Metalcat

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 17562
Re: What should I be reading?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2023, 08:10:10 PM »
I generally avoid reading news and prefer to read books about things that have happened a few years after they've happened.

MgoSam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3684
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: What should I be reading?
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2023, 11:05:43 PM »
I generally avoid reading news and prefer to read books about things that have happened a few years after they've happened.

Any recs?

Metalcat

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 17562
Re: What should I be reading?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2023, 08:11:02 AM »
I generally avoid reading news and prefer to read books about things that have happened a few years after they've happened.

Any recs?

Oh...tons, I have a bunch of them recommended in my journal, but it's like 50 pages long. I read about absolutely everything, but a few key recommendations off the top of my head are:

Invisible Women:
-One of the most critically informative books I've ever read, if you read one book on this list, make it this one. It's about a MAJOR universal flaw in data analysis.)

Taleb's Incerto series (for obvious reasons)

Blowout:
-A frequently hilarious overview of the last several decades of geopolitical happenings in the oil and gas world. You will grasp the news better if you read this.

Blood and Oil:
-The rise of Mohammed Bin Salman and how this relates to the tech unicorns of the west.

The Contrarian:
-Peter Thiel biography, helps even better understand what's happening in the tech world, how it relates to politics, etc.

Bad Blood and Billion Dollar Loser:
-Two books about "tech" unicorns that weren't actually tech companies: Theranos and We Work. How easily they amassed billions in funding for literally nothing, Bad Blood is the much better book. Million Dollar Loser is informative, but not nearly as good a read.

Everybody Lies:
-The rise of Big Data and how it conflicts with previously established "facts" found in academic research.

Mindfuck:
-Cambridge Analytica story told from the inside.

Empire of Pain:
-The genesis of the opioid epidemic.

Bottle Of Lies:
-Corruption in the generic drug industry in India.

The Meritocracy Trap:
-The background ideology behind how business is practiced today.

The Tragedy of Heterosexuality:
-The history of modern romantic marriage and what that has to do with Nazis.

Salt Sugar Fat and Hooked, both by Michael Moss:
-The history of the food industry.

Unsavoury Truth:
-How nutrition science is basically just really expensive marketing copy and why none of it makes any sense.

McMindfulness:
-How mindfulness is being abused in the corporate context.

The Nordic Theory of Everything:
-Why are Americans so bloody anxious?

Looks Can Kill:
-The massive epidemic of abuse of illegal appearance enhancing drugs like steroids and thyroid meds that the medical world doesn't know is happening, especially among youth. IMO all parents should read this.

Hype:
-The rise of the influencer, but as a very broad concept, centers in the Fyre Festival as the key example.

The Undoing Project:
-An exploration of human bias and the two quirky scientist best friends who were pioneers in this space, which changed, well, everything.

David and Goliath:
-A reframing of a lot of misinterpretations of power throughout history.

Braiding Sweetgrass:
-The connection between science and Indigenous ways of knowing. This is a growing field of interest and the Canadian government is actively seeking to capitalize on Indigenous scientific knowledge, especially as it relates to the arctic where big shit is currently happening. I'm having a hard time finding literature on it, for obvious reasons.

Weapons of Math Destruction:
-Data and AI and the dangers of interpretation)

Of course I highly recommend general history and world religions. No god but God by Resa Aslan is an amazing overview of the history is Islam, and the geopolitical state of the world today just cannot be understood without a firm grasp of the history of Islam, IMO.

I don't have recommendations for books for other religions because I took courses on them in university. I also don't have recommendations for books on racism or indigenous history because I also took full courses on those as well.

If a topic is really complex and you're looking for foundational knowledge, often an online course is a better way to go rather than trying to read one book from a single writer.

Reader

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 497
Re: What should I be reading?
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2023, 05:41:47 AM »
Adding some options:

Daily newsletter of 5 articles : https://thebrowser.com/

Monthly newsletter of 5 books : https://fivebooks.com/

erp

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 158
  • Location: Alberta, Canada
Re: What should I be reading?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2023, 12:02:54 PM »
Other book thoughts!

There are some pretty good "what to read to understand <some thing>" articles like this one (paywall):
https://www.economist.com/the-economist-reads/2022/10/28/what-to-read-to-understand-climate-change
I know there's one for economics and writing better (all of those books are excellent) and I've seen at least a dozen or so about different topics. It's nice to have a guided overview of a field and these are a good place to start.

If, on the other hand, you wanted something wildly different from the news or economics, then I'd recommend:
Laughing with the Trickster - Thompson Highway

He's an Indigenous and gay authour/playwright/etc. who manages to weave together a really vast amount of information into a very compelling set of lectures. It may be Canada specific, but the geography certainly stretches into the northern US. I don't know whether it'd resonate for most people - but I loved it.

More generally, the CBC "Canada Reads" books are generally really good, and they publish a list of 5 or so books a year around this time.

... Or just read anything that Mal/Metalcat recommends - they've got great taste.

GilesMM

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1531
  • Location: PNW
Re: What should I be reading?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2023, 12:18:18 PM »
The Guardian is ok if you donít mind the politics. Otherwise Google news and your local pages.

mcneally

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 263
Re: What should I be reading?
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2023, 07:57:16 AM »
FYI The Economist is available for free online from my library via Overdrive. It's a scan of the magazine, so not quite as convenient as an online subscription, but that may be an option.

MgoSam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3684
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: What should I be reading?
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2023, 10:23:30 AM »
FYI The Economist is available for free online from my library via Overdrive. It's a scan of the magazine, so not quite as convenient as an online subscription, but that may be an option.

Great news source, I got my dad a subscription and he adhores it so I have his online access to read articles. I find that I mostly just read the politics and business briefs.

MgoSam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3684
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: What should I be reading?
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2023, 10:25:02 AM »
I generally avoid reading news and prefer to read books about things that have happened a few years after they've happened.

Any recs?

Oh...tons, I have a bunch of them recommended in my journal, but it's like 50 pages long. I read about absolutely everything, but a few key recommendations off the top of my head are:


Thanks! I've requested a few from the library. Some I've read, Invisible Women was eye-opening to me. As a guy I knew there were biased, but there are many that I just didn't realize. Bad Blood is amazing. Looking forward to the Peter Thiel biography, not a fan of the person but I loved his book and think the man is brilliant so mind as well learn from his life.

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!