Brains; Trust.

Being of the Usenet generation, I have a tendency to see the modern blogosphere as its natural heir. It inherits the best aspects; self-organising communities, wide spread of technical and other interests, threaded discussion, each anchored to a parent article, and so on. It also avoids the worst aspects; the flame-wars, the incessant trolling, the spam, the… ohwait.

I do but jest, well, mostly. In practice, blogosphere turf norms are better accepted than they were on the alt.* hierarchy, and there is a really big improvement in this technology, which is user control. On Usenet, you found a group, and if you wanted to know about that group, you got whatever was going by. By moving the determinant to author rather than (loosely) subject matter, the user gains a great deal of flexibility in filtering Teh Internetz into a shape they can both manage and gain from. But that carries its own risk of echo-chamber reading habits.

Source discovery is also a pleasingly p2p process, as we do tend to find authors because someone we already read linked them. To which end, some of the people I read daily that you might be interested in, sorted by sphere of expertise.

Economics

Stephanie Flanders: on it for the BBC.
Paul Krugman: nobel Laureate, conscientious liberal.
Mark Thoma: a man of many graphs.
Simon Wren-Lewis: an Oxford perspective.

Politics

Jonathan Bernstein: excellent observer, happy baseball fan.
Ezra Klein: and a team of other wonks.
Andrew Sullivan: an honest religious conservative (also an endangered species!)
Dan Drezner: geopolitics geek.

Life in the Past

Edge of the West: Ari Kelman and company, a history group-blog.

Living in the Future

Ta-Nehisi Coates: one of the finest generalist writers around.
bOINGbOING: Cory Doctrow, Xeni Jardin and the rest of the happy mutants.

I suspect that’ll do for now.

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February 2013
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Per Argument Ad Astra

Politics, history, economics and rampant speculation from a victim of the Great Recession, currently at large in the West Midlands.

"When the regulation, therefore, is in favour of the workmen, it is always just and equitable; but it is sometimes otherwise when in favour of the masters."
                -- Adam Smith


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