101 Links From 2015

101 Links From 2015

Yeah, that’s not a typo. You’re in for a few throwbacks. Last January I compiled a list of the best content I had read over the year. With 2016 almost over, I was about to repeat the exercise, and noticed I never shared my v1. Luckily, most pieces have aged well.

2015 was a year of choices and change for me: I moved from school in Chicago to full-time work in San Francisco. The selected articles are a good reflection of my mindset then, but after reading through the titles, I was suprised by how many of these I keep bringing up in conversation today. It is remarkable that I could remember where and when I read the majority of the pieces, two years later.

Below is a mix of longform, essays, quick notes, blog posts, interviews and other journalism representing the kind of work I enjoy on technology, business, science and economics, plus the few stray random topics. Since you’re here, I’ll assume you’re familiar.

In alphabetical order:

  1. I met you in the rain on the last day of 1972
    Anonymous - Craigslist Missed Connections
  2. The end of apps as we know them
    Paul Adams - Intercom Blog
  3. You Draw It: How Family Income Predicts Children’s College Chances
    Gregor Aisch, Amanda Cox and Kevin Quealy - The New York Times
  4. The Cost of Mobile Ads on 50 News Websites
    Gregor Aisch, Wilson Andrews, Josh Keller - The New York Times
  5. Mining a VC
    Bugra Akyildiz - bugra.github.io
  6. That Time I Tried to Buy an Actual Barrel of Crude Oil
    Tracy Alloway - Bloomberg
  7. Fedcoin: On the Desirability of a Government Cryptocurrency
    David Andolfatto - andolfatto.blogspot.com
  8. The ethics of modern web ad-blocking
    Marco Arment - marco.org
  9. Broken on the Wheel: A gruesome legal case turned Voltaire into a crusader for the innocent.
    Ken Armstrong - The Paris Review
  10. An interactive guide to ambiguous grammar
    Vijith Assar - McSweeneys
  11. Silicon Valley Then and Now: To Invent the Future, You Must Understand the Past
    Leslie Berlin - Medium
  12. Teach or Perish
    Jacques Berlinerblau - Chronicle of Higher Education
  13. "Free stuff:" the hypocrisy of a growing campaign theme
    Jared Bernstein - jaredbernsteinblog
  14. The Mind of a Con Man
    Yudhijit Bhattacharjee - The New York Times
  15. The Bot Bubble: How click farms have inflated social media currency
    Doug Bock Clark - New Republic
  16. Here’s how much of your life the United States has been at war
    Philip Bump - The Washington Post
  17. The destruction of Alderaan was completely justified
    Sonny Bunch - The Washington Post
  18. My Life Driving Uber as an Iraq War Veteran with PTSD
    Colby Buzzell - Vice
  19. What Happens Next Will Amaze You
    Maciej Ceglowski - Idle Words
  20. Using millions of online photos cobbled together, we can now watch history unfold
    Kabir Chibber - Quartz
  21. Georgia: Why so many counties?
    Jim Cofer - jimcofer.com
  22. FizzBuzz In Too Much Detail
    Tom Dalling - tomdalling.com
  23. Math for eight-year-olds: graph theory for kids!
    Joel David Hamkins - jdh.hamkins.org
  24. Interactive Deep Neural Net Hallucinations
    Jonas Degrave - 317070.github.io
  25. Understanding Convolution in Deep Learning
    Tim Dettmers - timdettmers.com
  26. Filters
    Chris Dillow - Stumbling and Mumbling
  27. Exponential curves feel gradual and then sudden
    Chris Dixon - cdixon.org
  28. Apps versus the web
    Benedict Evans - ben-evans.com
  29. Living in different worlds
    Benedict Evans - ben-evans.com
  30. Platforms, distribution and audience
    Benedict Evans - ben-evans.com
  31. Technology Is Magic, Just Ask The Washington Post
    Jon Evans - TechCrunch
  32. Living With a Computer (1982)
    James Fallows - The Atlantic
  33. What is Code
    Paul Ford - Bloomberg
  34. Tomorrow’s Advance Man
    Tad Friend - The New Yorker
  35. Career Decisions
    Elad Gil - eladgil.com
  36. How an 18th-Century Philosopher Helped Solve My Midlife Crisis
    Alison Gopnik - The Atlantic
  37. Naked Cities: The death and life of urban America.
    David Gopnik - The New Yorker
  38. Cheese changed the course of Western civilization
    Cynthia Graber, Nicola Twilley - Quartz
  39. What Doesn't seem like work
    Paul Graham - paulgraham.com
  40. How much is a (micro)life worth?
    Tim Harford - timharford.com
  41. The Use of Knowledge in Society
    Friedrich Hayek - Library of Economics and Liberty
  42. Reconsider
    David Heinemeier Hansson - Signal v. Noise
  43. Tales of the trash: A neighborhood garbageman explains modern Egypt.
    Peter Hessler - The New Yorker
  44. A bad citizen in Javaland
    Darren Hobbs - darrenhobbs.com
  45. Coffee Meets Bagel Meets Me
    Ginny Hogan - Medium
  46. Have We Hit Peak Whiteness?
    Courtney Humphries - Nautilus
  47. Counting Things in Python: A History
    Trey Hunner - treyhunner.com
  48. The Rat Tribe of Beijing
    Ian Johnson - Al Jazeera
  49. The state of Computer Vision and AI: we are really, really far away.
    Andrej Karpathy - karpathy.github.io
  50. What a Deep Neural Network thinks about your
    Andrej Karpathy - karpathy.github.io
  51. Stalking Your Friends with Facebook Messenger
    Aran Khanna - Medium
  52. Changing San Francisco is foreseen as a haven for wealthy and childless (1981)
    Wayne King - The New York Times
  53. The weight of the world
    Elizabeth Kolbert - The New Yorker
  54. The Most Important Thing, and It’s Almost a Secret
    Nicholas Kristof - The New York Times
  55. Apple and the Self-Surveillance State
    Paul Krugman - The New York Times
  56. When Amazon Dies
    Adrienne LaFrance - The Atlantic
  57. Futures of text
    Jonathan Libov - whoo.ps
  58. I Don’t Believe in God, but I Believe in Lithium
    Jaime Lowe - The New York Times
  59. Magna Carta, Still Posing a Challenge at 800
    Sarah Lyall - The New York Times
  60. Why Waze is so incredibly popular in Costa Rica
    Matt McFarland - The Washington Post
  61. Why can’t we read anymore?
    Hugh McGuire - Medium
  62. The Logic of Stupid Poor People
    Tressie McMillan Cottom - tressiemc.com
  63. I’m a 12-year-old girl. Why don’t the characters in my apps look like me?
    Madeline Messer - The Washington Post
  64. No one would be unemployed and no one would hold a job
    Branko Milanovic - globalinequality
  65. A Tiny Bank's Surreal Trip Through a Fraud Prosecution
    Gretchen Morgenson - The New York Times
  66. Roman Mars Explains the Genius of the Chicago Flag
    Whet Moser - Chicago Magazine
  67. Let's Code About Bike Locks
    Peter Norvig - norvig.com
  68. Boyhood
    Rebecca Onion - Slate
  69. The shape of things to come
    Ian Parker - The New Yorker
  70. David Krakauer: The systems theorist explains what’s wrong with standard models of intelligence.
    Steve Paulson - Nautilus
  71. In Naples, Gift of Coffee to Strangers Never Seen
    Gaia Pianigianidec - The New York Times
  72. In Other Countries, You’re as Likely to Be Killed by a Falling Object as by a Gun
    Kevin Quealy, Margot Sanger-Katz - The New York Times
  73. The opportunity cost of war (slightly updated)
    John Quiggin - Crooked Timber
  74. The $250 Econ 101 Textbook
    Craig Richardson - Wall Street Journal
  75. Our Year of Living Airbnb
    David Roberts - The New York Times
  76. The ATM is Dead. Long Live the ATM!
    Linda Rodriguez McRobbie - Smithsonian Magazine
  77. Sabbath
    Oliver Sacks - The New York Times
  78. The Terror and Tedium of Living Like Thoreau
    Diana Saverin - The Atlantic
  79. Andreessen Horowitz, Deal Maker to the Stars of Silicon Valley
    Noam Scheiber - The New York Times
  80. Capitalism is a Paperclip Maximizer
    Renwick Scott - thoughtinfection.com
  81. Scott Aaronson: From computational complexity to quantum mechanics.
    Michael Segal - Nautilus
  82. Did Humans Evolve to See Things as They Really Are?
    Michael Shermer - Scientific American
  83. The Shut-In Economy
    Lauren Smiley - Medium
  84. Did Elon Musk Build That
    Noah Smith - Bloomberg View
  85. Markets in almost nothing
    Noah Smith - noahpinionblog
  86. Why do non-experts think they know about macroeconomics?
    Noah Smith - noahpinionblog
  87. Read what happens when a bunch of over-30s find out how Millennials handle their money
    Quartz Staff - Quartz
  88. A different cluetrain
    Charlie Stross - AntiPope
  89. Why Explore Space? A 1970 Letter to a Nun in Africa
    Ernst Stuhlinger - launiusr.wordpress.com
  90. The Very First Startup Founder You Need to Invest in is You
    Mark Suster - Both Sides of the Table
  91. Aggregation Theory
    Ben Thompson - Stratechery
  92. Why Buzzfeed is the most important news organization in the world
    Ben Thompson - Stratechery
  93. Why Red Means Red in Almost Every Language
    Chelsea Wald - Nautilus
  94. Capital Is No Longer Scarce
    Albert Wenger - Continuations
  95. Land, Capital, Attention: This Time it Is the Same
    Albert Wenger - Continuations
  96. Networks, Firms and Markets
    Albert Wenger - Continuations
  97. Origins of the police
    David Whitehouse - Works in theory
  98. Cathedrals, Bazaars, and In Between
    Greg Wilson - The Third Bit
  99. Finding Your Passion
    Fred Wilson - AVC
  100. The Anti-Science and The Anti-Economics Parties
    Fred Wilson - AVC
  101. The Blurring Of The Public And Private Markets
    Fred Wilson - AVC

Photo by Eli Francis

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