Links to projects, websites, and weirdos.
- The Tao of D&D, by Alexis Smolensk (along with his Patreon-members-only blog The Higher Path.) I consider Alexis the world’s foremost practitioner of DMing. He has written skillfully and at length on every topic related to running D&D.
- Gwern Branwen is an independent writer and researcher with deeper and wider interests than anyone else I know of. I admire him for his peerless productivity on a vast range of topics.
- Meaningness, by David Chapman. An ongoing book/blog about
better ways of thinking, feeling, and acting–around problems of meaning and meaninglessness; self and society; ethics, purpose, and value.Worth the read.
- The Scholar’s Stage, by Tanner Greer, is well worth your time. In the author’s words, this blog is
a forum to discuss the intersections of history, behavioral science, and strategic thought, with an emphasis on East and Southeast Asian affairs.
- Strandbeests are wind-powered mechanical creatures invented by Theo Jansen. He engineers these enormous creatures out of plastic tubes and air bottles, then sets them free to walk, wiggle, slither, and roll along the beach.
Worth A Long Look
- Slate Star Codex (SSC), by Scott Alexander. Mr. Alexander writes on an eclectic mix of topics including politics, medicine, and rationality. SSC has a notably vigorous commentariat, with each post drawing hundreds of responses.
- The Digital Antiquarian, by Jimmy Maher, is a fascinating chronological exploration of the history of adventure games, including essays on contemporaneous trends in hardware, culture, companies, and celebrities.
- The Chinese Text Project.
Ancient texts, modern technology,edited and programmed by Professor David Sturgeon. A unique resource for students of the Chinese classics. My favorite feature is the ability to view different versions of a text, as well as near-identical passages from different texts. This feature enables the reader to observe, at a glance, the process of textual changes during long centuries of scholarly transmission. Here is that functionality in action for the 诗经 (Classic of Poetry).
Worth A Peek
- Aaron Parecki has one slick website, on which he shares his cool projects (and globetrotting professional life.) A hobbyist’s hobbyist, Parecki has turned his interests into a public journey that might inspire you to make something cool yourself. (Worked for me.)
- Doug Koellmer has a unique interface for exploring his eclectic portfolio of projects. Reminds me of an Utahan I once met. Give him a look.
- The Black Vault. John Greenewald, Jr. has amassed an enormous collection of declassified government documents by exercising rights granted under the USA’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
- Paper Republic publishes and popularizes Chinese literature in translation.
- Chinese Poems, by Mark Alexander, contains a selection of poems by prominent Chinese poets. Each poem is presented on its own page, which presents the original text, its Mandarin pinyin pronunciation, and Mr. Alexander’s original translation.
- Ron Garret wrote Lisp code that got sent off-planet onboard Deep Space 1. Then he debugged and patched it from millions of miles away.
- Political Graveyard:
the Internet’s Most Comprehensive Source of U.S. Political Biography. This website collects and archives biographical data on the lives, deaths, and families of over 300,000 US politicians.
- Daniel S. Wilkerson. I read, with much interest, his introduction to music theory from physical and psychometric first principles.
- Abandoned and Little-Known Airfields, by Paul Freeman.
- ctrlcreep makes lovingly detailed visual art, and writes Twitter-length microfiction.
- The Habitat Chronicles, a group blog by the creators of Habitat (the first graphical MMO). The blog covers technical and historical details of Habitat and its creation.
- Hiroshige.org.uk collects information about master ukiyo-e printmaker Utagawa Hiroshige. The site also has straightforward, minimalist Web galleries of his prints.
- Bartleby.com publishes free, full-text, online editions of classic works. I haven’t linked to their main page because it tries to sell you on their study-help product. Instead, see their index pages for reference works, verse and poetry, fiction, or nonfiction. (Poetry fans, try A. E. Housman.)
- The Public Domain Review is a non-profit digital journal which publishes essays on interesting and unusual works from the public domain. Each essay links to the works which inspired its creation.
- Apple Search documents Tom Brown’s quest to find and preserve heritage varieties of apple. So far, he has saved over 1000 varieties of apple!