The Best 15 Longform Articles – 2021 Edition

In the last 1 year I have managed to read up 150 more longforms articles (LFA) and from those I have picked 15 that I rate with as ‘Superb‘. Reading these 15 was pure pleasure and a few of them also managed to open the mind to some brilliant concepts and out there ideas.

So now the total running tally of LFAs read since I started this project in 2016 comes to 750 Articles in all. I have blogged thrice on this ongoing, no end date project before and nominated the best 60 LFAs of 600 in these three seperate posts from earlier. Post 1 here. Post 2 here. Post 3 here.

The latest 15 ‘BestOf‘ LFAs brings the tally of ‘winners’ to 75, this from the total pool of 750 read over the last 5 years. All 15 chosen have links to the actual articles below. I do hope you read a few. What a time to be alive when all of it is free.

An investigative reporting on the Mafia in Naples and the man who ran it for decades. Superb writeup, thrilling true story.

https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2012/05/naples-mob-paolo-di-lauro-italy
30 Years Ago, Romania Deprived Thousands of Babies of Human Contact. Here’s what’s become of them.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/07/can-an-unloved-child-learn-to-love/612253/
Crony Beliefs by Kevin Simler on his blog ‘Melting Asphalt’.

(If you want to better understand why X people believe in Y, this may be the best explanation for it)

https://meltingasphalt.com/crony-beliefs/
How Pakistan got its Nukes.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2005/11/the-wrath-of-khan/4333/
How do people really advance through the corporate hierarchy? Hint: it’s not by working the hardest.

https://defmacro.substack.com/p/how-to-get-promoted
Paul Graham on Conformism.

http://paulgraham.com/conformism.html
STUDIES ON SLACK – Another gem from slatestarcodex

(Scott draws parallels between the ways these different systems balance competition and slack and how it affects the entities involved.)

https://slatestarcodex.com/2020/05/12/studies-on-slack/
The 1969 Playboy Interview of Marshall McLuhan about the impact of the media on man.

https://web.cs.ucdavis.edu/~rogaway/classes/188/spring07/mcluhan.pdf
The Internet of Beefs by Venkatesh Rao

(Never have I read a better explanation of the current culture wars)

https://www.ribbonfarm.com/2020/01/16/the-internet-of-beefs/
The Mind of Marc Andreessen

(A superb profile of a damn interesting man)

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/05/18/tomorrows-advance-man
The Three Sides of Risk by Morgan Housel

(if you want to ever read a superb essay of ‘RISK’ this is it)

https://www.collaborativefund.com/blog/the-three-sides-of-risk/
Twilight of the Media Elites

(Most of what passes for ‘news’ is like a mixture of entertainment and propaganda. Here is the reason why it is so)

https://www.thepullrequest.com/p/twilight-of-the-media-elites
Why Do Corporations speak the Way They Do?

https://www.vulture.com/2020/02/spread-of-corporate-speak.html
What You Can’t Say | January 2004 | Paul Graham on Censorship and Heresy

http://www.paulgraham.com/say.html
ZIRP explains the world | A speculative but superb “theory of everything”

https://themargins.substack.com/p/zirp-explains-the-world
BEST 15 LFAs

My long term goal, besides getting educated by reading these LFAs, is also to ensure I never veer into reading from a echo chamber of similar publications. So I keenly track just where my LFAs are flowing in from. And for the latest batch of 150 the breakdown is below. So these 150 LFAs came from 60 different website. I am OK with that kind of diversity.

Link to Earlier Posts on BestOf LFAs :

0-100
The Best 10 Longform Articles of 100 I Read
https://shivashetty.com/2016/09/22/how-you-can-tell-100-cool-stories-at-your-next-party/

101-300
The Best 20 Longform Articles I read
https://shivashetty.com/2018/03/02/the-20-best-articles-from-3-long-years-hunting-for-them/

301-600
The Best 30 Longform Articles of 300 I Read
https://shivashetty.com/2020/03/29/the-best-30-longform-articles-of-300-read/

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