The "Smart Internet" Tiny Library
The Internet for Smart People
Once upon a time, there was a dream that the Internet would be this amazing place where knowledge was shared freely, and human beings would have no hurdles or obstacles to learning, growing, and expanding their understanding of the world. Then... social media happened.
However, between if you look underneath the muck, slime, scams, and barrage of "influencers" talking about juice cleansing, there has risen a thriving community of brilliant content creators who are actually contributing to the betterment of humankind. Here is a tiny, humble collection of some of the best content online for learning and expanding your understanding of the world. I am always adding and updating, certainly not an exhaustive list.
NOTE: This is an ever-growing list, and I am continually adding resources. However, if you feel I missed a big one, please let me know. The criteria I use is at the bottom.
Podcasts for Smart People
Discover the hidden side of everything with host Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the Freakonomics books. This is a great introduction into economics, business, and social psychology.
While not marked as such, Hidden Brain is a podcast about self-awareness: why you do and think the way you do. It takes some courage to listen to, as you will realize how many things influence your thinking and behavior.
SYSK is a dragon's treasure hoard of in-depth knowledge and insight in to just about any topic you can think of. It is a celebration of the richness of the world itself, and probably one of the most soothing shows you can listen to.
If you like digging into UFO sightings, conspiracy theories, and corporate shenanigans BUT also want to hold onto your sanity, this is your safe place.
An upbeat and lively public radio show and podcast about language examined through culture, history, and family. Grant and Martha take questions from guests about "why do we say that?" It's a real treat if you love language and etymology.
Real, civil and moderated debates on important and controversial issues. This the BEST WAY to hear both sides of a topic without all the pollical punditry and nonsense we get in the media today.
Websites for Smart People
Instructions and guides for making just about anything. Usually includes source files like autocad for you to download along with the instructions.
Brilliant's mission is to inspire and develop people to achieve their goals in STEM — one person, one question, and one small commitment to learning at a time.
What if YouTube was actually curated and didn't have all the crap? Nebula is the home of smart, thoughtful videos, podcasts, and classes from your favorite creators.
YouTube for Smart People
The Crash Course team has produced more than 45 courses on a wide variety of subjects, including organic chemistry, literature, world history, biology, philosophy, theater, ecology, and many more!
TED-Ed’s mission is to create lessons worth sharing. Feed and expand your curiosity with our award-winning animated shorts - published on YouTube and available with supplemental learning materials on ed.ted.com.
A team of illustrators, animators, number crunchers and one dog who aim to spark curiosity about science and the world we live in. To us nothing is boring if you tell a good story.
Intelligence Squared is the world's premier forum for debate. If you want to hear both sides of an issue straight "from the horse's mouth" - here is the best place to go.
He may be disgustingly handsome, but don't let that fool you. Dr. Mike is the one of the best sources for health and medical insight, presented factually, responsibly, and entertainingly.
Devin James Stone provides accessible insight into the legal system, often using famous cases and issues as a platform for understanding how the law works... or doesn't.
Jared Bauer applies the vast history and volume of philosophy to modern day pop-culture and politics. It is a great way to understand where ideas come from, and what we are actually talking about "between the lines."
Abigail Thorn is an actress, playwriter, and stunning dresser who brings intellectual prowess and stunning costume design to a deep dive look at powerful philosophical and sociological concepts.
Sabine is a theoretical physicist who covers the latest pop-science with a dose of common sense and skepticism. She is a great source for learning the difference between what we "know" and what we are guessing at.
Jade Tan-Holmes doesn't just cover math and science concepts, she often goes deep into the background of where those ideas come from. It's a great way to know not just how we got here, but how far we still have to go.
Nick Lucid is going for "Bill Nye 2.0" (my words, not his). Fun, silly, and well produced science videos that cover all levels of topics and ideas.
Fermilab’s own Dr. Don Lincoln talks about some of Fermilab’s leading research efforts that will lead the field for the next decade or two. This is a great resource for "from the field" insight into science research.
One of the more "hidden treasures" on this list. Parth does the best job of walking step-by-step through the maths of physics and quantum mechanics in the most accessible way I have seen.
Fun stick figures and illustrations making advanced concepts of physics accessible to anyone. Henry Reich is meticulous and innovative in his explanations of difficult concepts.
The Action Lab is a channel dedicated to performing real-world (and some simulated) exciting experiments around physics. Theses really help many hard to grasp ideas become tangible and understandable.
3Blue1Brown, by Grant Sanderson, is a legend. This is hands down the most comprehensive channel to understand mathematics, and the math behind advanced physics concepts.
Criteria for the Library
For the "Smart Internet Library" I use the following criteria
Content must be high quality and enjoyable to consume as well as informative
Content must be accurate (not necessarily perfect) and obviously has the work put in to verify or backup claims
Content must be accessible to those who are not necessarily subject matter experts
I don't believe anyone can truly be objective, but I want to post content from people who make some effort to cover topics with an open mind. I won't post anyone with an obvious "us vs them" agenda or "tribal" focus.
Content must offer something unique that adds value to a topic or conversation
Most of all, I want to focus on content that I believe genuinely helps someone grow as a person