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Blogroll keepers #2

A couple of months ago I mentioned some blogs I was adding to my blogroll. Here are some more things I’ve stuck with reading…

Last time I mentioned I wanted to read more about fashion, but wasn’t entirely sure what angle I was interested in. Russell pointed me at Irenebrination, which is subtitled “Notes on Architecture, Art, Fashion and Style” and it’s very good. Thanks Russell!

Right now there’s a bunch of New York Fashion Week posts, and that’s not quite my bag, but there’s plenty more varied stuff there, e.g. on cultural appropriation, a “pioneer of Venetian beads”, and an exhibition of the photos used to train AI systems. Lots of gorgeous pictures and good writing.

Not a blog but a newsletter (although I subscribe to newsletters in Feedbin so they’re much the same to me), BIG by Matt Stoller is about “the history and politics of monopoly power”. Each issue focuses on a particular topic and monopolies have, so far, been a more fertile ground than I was expecting — it’s quite varied and always interesting. Online advertising, US military contracts, the effects of private equity, utility firms, anti-monopoly regulations… All interesting and, in case you were wondering, written about from a “monopolies are bad” angle. Now I think about it, a newsletter in favour of more and bigger monopolies would certainly be interesting.

I was always seeing things by Craig Mod quoted everywhere so I finally got round to subscribing to his two newsletters: the weekly Ridgeline (“on walking, Japan, literature and photography”) and the monthly Roden Explorers Club (“photography, literature, meditation, software”). I must admit I haven’t been reading them long enough to get a sense of the difference between the two but it’s all good. They’re thoughtful, which I’ve realised is a quality I don’t often come across in blogs and newsletters (and, obviously, you’re unlikely to find it on Twitter).

I’ve been reading Ask a Manager for a while but hadn’t added it to my blogroll. Given I’ve become more and more addicted to it, it should be there. People write in with questions about things their managers have done, how to manage people, weird company policies, frustrating social behaviours, interview processes, and bizarre workplace behaviour. There’s a lot of it, even if you never read the hundreds of comments on each post, but all of Alison Green’s answers are sensible, interesting and balanced. Some questioners have a real conundrum, some are inexperienced, and some, occasionally, are not quite with it… but she handles all of them well and I end up thinking, “of course, that’s exactly how to cope with this”.

I’ve wondered if I find it extra interesting because I work alone at home. Maybe if I worked in an office it’d all feel too close to home to read it all. But I find it fascinating, and it probably helps me keep in touch with what is normal behaviour in the workplace, given I rarely set foot in one.

That’s enough for now; I need to get round to reading some more of the things in my “Tryout” folder.

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