I'm always intrigued by the favorite posts of other blogs. Not the ones they themselves wrote, but what most inspired or interested them. Because of that, I'm posting some of my favorite links before.

History of Imperial Russia

Russia is a massive country with a complex history. It was never a small enough country to be bullied around. Other European countries viewed it with immense suspicion as an "other" that wasn't quite European. The Bolsheviks ran it with an iron fist for most of the 20th century.

Yet contemporary western understanding of it is "communism=noble try" and "czar=bad". These lectures highlight the pre-communist history. That includes a lot of specifics which rippled out: the bonkers military setup (e.g. all non-first born sons were conscripted forever), the day-to-day life(e.g. the Zemstras). The lecturer gets into detail without getting lost in it.

Highly highly recommended.

History of Imperial Russia

History of Banking w/Perry Mehrling

Economics can be difficult to understand. It feels like a lot of the math is added to give a fig leaf of "respectability."

Perry G Mehrling undoes a lot of that in these lectures, taken from ~2013-2014 at Columbia University. He skips the calculus and goes straight for high level explanations. It's far more motivating and feels more real. They shine a light on why central banks act the way they do. I also recommend a recent debate featuring him from the podcast "Odd Lots" on whether the US dollar will continue to dominate. He believes in something like the "Dollar Milkshake Theory".

Part 1 & Part 2 (links to archive.org, originally hosted on Coursera)

3dfx Oral History at the Computer History Museum

Selling $500 graphics cards mean to run Tomb Raider & Quake with no business use cases is not exactly a savvy move. Selling these to a market of fresh-out-of-college, penny-inching, squalor-loving, no-social-pressure twenty-something's is straight up nutty. Yet 3dfx forged a business worth billions doing precisely that. 3dfx defied the conventional "sell aspirin, not vitamins" by selling a consumer toy instead of a business need. It's a fun history.

Assorted Blog Posts

History of RISC (aka "The RISC Deprogrammer) from Errata Security. Semiconductors have heated up in the last few years with ARM moving up-market, AMD outclassing Intel, and RISC-V sopping up the bottom. Many newsletters have sprouted up to explain these differences and what trade offs are pursued by different chips. This history of RISC is a fantastic introduction to some of these, even if its not entirely correct at times, and throws a bucket of cold water on the supposed hype trains.