three commentary outlets I couldn’t live without? Well, I used to say
Slate and MSNBC but now I’m hopelessly biased on those counts. So:
National Review, The Huffington Post (especially the congressional reporting), and The Onion AV Club.
don’t watch much TV news during the day. Not since I worked at Reason
have I had a TV in easy sight, and I like that, because – Matt Yglesias
has written a lot about this – there’s a distorting effect if your
priorities don’t match up with the priorities of a cable newscast that’s
competing for eyeballs RIGHT AT THAT SECOND.
I’ve never really
figured out RSS – people tell me that it would vastly improve my
productivity, but two things happened. One, I locked in my Internet
habits in 2003 and 2004, and don’t know how to unlearn the browser
windows/email ping pong game. Two, I used NetNewsWire
and it was excruciatingly slow at updating links on my iPhone. I’d
leave it open for 10 minutes and it would be refreshing links from weeks
ago. Just useless, as far as I can tell.
You know, I barely ever
use Facebook anymore. The best way not to reach me is to send a
Facebook chat message; I hear that ugly click/beep and I remember that I
accidentally left the page open. I do use Twitter all the time; I
consider it a conversation with 200-some people (I follow many more but
they don’t engage as much), supplementing the conversations I have on
listservs and in person, but with handy HTML. Some favorite tweeters: @elilake, @JamesUrbaniak, @mattyglesias, @kausmickey, @andylevy, @mkhammer, @jimgeraghty, @attackerman, @lizmair, @pareene, @alexgutierrez, @benjy_sarlin, @garrettquinn, @bradreed.
I approach Twitter the way I used to approach doodling or short-form
blogging. Tweets are thoughts that I consider funny but not worth
extending into big, sprawling arguments. The things that appear on
Twitter reflect around 10% of the odd things I think on any given day.
As for magazines, The Economist is the only magazine I subscribe to, although I read The New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, and Entertainment Weekly, and the Wired iPad app is as beautiful and useful as you could imagine. I thumb through the big journals when they come out: Foreign Affairs, Democracy, The New Criterion. It’s just rare that they have big new ideas in them that I haven’t read stirrings of in other outlets.
listen to a ton of podcasts, with preference going to the ‘casts about
stuff I don’t know or the stuff that makes me laugh. That means NPR’s Planet Money and Science Friday, APM’s Marketplace, This American Life, The Sound of Young America, Comedy Death Ray, All Songs Considered, and Doug Loves Money.
Before I go to bed, I read a book or watch a TV show until I get sufficiently tired. Currently the book is “The Passage” (on the iPad) and the TV show is “Saxondale,” off of the excellent box set of Steve Coogan shows. I’m also currently reading Christopher Hitchens’s “Hitch 22,” and Edmund Morris’s “Theodore Rex” in preparation for the third and final installment of his Teddy biographies.