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Ask HN: Extra magazines like Quanta and Noema?

Ask HN: Extra magazines like Quanta and Noema?

2023-03-11 18:26:49

If you’re interested in retro stuff, I highly recommend checking out Byte Magazine’s archive at They’ve points courting from 1975 to 1994, and the search performance is fairly good.

Whereas not all of their content material is of top of the range, there are some fascinating gems hidden in there. As an illustration, their February 1992 challenge has a piece on Archie, one of many earliest web search engines like google and yahoo:

> For many individuals, significantly programmers and engineers, the Web means “info- booty”: shareware and freeware supply code, paperwork, graphics, and knowledge units obtainable by file switch downloads and from E-mail servers. Websites like UUNET and The World every have a number of gigabytes’ value of publicly obtainable archives. These are however two of the lots of of websites with archives accessible through these strategies. Even admitting a good quantity of redundancy amongst archives, it nonetheless provides as much as about 100 gigabytes, and new websites and choices are coming on-line each day.

> With so many alternative archives, it may be laborious to determine the place (and at what community tackle) to entry the objects you need. If you do not know what you need past compilers or CP/M purposes, it is much more overwhelming.

> The “archie group” at McGill College (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) has one resolution to the issue: archie (archive with out the v), the Web Archive Server Itemizing Service (for entry, see reference 2). Archie is a central database of details about Web-accessible archive websites, plus server applications that present entry by telnet, nameless file switch protocol (FTP), E-mail, and the Prospero distributed laptop system.… (web page 147)

Additionally, there may be Communications of the ACM ( A lot of their articles are free to learn.

I used to be a fan of The Economist but after a while I figured out that it’s better at sounding smart than being smart. If they ever write about a field you know we’ll you’ll see what I mean.

I feel that way about Bloomberg Businessweek. There was a time when I was doing a lot of business development work and it seemed I had some insider insight into some story in in every issue. That is, I had been in on a sales call with the people at some company they profiled, or knew some competitors in stealth mode or somebody had told me and my partner more than they should have about what was talked about in some article.

Maybe it depends on your field a bit. I’m in physics, and a few of their articles on particle physics and quantum computing have really impressed. They hit all of the main points and caveats that almost all other news sources usually miss.

The depth of the reporting also depends on the article. For a particular example, I thought The Economist’s article on GPT-3 published in June 2022—before ChatGPT would later be released in November—was particularly good, as the article soberly discussed at length the strengths and weaknesses of large language models, without overhyping the technology (paywall):…

Nevertheless, it is also honest to notice that many articles of their weekly challenge—usually at 600-800 phrases—simply haven’t got the house to go in-depth sufficient into a problem, in distinction to a function in The New Yorker or one other long-form journal like Overseas Affairs.

I’ve discovered The Economist to be a helpful publication to listen to about attention-grabbing issues I would in any other case have by no means heard of, and to learn a fact-checked concise overview of a selected matter, earlier than in search of a extra in-depth supply if there’s a motivation to learn additional into the subject.

The Conversation ( publishes news-style articles by working teachers and graduate college students, so the contributors usually have a technical background related to the themes they’re writing about (making the publication akin to Quanta).

Nautilus journal additionally publishes glorious science journalism ( with high-quality writing akin to Quanta. In distinction with The Dialog, the contributors are usually skilled journalists and writers—the writing high quality is due to this fact usually a lot larger and extra literary than The Dialog’s, although Dialog contributors have related specialist data extra usually than Nautilus contributors.

Additionally, Lapham’s Quarterly ( is maybe akin to Noema, because the journal publishes essays and analyses of contemporary points, usually through making comparisons between present affairs and essential elements of historical past. This seems just like Noema’s strategy of analyzing present occasions from an educational perspective, from noticing references to educational publications in a number of essays featured on Noema’s entrance web page.

I’m not sure what you mean, but all the publications are non-profit organizations—none of which I am affiliated with.

Lapham’s and The Conversation also don’t have any paywalls, though Nautilus does have a soft paywall of two articles a month (this is comparable to the magazines mentioned by other users in this discussion, with similarly fairly relaxed or stricter paywalls).

I feel I get a lot of value for the $60 I pay annually to read The New Yorker online. [1]

It’s not perfect, but it’s become essentially the only place I consume “long-form articles about interesting stuff”-type content, which I think they still do better than anyone.


See Also

Be sure to find out to see if you can check out issues from your library through Overdrive/Libby. Granted, I have to read it via a browser but can still read for free.

You may also like Emergence Magazine. It’s significantly more humanities/culture oriented but similarity wide-ranging and imaginative.

Come to think of it, I think imagination is one of the qualities that makes Quanta so magical. Ostensibly it’s a magazine about the interactions of formal and natural sciences, but they’re not afraid to include a bold dash of imagination. is a wonderful place. I still benefit from it regularly after 10+ years of reading wide and deep, there. It’s not very similar to Quanta though.

> The name libcom is an abbreviation of “libertarian communism”

It blows my mind that some people think communism hasn’t been tried enough times.

“Yes it failed 999 times before, but THIS flavor of communism will definitely work!”

the biggest argument against this is that communist countries still achieve great things in the face of MASSIVE setbacks and sanctions from capitalist countries with lots of power. Yet after an initial period of food insecurity, these nations tend to do great for a while. For example, the CIA reported that the Soviet diet had less calories and was more nutritious than the American diet.

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