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Intellectual Takeout: Resources for learning and betterment

Entertainment Posted by glen 4 years, 8 months ago

I was inspired by one of Chet_Manly's parlor threads and was thinking about all of the great resources people reference here on GM that I wouldn't find otherwise.

What books, websites, etc. do you use or have found to be mind-expanding? I'll go first (kind of random):

  • Anything by Stephen Covey - The man had such a great outlook on personal development. He wasn't trying to sell a course or anything shady, and basically changed how I look at, well, myself. His seminal classic 7 Habits for Highly Successful People has made a huge impact on my life.
  • Today I Learned - Here's a rabbit hole for you. As with most things with Reddit, not everything is great, but a lot of it is.
  • edX - I haven't actually taken a course here yet, but it's always been on the "someday" list. Basically, they have free courses from tons of institutions like Harvard, MIT, etc that you can get all the lecture materials and videos, and you can follow along for free. Really, really cool.
  • Kindle Daily Deals - The kindle daily deals usually feature a lot of great historical books, and you're paying $1-$3 for an amazing resource.
  • Lending library apps - The local library is awesome, and when I can't get what I need there, I can sometimes find it on interlibrary loan. I get a bunch of stuff from the likes of 3M and TotalBooX and Overdrive, which are apps that you can install to utilize free digital books from around everywhere. I think there are probably more out there, but I typically just use those. I'll find lots of business books on there, which is great.

12 replies

  • Chet_Manly

    I'm your huckleberry... This is something that I've come to appreciate recently. As a product of the modern public education system, I feel up is the only direction I can go. Stephen Covey and "Today I learned" sound awesome, I'll be checking those out, thanks! has been very helpful for me and has gone beyond me just reading an article, thinking about it and moving on. Because of some of the reading I have done there, I have started picking up classics that I have previously passed over or read for school and not appreciated: Canterbury Tales, a few Shakespeare plays, Johnny Tremain, autobiographies etc.. Basically I am trying to make myself opt for classics or texts of substance instead of a magazine or whatever current fiction that might only be a fun read. Starting with what I find appealing and moving towards more challenging works.

    That site also lead me to the book by Susan Wise Bauer, "The Well Educated Mind, a guide to the classical ducation you never had". A perfect book for me. It's exactly what I was looking for and I can't recommend it highly enough. Because of this, I've shifted back more towards actual books.

    Here, Ben Espen once made a comment about "Chesterton's gate" and having no clue as to what he meant, I looked it up and was lead to GK Chesterton and some of the incredible articles/books he has written. I chose to start with low hanging fruit; the Father Brown series. So, Gentlemint has lead me to a number of intellectually stimulating places over time.

    WaitButWhy is another good site I was lead to by a fellow 'minter.

    And there are other places I'll go on occasion, but I found them from other folks here so I won't include them in my list.

    On the musical side of things: on YouTube, I have used the channel "PianoCareer" as a kind of free tutorial. She is a bit long winded but I feel the content of her videos is worth my time. I like her approach.

    I also like to listen to YouTube clips of old interviews with people like Milton Freidman, Thomas Sowell, Margret Thatcher, and Thomas Buckley Jr.. I love the idea of the show Firing Line where ideas are discussed and arguments made. I'm not sure there is even a point to the show beyond just having a good argument, (insert Monty Python sketch here) but I feel it's a better quality arguement than I can find on tv today.

    These are a few of the places/resources I enjoy. My limiting factor is time, there just isn't enough time to read. Plus I'm pretty new to this self-education thing and new habits sometimes take a while to stick.


    • glen

      I knew you'd probably have something to say about this. What a well-rounded list of sources.

      I'm very interested in checking out The Well Educated Mind (here's a link), which looks like an amazing resource.

      Also, I can't remember the last time I picked up a magazine. God bless the internet.


      • Chet_Manly

        That's the book. in out home schooling circle there are some former lawyers and accomplished professionals who have switched gears in life to accommodate family needs, all of them own and speak highly of this book.

        So, much time was...wasted...not sure that that is the correct word, on "Today I Learned". Good stuff, but addictive. In college I had a job in housing where I sat behind a dorm front desk all night long. So I would read all the trivial pursuit cards to stay awake. TIL has that "trivial pursuit" type of feel to it, which is fun.


    • jordan

      Johnny Tremain. I forgot about that book. Read it while homeschooling, and my whole family loved it. A few other of our favorites were "Rifles for Watie" by Harold Keith and "The Scarlet Pimpernel" by Baroness Orczy. I think my mom read each of those out loud to us about 3 times.


      • Chet_Manly

        Johnny Tremain was really good. I read Rifles for Watie as a kid and loved it, and though I don't have the Scarlet Pimpernel, I'll buy it. If you have any other suggestions for quality books for the age range, feel free to pass them on. I feel like we can't get enough quality books and there tends to be a lot of vacuous crap fiction to sift through. I appreciate it.


  • Razorback

    Here are a few to consider. I am including some marketing sites because that is my professional background. But there's quite a mixed bag here.

    • Medium - A community of readers and writers offering unique perspectives on ideas large and small. You can publish your own content here as well.
    • Instructables – I think Brian listed this on another thread but it is worthy of mentioning again. Great DIY resource if you like to build stuff.
    • ManMade – Another decent DIY site.
    • MarketingProfs – One of the best sites available for modern marketing tools, training, strategies, articles, online seminars, discussion forums, and much more.
    • HubSpot Academy – Pay-to-play site owned by HubSpot but one of the most extensive online marketing resources available. You can also get certified here.
    • – Pay-to-play site owned by LinkedIn but it offers over 4000 courses in Business, Technology and Creative Skills taught by industry experts.
    • Highbrow - Learn something new every day with 5-minute lessons delivered to your inbox each day.
    • mytopo – Free topographic maps online. Enough said.
    • Mint – Get help managing money and creating budgets.
    • Valet Contemporary men's magazine, crafted especially for the 21st century gentleman, that offers news on fashion, grooming and culture.
    • Etiquette Scholar – Business and dining etiquette, table manners and much more.
    • Wordsmith’s A Word A Day – Learn new words by having them delivered each day to your inbox.