What periodicals do you subscribe to?

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I know you get Popular Photography and The New Yorker. Which others?

What about newspapers? I assume you subscribe to the New York Times.

-- Y. Dobon, April 19, 1997


Re: newspapers. I think every person goes through three stages in life. At first, you think that what is in the paper is true and important (Stage 1). As soon as you have some direct personal experience with a topic covered, you begin to doubt that the information in the paper is true (Stage 2). As soon as you have a little more contact with the wider world, you begin to doubt that the information the paper is important (Stage 3).

[Note: a good illustration of the latter was a few days ago. The big story was a new act of Congress banning federal funding for physician-assisted suicide. This was the top story when there aren't any states where it is legal, it really isn't clear that a doctor would charge for this service, and nobody ever suggested for a minute that the government pay for a few dollars worth of barbiturates or whatever.]

Anyway, I think I reached Stage 3 before ever reading Noam Chomsky's arguments about the Fortune 500 and government controlling the media. It was when I was in New Zealand for two months and cut off from the U.S. media that I realized I didn't miss it. When I came home in February 1993 I dropped my Wall Street Journal subscription (I'd dropped my NYT subscription during the 1988 presidential campaign because their coverage focussed more on candidate hairstyles than issues).

In addition to the pubs that you mention, the only thing I get is WIRED magazine. This is not so much because I worship Nicholas Negroponte but because they started sending it to me for free after I won Best of the Web '94. The layout is too hard on my 33-year-old eyes, though, so I hardly ever manage to read an article in WIRED.

If I were to go out and subscribe to some magazines, I guess I'd pick Atlantic and Harper's because they often contain interesting ideas. I also like TIME magazine though supermarket lines aren't long enough at 3 am for me to get through one.

-- Philip Greenspun, April 19, 1997

How about 'The Economist'.

Living in the UK, I also read 'Computer Weekly' which has a nice emphasis on finding out why large software projects fail and cutting through government spin.

-- Rob Allright, March 9, 2001

I second the previous respondent: The Economist is mandatory (and fun).

Look at this week's covers for The Economist and Time Magazine:

The Economist: "The heat is on - A special report on climate change."

Time Magazine: "Does God want you to be rich?"

I rest my case.

-- Fabian Lischka, September 11, 2006