Before trying to educate anyone on anything, I realized I wasn’t educated myself and knew nothing about myself, other people or the world in general. School and university hadn’t really taught me that much.

Luckily, that realization happened 10+ years ago and I had plenty of time to start over and learn, which was a joyful and fulfilling process. If you ever feel like you don’t know enough, it’s never too late. Here are some of the many resources I stumbled upon.

If there are any downsides, I’ll mention them as it’s important to be unbiased even about the sources you really like. But if listed, the upsides are really worth it!

General highly valuable educational sources:

WikipediaWhenever I need to get to know the basics of any topic, I don’t Google it, I open directly Wikipedia. It’s a perfect blend of being scientific while readable and neutrality as a core principle makes me a huge fan.

Downsides: Some topics nowadays are so full of misinformation, including published by official sources and media, that a non-industry expert cannot make much good of the existing sources. For example I would never trust Wikipedia to learn SEO. Also something niche and super complicated like a tiny branch of math or physics that 10 people in the world actually understand, may (naturally) contain errors. But for a balanced overview on any general or scientific subject it’s amazing. Rule of thumb – the longer the article, the more editors have worked on it and the more you can trust it.

 

TEDI’ve seen virtually all talks and they almost never disappoint. Quality and inspiration by amazing speakers. Many talks have changed my views on life significantly. Also don’t miss the TED-Ed educational animations.

Downsides: A single small caveat – keep in mind that when celebrities like Al Gore and Elon Musk give talks they inevitably promote their business agenda and you should keep this in mind and always look for different points of view too. This applies to a very small number of talks and most are balanced and an overall delight to watch.

Also not really a downside but some talks are now quite old and if related to technology progress or current events, they may be outdated, it’s inevitable.

 

Wait But WhyThis blog is by far my favorite one and a major inspiration for the creation of I.gy, Spectern and Evlade. Super well researched long form content in a light and fun form with the best humor and illustrations ever. Its ultimate masterpiece is The story of us.

Downsides: I don’t feel some of the articles about Elon Musk have aged well, too much praise at times where criticism was also needed. This is a tiny issue for something as good as this blog, just felt I had to mention it.

 

Khan AcademyAn entirely free educational platform with 14000+ video lessons and 100000+ interactive exercises of very high quality. Covers math and science best but also has most other subjects from kindergarden to university level. Translated in many languages. I have taken the cryptography unit of computer science and was blown away with the ease complex concepts were explained with clever animations so that I could get them without any background in the field.

Downsides: Haven’t found any so far.

 

Seth GodinThe most condensed wisdom I’ve ever seen anywhere. Simple correct things that just need to be said so their importance is stuck in our brains. Like this one.

Downsides: Haven’t found any so far.

 

Adam SomethingA fast growing Youtube channel of insane quality. Geopolitics, Economics, Social sciences and Urban planning. Some real bullshit busting targeted at Elon Musk, Putin/propaganda, Viktor Orban/populism and extreme US right wingers. Pure gold.

Downsides: Doesn’t really invest a lot in production but as the content is so good it doesn’t really matter.

 

Not Just BikesEvery aspect of urban planning from bike lanes and traffic signs to municipal financial planning. A lot of analysis both on the awful car dependent sprawl in the US and Canada and the lively walkable neighborhoods of Europe. Got me to really believe the importance or where we live as a factor for the humans we come to be and the society we form.

Downsides: Doesn’t really invest a lot in production but as the content is so good it doesn’t really matter.

 

Money and MacroThe best channel to understand economics, run by a Dutch university professor. Really dives deep into the complicated subjects of interest rates, central banks, inflation, etc. I started with the far more popular Economics Explained channel which is fine for newbies but I suspect it has errors when it dives into complex matter because it’s not run by a professional economist. After watching Money and Macro, it suddenly seemed a bit shallow.

Downsides: Haven’t found any so far.

 

Last Week Tonight with John OliverThe most educational comedy show. Never has learning about any topic have been so much fun. Highly recommended! Also as a US show there is some US focus (naturally) but not as much as other US shows.

Downsides: Haven’t found any so far. Some people in the US may find the political viewpoints too liberal but I’m fine with that as in Europe these are widely accepted viewpoints 🙂

 

Science and technology sources:

KurzgesagtEducational videos with birds animations. You have to see them to actually believe me how cute they are 🙂 Very well researched, neutral and scientific while understandable to anyone. Like a fun video version of Wikipedia.

Downsides: Haven’t found any so far.

 

VeritasiumThe most popular science channel on Youtube. Highly entertaining and educational, the videos really make you stick to the screen. Covers many important topics and this is why it’s a great place to start of you don’t know where to start with educational Youtube channels.

Downsides: Some sponsored videos are not balanced enough and at least one video had truth twisted a bit to fit a more sensational narrative. After all Youtube is business. That said, 90% or more of the videos are flawless to me, great value.

 

Just Have a ThinkSustainability, Energy and Climate change Youtube channel, analyzing new trends and innovations. While the creator is not a scientist, he does his best at research and neutrality. The comment section is full of industry experts and there is much insight there too.

Downsides: Haven’t found any so far.

 

Honorable mentions of sweet but more specialized Youtube channels that may not give you the world’s wisdom but are fun and very educational in their niche:

Steve MouldSimilar to Veritasium but more specialized into physics/mechanics, more talking and less production efforts and without the downsides. Steve looks weird at first and has an strange sense of humor but he’ll quickly grow on you.

Minute PhysicsGreat explanations of concepts in physics. Cats are always involved. If something falls into a black hole, it’s bound to be a cat.

Physics GirlConcepts in physics and astronomy. Cutest scientist on the planet 🙂 Often explains the concept to her clueless editor in the video itself 🙂

ElectroboomElectricity and bullshit busting by a funny Iranian guy who gets angry and/or electroshocked every 5 seconds in a 10 min video. Priceless!

Stand-Up MathFunny take on mathematics, mostly practical applications like card tricks, probabilities in games and an occasional psychics problem.

LindybeigeHistory and bullshit busting from a funny British guy. Amazing if you want to know how medieval people lived and such.

Historia CivilisAncient history with animations. Surprisingly addictive. Similar to the popular Kings and Generals but better in my opinion.

Domain of ScienceMaps big fields (eg. Mathematics) into maps of subfields.

LesicsMechanics and engineering animations showing how stuff works.

NileRedI was never into chemistry but this channel is awesome.

Mr SlavEducational “Top Something” videos with Russian humor.

Scott ManleyEverything about space, rockets and launches.

Common Sense Sceptic A very deep dive into Elon Musk’s dark side. The one that made me think.

PBS Space TimeCosmology and quantum physics at a higher level than I can understand.

Half as InterestingShort ultra packed sarcastic educational videos about facts you’ll never need 🙂

Scenic RelaxationBeautiful drone videos from all over the world in 4K. Cities, Nature, Animals. All with great (often local) music.

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