Thoughtful Essayists

People runnning well-written blogs.

🧑 people
Table of Contents

ℹ️ Also see Periodicals and Podcasts.

I call these people U/T-shaped illustrators - they are very good at one or two skills. Such skills then often show up in a lot of the work they do. I aspire to be as effective as them.


Allen Downey - A computer scientist who runs the blog Probably Overthinking It on Bayesian thinking.

Andrew Gelman - A statistician and political scientist, who is probably the biggest evangelist and criticizer of Bayesian statistics. While the blog has an ensemble cast of authors, it is predominantly written by Gelman.

Christian Robert - A statistician with an excellent blog. Also has themes beyond statistics.

Michael Betancourt - An applied statistician evangelizing the Bayesian philosophy with some excellent case studies.

Will Kurt - Another statistician who covers many topics Bayesian, more tiny practical posts that are easy to digest.

Nicholas J. Higham - An applied mathematician who runs a great “What is …?” series on blog.

Francis Bach - The computer scientist from INRIA with plenty of algorithmic and theoretical contributions to the field of optimization. Often writes once a month.

Scott Aaronson - A theoretical computer scientist with loads of thoughtful essays ranging from quantum computation, to metaphysics.

Lilian Weng - An AI researcher with timely broad overviews on technical topics in machine learning.


Patrick Collison - Co-Founder of Stripe with some great writing.

Joel Spolsky - The Stack Overflow person!

Simon Hørup Eskildsen - A dropout at Shopify who writes a lot of book reviews.

Nikita Prokopov - Programmer and UI designer. Fun and detailed rants.

Stephan Ango - An engineer and designer with byte-sized learnings.


Most of these people were builders first too.

Paul Graham - Co-Founder of YC. Some great observational essays.

Fred Wilson - Writes some insightful content on a broad spectrum of topics.

Morgan Housel - A partner at the Collaborative Fund, oftens writes many of the posts on their blog.

Peter McCluskey - An investor with pretty wide variety of topics from invesing, technology, to quite a long list of book reviews.


Ben Thompson - In-depth articles by on analysis of the strategy and business side of technology and media, and the impact of technology on society.

Benedict Evans - Independent technology analyst with annual trend reports.

Tim Harford - An economist, who does a lot of data journalism, and writes some great books. Also runs the excellent podcast More or less: Behind the stats.

Derek Guy - Menswear writer with strong opinions and occasional nerd-out threads.


Bartosz Ciechanowski - Incredible illustrations on singular topics.

Neal Agarwal - Intelligent choice of narrow-scoped topics, delved into detail with very approachable illustrations.

Ralph Ammer has made a career out of drawings and illustrations, perhaps the most famous How to draw ideas.

Nicky Case makes incredible “shtuff”, especially explainers for complex topics.