Best Dozen Articles I've Read in 2023

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(See also Best Articles 2021 and Candidates for Best Dozen Articles I've Read in 2022 and Best Things of 2022 and Best Things of 2023 and the nascent Best Dozen Articles I've Read in 2024)

  • 2 "Remembering Edward Shils," Commentary, Joseph Epstein (2019). Absolutely first rate. It conveys the feel of intellectual friendship at the University of Chicago 1970-90.
  • 4 "Grim Tales," Kari Gold, First Things (2000). The modern child's loss of fairy tales, and what replaces them.
  • 5 "My Left Kidney," Astral Codex Ten (2023). On donating a kidney to a stranger. Should we all do it? A very challenging article that reveals my selfishness.
  • 7 "The Repaganisation of the West The return of Greco-Roman values," Ed West, The Wrong Side of History Substack (October 20, 2023). "Christianity is really very strange and counter-intuitive. Paganism is normal. It’s not normal for a society to place such levels of moral shame on its aristocracy to behave itself, especially aristocratic men. It’s much more normal for powerful men to dominate and crush their enemies, and to sexually exploit women. Christianity’s emphasis on forgiveness and internal guilt is weird: indeed WEIRD is the acronym coined by Joseph Henrich to describe the way that Western, Educated, Industrial, Rich, and Democratic people behave compared to others. Similarly, the Christian taboos about suicide and infanticide are unusual."
  • 9 "Why-i-gave-up-my-professorship," Kai Jager, Substack (2023). Universities are not scholarly places. "academic staff must invest more and more time in administrative tasks on behalf of performance criteria, leading to a lack of time for actual student support, teaching or research. This includes administrative responsibilities for tasks traditionally assigned to administrative staff, such as the digital recording of grades, the processing of student sick notes for exams, the learning and processing of expense reimbursement software, etc. The university professor is turned into an office worker - including constant performance reviews and committee meetings with new "leadership" initiatives."
  • 11 "Scott and Scurvy," blog, Maciej Cegłowski(3.06.2010). "But here was a Royal Navy surgeon in 1911 apparently ignorant of what caused the disease, or how to cure it. Somehow a highly-trained group of scientists at the start of the 20th century knew less about scurvy than the average sea captain in Napoleonic times. Scott left a base abundantly stocked with fresh meat, fruits, apples, and lime juice, and headed out on the ice for five months with no protection against scurvy, all the while confident he was not at risk. What happened?"
  • 12 "The Impossible Bronze Age Mindset," John Ehrett, American Reformer (2023). Another kind of Nietzschism, the sort-of conservative kind, dissected. "It is a call for the deepest possible return of all: a breaking of the fetters of secular liberalism and Judaism and Christianity alike, a recovery of a more elemental way of being-in-the-world. The nostalgia of neo-vitalism is for humanity’s most ancient days: for blood and war and shamans and the fierce exultation of the kill."


  • "How George Floyd Actually Died," The American Spectator (2023). This article say fentanyl had nothing to do with it, and suggests heart failure due to adrenal problems.
  • "Thinner on Paper," Peter Hitchens on being fat and on the old newspaper business in London (2022).