Weblog: Wait But Why offers long and thought-provoking reads

Tim Urban’s meaty topics range from technology to science and community

Wait But Why is the ultimate in internet long reads. Created by writer and illustrator Tim Urban, it is known for diving deep into meaty topics. These range from a series of posts on Elon Musk – including a closer look at brain-machine interface company Neuralink – to ones that wonder why we haven't met any extra-terrestrial life forms, given the probability of the existence of alien civilisations.

Urban’s latest series of posts tell the story of modern society: how we balance our animal selves with our social selves, how tribes and communities form, how people are governed, how concepts of censorship and free speech emerged.

Idea spectrum

The latest instalment, The Mute Button, is of particular interest to those scratching their heads about current political discourse. It begins with the idea spectrum, or where an individual falls on any given topic in terms of inner self (how we really feel) and outer self (the beliefs we express to others). It moves seamlessly from this to community or countrywide expressions of opinion and how the collective can be misrepresented by broadcast platforms or dampened by various forms of censorship.

If you’re looking for an accessible and entertaining primer on human nature then strap in for some lengthy, thoughtful and well-written blog posts.