• Stackoverflow for programming
  • Perhaps UpToDate for medical stuff (but I'm not a doctor so I'm not sure)
  • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy for accessible but rigorous summaries of the philosophical literature on a given topic (though again I'm not an expert on this)
  • Even something most people here might take for granted but a lot of people in general wouldn't-- for questions that academics would research, going to Google Scholar and searching "x meta-analysis"

It seems like one big difference between someone totally unfamiliar with a given field/skill and someone familiar with it is just that the person familiar with it knows a really good (/the best) place (website, forum, potentially even a reference book etc) to look for answers about it. 

It seems like simply learning where to look for answers about a given thing gives an instant boost, so I thought I'd ask people to share what the equivalents are for fields/topics that they have inside knowledge of. Doesn't have to be just academic fields, and sources don't have to be websites, it could be "call your local x, they'll have that info right on hand and are actually happy to take calls from the public".

This is obviously in the spirit of the classic The Best Textbooks on Every Subject, but where that aims to answer what you should read when you want to start learning all about a given field in general, here I'm asking where you should go when you have a more specific one-off thing you want answers on. 

(I don't remember seeing a post like this before and didn't see one in a quick search, but if someone's aware of one and I'm doubling up let me know!)

In your answer say what topic/field/skill it's about, what 'place to look' you're suggesting, and what your suggestion is based on (e.g. "I've been a GP for 5 years and this is what all the GPs I know use when they have a medical question", or "I'm not an expert but I've personally found this useful").


New Answer
Ask Related Question
New Comment

9 Answers sorted by

Not a doctor, but my go-to for medical advice is:

  • UpToDate
  • "x Society Clinical Practice Guideline"
  • Cochrane Reviews

and the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements for information regarding nutrition/supplements.

I recently looked into buying SSDs in the 100s and the folks at r/NewMaxx helped a lot.

Seconding UpToDate as a starting point and treating it like Wikipedia by using it as a source of references.

Then, you can use those references as a starting point in PubMed.

This suggestion is based mostly on watching my primary care physicians look things up at a major academic (university) medical center and conversations with physicians after using UpToDate + PubMed on my own.

  • Carwash Forum for repair advice, purchases and general industry gossips about carwashes. 
  • RedFlagDeals for Canadian, especially Ontario, localized advices. Think advices that an average family would ask their friends for. Ex: "How much is it to hire a plumber to install the new water meter?" 
  • OpenCorporate if you are doing the lowest effort of corporate due-diligence and KYC *NOT LEGAL ADVICE.

UptoDate for sure. Pubmed for research that is also cross referenced in google scholar.

  • Practicing internist

Thanks! What do you mean about the cross referencing?

  • Unknown Cheats' anti-cheat bypass forum for antivirus and EDR evasion techniques. If you're a legitimate red teamer, the game cheat people consistently come up with the best obfuscation techniques in cybersecurity and it's worth it to try to get into one of their chat rooms for advice. As is inevitable for all public H4CK3RZ forums it eventually degraded in quality over time, but there are still some useful bits. 

I've found /r/UKPersonalFinance useful for UK-related personal finance questions.

There's a more general /r/PersonalFinance but I've used it less and I think been less impressed when I have.

  • https://github.com/search for when stackoverflow fails me. Sometimes when I'm trying to figure out how to use some library with not great documentation, there are good examples in other people's code that aren't yet on stackoverflow.
  • product reviews on reddit (google search something like "light phone review site:reddit.com")


Oooo cool I didn't know this github trick!

The next election: 538; Cook and Sabato; prediction markets.

Live election results: NYT live results; 538 live blog; prediction markets; twitter (e.g., @Redistrict, @NateSilver538, @Nate_Cohn).

(For American politics only. Not comprehensive. I'm not an expert, but I'm an elections junkie and this is what I read.)

For competitive programming questions, codeforces.com. It has a large audience of highly skilled competitive programmers, and someone will normally help you if it's an interesting question.

3 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 12:15 PM

Ask Metafilter is also pretty good. Their system of a one-time fee for joining is sensible.

Good for any particular topic or just in general?

Seems useful pretty broadly.

New to LessWrong?