What Is Brain Food?

Farnam Street (FS) is devoted to understanding: How can we better understand and align with reality in order to live a better life?

In contrast to the “mental fast food” invading the web, FS is a rare collection of knowledge that is both hearty and real. Check out a few of our pieces to see what we mean.

Our Brain Food newsletter goes out on Sunday and contains every piece we released that week so you don’t have to check the site and see if you missed anything.

We also recommend a book (or two) in every edition. They’re books we’ve read, enjoyed, and learned something useful from, and they run from classic fiction to great biographies to a new take on some aspect of human psychology. We recommend upwards of 100 books every year, all told.

Then, lastly, every edition includes a short collection of the best articles we read that week, pulled from hundreds of sources.

It’s all nutritious food for the hungry mind. That’s why we call it Brain Food.

The Details

Signal not noise. Think of reading our newsletter as a great way to hire us — for free. Let us scour the web and read hundreds of books a year. Let us filter out the noise, contextualize and synthesize the information, and present you with some well-thought-out tools you can add to your mind. We’re doing work you probably don’t have time for.

We study failure and success. Mostly, we just want to understand the world. Really understand it. Studying hundreds and then thousands of cases of success and failure helps you build a repository of “moves” come to mind when you’re faced with hard and uncertain decisions. Learning history helps us think about problems in three-dimensional ways.

It’s not all hard science-y stuff. That part is important, and as you read the newsletter every week, we’ll give you some of that. But we’d feel like robots if we didn’t explore the age-old questions of what it means to live and what makes for a good life. Isn’t that the end game here? So we include regular doses of philosophy, history, art, and human nature.

The smartest audience in the world. Readers include Fortune 10 CEOs, championship NFL coaches, four-star generals, best-selling authors, entrepreneurs, Nobel Laureates, hedge fund managers, high school teachers, professors, students, venture capitalists, and everyone between. Our readers share a passion for learning and acquiring practical wisdom so they can live more effective lives.

See what you’re missing. We don’t spam you. We never send you anything we haven’t read ourselves. We are not interested in fast food for the mind. We just pass along big chunks of knowledge to help our readers think uniquely and independently so they can gain seize opportunities that others miss.

What Do Real People Say?

I have rarely read a concise synthesis of complicated topics from disparate sources that has been so well written…On par with Krugman or Jim Grant.

Bert Hancock

I became smarter, a better parent, and a more successful lawyer and business owner because of Farnam Street.

Paul Ceyssens

… a compelling blog about decision making.

Jason Zweig
Wall Street Journal

“Consistently fascinating.”

Jessica Stillman

Shane is not only one of the most widely read people I know, but also well versed in turning his knowledge into practical insights for readers. His writing and work is a fountain of useful knowledge and worldly wisdom.

James Clear

[Farnam Street] does a really remarkable job of looking at culture, history, and interesting books … I check this almost every day.

Daniel Pink
Best-Selling Author

[The FS Learning Community] has improved my quality of thinking and it is a great source knowing what to read, what to mull over apart from many other important things.

Rajat Bose

You remain my No.1 blog/ reading list recommendation, consistently.

Henry Mason
Managing Director