The hottest Social Commentary Substack posts right now

And their main takeaways
Top Culture Topics
Granted • 19806 implied HN points • 15 Oct 23
  1. Gratitude book giveaway for loyal readers on Hidden Potential launch
  2. Interesting insight from Hidden Potential quiz results on key character skills
  3. Variations in character strengths based on gender, age, work, and country
Common Sense with Bari Weiss • 3083 implied HN points • 20 Jan 24
  1. In the show _A Murder at the End of the World_, the protagonist Darby Hart stands out as an unexpected detective due to her age and gender.
  2. The series aims to deliver feminist messages and social commentary, but some viewers find it heavy-handed and lacking originality.
  3. The portrayal of Darby as a young, attractive amateur detective solving a mystery challenges traditional crime genre conventions, but some viewers question the believability and depth of her character.
Global Inequality and More 3.0 • 1125 implied HN points • 22 Feb 24
  1. Allocating a fixed amount for book purchases can help maximize pleasure and choice.
  2. Exploring bookstores on Saturdays armed with book reviews can lead to thoughtful decisions on what to buy.
  3. Exposure to diverse literary works, especially during intellectually stimulating periods, can strongly influence individual interests and perspectives.
Get a weekly roundup of the best Substack posts, by hacker news affinity:
Culture Study • 7219 implied HN points • 13 Sep 23
  1. The TikTok filter 'That Guy' accurately portrays a specific type of man with entitlement issues.
  2. The filter highlights the dynamics between men and women, showing how some men view women as objects to possess.
  3. The meme provides catharsis by showcasing and ridiculing behaviors of 'That Guy' and shedding light on societal roles in enabling such behavior.
Tracing Woodgrains • 884 implied HN points • 03 Feb 24
  1. The author experienced a sudden surge in attention and opportunities after posting on Twitter.
  2. There is a struggle to balance writing between Substack and Twitter due to differences in reach and community building.
  3. The author values deep investigative writing but finds it challenging to dedicate time to it alongside other commitments.
thestoa • 668 implied HN points • 30 Jan 24
  1. Midwit meme illustrates intellectual arrogance and narcissistic supply.
  2. Intellectual humility involves accurate self-assessment of views and capacities.
  3. Cultivating intellectual humility involves distinguishing various qualities of intelligence.
ChinaTalk • 177 implied HN points • 08 Mar 24
  1. There's a push for AI legislation, where engaging in the legislative process can shape the future of policies.
  2. The succession plan after Xi Jinping in Chinese politics remains unclear and involves intricate power dynamics.
  3. Discussion around various societal topics in Chinese culture, like superstitions in housing and parenting practices.
Daily Dreher • 1356 implied HN points • 22 Oct 23
  1. The post discusses a meeting with Gad Saad, an evolutionary biologist with a significant online following.
  2. The author expresses a wish to disagree with Prof. Saad about something after reflecting on recent events.
  3. Readers are encouraged to subscribe for a 7-day free trial to access more of Rod Dreher's Diary.
antoniomelonio • 93 implied HN points • 05 Mar 24
  1. Cottagecore trend romanticizes rural life as an escape from modernity and capitalist pressures.
  2. Capitalism commodifies yearning for simplicity, selling manufactured illusions as an escape from the system.
  3. Cottagecore highlights the longing for simple living and connection to nature, though it's distorted by capitalism and patriarchal norms.
Banana Peel Pirouette • 197 implied HN points • 09 Feb 24
  1. The evolution of music criticism, the rise of poptimism, and the shift towards commercial pop music have reshaped the music scene and challenged traditional ideas of authenticity and subcultural affiliation.
  2. The collapse of the middle ground in the music industry mirrors broader economic shifts, with mainstream pop stars dominating the landscape and influencing youth culture.
  3. Poptimism and hustle culture celebrate a pragmatic acceptance of commercial success over traditional values like originality and authenticity, reflecting a broader cultural trend driven by economic realities and the digital age.
Oliver Bateman Does the Work • 137 implied HN points • 31 Jan 24
  1. In a world of cultural commentary, perspectives on public figures like Taylor Swift can vary widely.
  2. Public figures like Swift are often appropriated as symbols for different causes, regardless of their personal beliefs.
  3. Swift's broad appeal allows for numerous and often conflicting interpretations, leading to a commodification of opinions in pop culture.
So Here’s a Thing • 806 implied HN points • 30 Jun 23
  1. The Almost Central Station in The City had a mix-up during construction but the mishap was taken in stride as a character-building exercise.
  2. Certain districts in The City got coded names to prevent residents from identifying too closely with their living spaces; this led to crackdowns over time.
  3. In The City, even language usage is monitored by the Ministry of Words, sometimes leading to unintentional bans; employees find themselves in silence most days.
Moly’s Substack • 39 implied HN points • 07 Feb 24
  1. A blogger discusses the interesting conversations and interactions that can occur with a partner who has ED, highlighting the importance of patience and communication.
  2. Various healthcare anecdotes from around the world showcase different experiences and approaches to medical issues.
  3. Social dynamics and gender roles within families during holidays are highlighted, emphasizing the inequality in household responsibilities.
The False Consensus Effect • 59 implied HN points • 31 Dec 23
  1. The author plans to maintain expenses below the U.S. poverty level for a year, challenging themselves to make under $399 profit, showcasing a unique thought/action experiment.
  2. There is a focus on living frugally and embracing a minimalistic lifestyle as a form of protest against government systems and societal norms.
  3. The author emphasizes the importance of stories and rare artifacts as valuable remnants of past resistance and cultural significance.
JoeWrote • 22 implied HN points • 15 Feb 24
  1. Superstore is a show that portrays the struggles and realities of America's minimum wage workers, highlighting issues like low pay and being treated as expendable by corporate bosses.
  2. The character Jonah in Superstore represents the guilty white liberal, contrasting with majority-POC working-class characters who are more accustomed to exploitation. The show tackles themes like union busting and the use of undocumented workers to suppress labor rights.
  3. Superstore goes beyond the typical narrative of workplace sitcoms by delving into serious topics like exploitation, deportation threats, and the harsh realities of capitalism, making it a pro-labor classic.
Moly’s Substack • 39 implied HN points • 12 Jan 24
  1. People in their 30s might still be single because of factors like appearance, temper, laziness, or being too picky.
  2. Korea is facing a declining birth rate and population collapse, leading to economic and social challenges in the future.
  3. Real life situations often differ from what is portrayed in the news and online discussions.
Banana Peel Pirouette • 178 implied HN points • 01 Aug 23
  1. The Cain and Abel story can be interpreted as representing the agricultural revolution and its societal impacts.
  2. The narrative reflects the conflict between nomadic pastoral and sedentary farming societies, highlighting the transformative role of agriculture.
  3. Through the characters of Cain and Abel, the story also delves into the historical consequences of agriculture, including slavery, inequality, and the exploitation of labor.
Internal exile • 9 implied HN points • 23 Feb 24
  1. Generative models like Sora can automate video creation but may lead to an influx of unwanted content and job loss in the industry.
  2. OpenAI's Sora model aims to attract investment by presenting itself as a promising video simulator, emphasizing sample quality improvement.
  3. The 'dopamine culture' narrative simplifies complex societal issues around attention and addiction, shifting focus away from larger systemic problems.
Close-reading the reruns with Phoebe Maltz Bovy • 235 implied HN points • 25 Apr 23
  1. The post discusses a tweet involving a white woman and a shirt slogan in a Pilates class - there's a void at the core of the story.
  2. The narrative explores how social media posts can project feelings onto situations and individuals.
  3. The author questions the meaning behind a shirt slogan stating "Literally nothing I do is for men" and the implications it carries.
Tessa Fights Robots • 8 implied HN points • 16 Feb 24
  1. The article discusses the concept of a 'great reset' that aims to disconnect people from their empowerment and direct them towards centralized authority.
  2. Throughout history, reformers have tried to undermine rural communities to implement their top-down changes.
  3. Practicing 'happy humility' is crucial to dealing with challenges and focusing on personal responsibilities without trying to carry the weight of the world.
Critic at Large • 99 implied HN points • 01 Jul 23
  1. Marvin Gaye's album 'What's Going On' was a bold departure from Motown's typical upbeat tunes, focusing on social issues and political statements.
  2. Despite facing resistance from Motown's boss, Gaye persisted in creating an album that touched on themes like war, poverty, and environmental degradation.
  3. Through his music, Gaye managed to convey powerful messages of love, hope, and societal introspection, leaving a lasting impact on the music industry and inspiring future generations of artists.