My selection from the book of Quora

Quora is a website created in 2010, that I would describe as “the smartest question-and-answer on the Internet”. You’ve got tons of interesting questions and highly qualified persons who answer: I’ve been impressed by this guy who’ve been to Harvard with Natalie Portman, or this very detailed answer to the apparently trivial question “How much did it cost YouTube to stream “Gangnam Style”? “ (more impressive answers here).


In 2012 Quora released “Best of Quora 2010 – 2012”, 131 questions answered brilliantly by qualified people, like Peter Marquez telling us what it’s like to fly on Air Force One. You can get a .pdf of the book here, but here are my best pick of the best off:

Cooking: If there were ten commandments in cooking what would they be?
The answer from Jonas M Luster gives good advices I’d like to remember while cooking, as:

  • Cook for others. Enough said.
  • Don’t lose touch with your food.

Why are the chocolate chips in chocolate chip ice cream generally “chocolate-flavored chips”?
The answer from Andrew Robert is full of knowledge about chocolate in general, and what makes it so enjoyable.

What are some stupid things that smart people do?
Lee Semel’s answer gives you insights you’re not learning at school, and despite the “smart” in the question, you’ll see that most of them concern you as soon as you step away from the general flow, as “Focusing on being right above all else” or “Excessively focusing on comparing their achievements with others“. I feel especially concerned by this : They end up spending a lot of time gathering information without taking action.”

How do men feel about women who don’t expend much effort on appearances (e.g., clothes, makeup)?
I always fail to find something appropriate to use when making metaphors about women: Lex Cooke nailed it, picking a tuna can. And you get babysitting tips in the batch.

Is wrestling (~WWE) fake?
This anon user gives a full survey about what’s faked and what’s not in TV wrestling. With good videos.

As a young woman, how can I shake the feeling that being good-looking is the primary thing that males will acknowledge and praise my existence for?
Shannon Larson analyses the problem caused by the fact that “fuckability is what defines a woman’s worth“. Alongside with explaining the sources and effects of this bias in society, she also provides solutions to this problem.
I think her solutions are quite extreme (Don’t hang out with vain women/Stop consuming mainstream culture), but is pointing to the good way.

What do hipsters know that I don’t know?
This answer from an anon user is quite caustic, and says more about why hipsters are better from a highly subjective point of view. Though, it gives great insights to anyone who’s into non-mainstream cultures, and will give you more arguments for when you’re trying to explain it, as I found myself struggling with this.

Why does the USA insist on doing things differently than the majority of other developed nations?
Gary Teal’s answer explains the American Exceptionalism on a very complete range of points of view.

How can you increase your productivity on side projects at the end of the day when you’re tired from work/college?
Side-projects are what can keep you out of drowning when school/work gets too repetitive, while not let yourself do worthless stuff just to change your mind. Kah Keng Tay, a Quora Manager, gives here really good advices to reach success and efficiency.
Picture from the Colossal‘s article on Moreing

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