Everything Happens at the Margins

Marginally Compelling is a newsletter about data, curiosity, and grace. It’s an off-shoot of my twitter account @politicalmath. I’ve grown tired that twitter has become such a poor place for thoughtful conversation and complex topics, I’ve found that the newsletter is a much better place to think through things that need more than a few sentences or a snarky quip to understand.

I’m mostly covering data and investigation into COVID-19 topics. My goal is to dig through what things matter, when they matter, and how much they matter. I love to discover the stories of people working on the front lines of any industry, from medical professionals, researchers, data scientists, public health policy… anything that can help us make a little more sense of the crisis around us.

You can reach me at matthias.shapiro@outlook.com

What Does It Cost?

I originally intended this as nothing more than a place to escape twitter while still trying to think through the topics that matter to me. I put a marker in my mind that if I reached a certain number of paid subscriber with exactly zero promise of return then I would switch to a public-private model. Something deep in my caveman-protestant-work-ethic brain felt like that if you’re actually paying me for something, you should be getting something for that.

Welp, here we are! The subscription is $5 per month or $40 per year, but it comes with me buying you a beer or wine or seltzer when next we meet.

When Do I Get It?

The newsletter comes out Tuesdays, Fridays, and when I’m bored. Tuesdays are the free-for-all issue and Fridays are for paid subscribers only. Commenting will be available for paid subscribers only.

I try to keep things moving along and I dive deep into the nuts and bolts of the data issues and process and complexity of COVID-19. As a bonus, I end every issue with a discussion of a classic pre-1950’s Disney short. Watching all the early Disney shorts has been a long-time passion of mine and it’s a fun little something to remind us that not everything has to be so serious all the time.

Substack is Awesome

A huge thanks to the Substack team for this nice little corner of the internet. To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.

Subscribe to Matt Shapiro's Marginally Compelling

An honest attempt to parse data, wrestle with uncertainty, and suss out events in real time. Also cartoons.


Data visualization artist and software engineer who enjoys digging through the details of interesting things
Philhellene, graduate student, grammar nazi.