- Henry George - Progress and Poverty
timeless 19th-century book which provides a genuinely useful explanation for how wealth, capital, and labor interact. makes the case for a Land Value Tax specifically, and a tax on finite natural resources more generally.
- Eliezer Yudkowsky - Rationality: From AI to Zombies
i disagree with the vision offered by most rationalists, but this particular piece gives some compelling explanations for why things are the way they are.
- Charles Stross - Accelerando
a fast paced and relatively concise view of one possible future. neither explicitly utopian nor dystopian: just "what could things look like if technological trends continue" through a cyberpunk lens.
- Cory Doctorow
vaguely cyberpunk, but often looking at one particular development (distributed manufacturing, cloning, human-level AGI) and thinking about the unexpected effects.
- Terry Pratchett
incredible wit, good natured fun that points out some silly human tendencies without being too overt about it.
- Brandon Sanderson
vivid storyteller and excellent world builder. my favorite is his Mistborn series.
Studio Ghibli still represents the peak of animated film, as far as i'm concerned. remarkable pacing, captivating worlds & artstyle, and adventurous. my favorites are:
besides Ghibli i've enjoyed a few other short-running anime/films:
- Madoka Magica
deconstruction of the "magical girl" genre. starts out slow and mysterious, then accelerates through some ambitious twists as you and the characters begin to learn what's really happening in the world. watch it if you're a softie who likes bittersweet (but satisfying) endings.
- Made in Abyss
amazing character- and world-building, great artwork, and an adventure-driven -- but dark -- plot that left me contemplative.
- Kill la Kill
unbelievably over-the-top, tropey, and a bit low-budget, but Studio Trigger leans into these things and makes something that's so absurd you can't forget it.
- Bravest Warriors
it's what you'd get if you were to squash Adventure Time into 4-5 minute episodes. witty and fast-paced humor. like Nichijou, it's simply the best in its class.
- Who's Line is it Anyway?
peak improv. Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, Wayne Brady riffing off each other and the audience week after week.
- The Expanse
sci-fi series with a great production centered in a harsh world with a bit of everything, set off by a sudden new discovery. a bunch of players stuck in political games they don't know how to escape. it's a wonder we've made it this far.
- A Place Further Than The Universe
a short exploration into making sense of death and finding purpose when you have nothing to anchor to. will make you cry.
- Yuru Camp
cozy series to relax to. a laid-back story of friendship and self-discovery.
short, hilarious and sometimes over-the-top skits which build on eachother over time. good, simple fun. it's a crowded genre but Nichijou is the best in class.
- Zombieland Saga
it's got some likable characters, a fun theme, and a good deal of unexpected turns. given it centers around zombie popstars, you'd think it'd stand out more, but in the end it's just a well-executed slice-of-life (with great music).