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Prime Cuts #3
Idiosyncrasy masquerading as a newsletter.
Welcome to Prime Cuts, a curated weekly collection of the most interesting content for your Reading, Watching, or Listening playlists.
This piece strikes close to home literally and figuratively. It focuses on my home state (PA) but also demonstrates the power of the Land Value Tax, a Georgist principle that in my not so humble opinion should both replace current property taxes across the country and should represent the basis of a rebuilt, simplified tax system. I'll be writing more about Georgism over time (and I reference it in one of my first pieces), but if you're interested in learning more, check out the great Progress & Poverty substack.
A digestible summary and analysis of The Box, about the most incredible and "simple" technological advancement that fundamentally improved the distribution of goods. Yes, this is a story about the shipping container and yes, this is hands down one of the most transformative innovations of the 20th century.
This is an incredible documentary about an incredible game - the reboot of the God of War franchise that is, hands down, one of the 10 best video games I've ever played. This also happens to be co-produced by my friend, Aaron Kaufman, but I promise that doesn't affect my perspective here. The crowd reaction to the game's unveiling at E3 (RIP) will absolutely send chills down your spine.
Challenging the status quo is kind of my thing, and though it's obvious not practical to have a bike with non-circular wheels...the relative efficiency of this bike is pretty fantastic!
You'll hear me say this many times in Prime Cuts, but Tyler Cowen is the best interviewer out there. His questions are odd and incisive, his guest selection is eclectic and always interesting, and he has a great grasp of so many topics - a true intellectual idol of mine. I was not previously familiar with Jess Wade, but I will certainly be following her more closely hereafter. Infectious energy does not even begin to capture the vibe of this interview. Her passion for both conducting and communicating deep science is incredible. I don't think I've ever heard someone so joyously proclaim that she can't wait to finish up dinner each night so that she can go edit Wikipedia!! (more than 1800 entries and counting).
Remember that You Will Die
I'm an unabashed Polyphia fanboy, and this latest album does not disappoint. They are ostensibly an instrumental rock band and are, individually and collectively, savants of their respective instruments. But there's so much more here to digest - the clear influence of hip hop and trap beats, the morphing of styles on each track to match each collaborator. They have a very distinctive, complex style that turns many off but I promise if you give it time it'll make you think differently about what instrumental music can do. My personal fave track is probably Chimera.
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