Bookshelf

Many of my favorite books were discovered from other people’s lists of favorite books. Therefore, I should act as those who helped my past self acted. Here I list books that my past self would have liked to have read without the trouble of finding them first.

This information will go back in time to my past self / people who are similar to my past self, to help to maintain the a stable time loop / propagate my mind state foreword in time.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

by LessWrong aka Eliezer Yudkowsky

The most highly rated Harry Potter fanfiction, and, in my opinion, significantly better than canonical Harry Potter.

If you still don’t like it after chapter 10, give up.

Unsong

By Scott Alexander

The crew of Apollo 8 read the Book of Genesis, and crash into the crystal sphere. This accidentally performs a code injection attack on the Sephirot on which the universe is implemented.

Big companies brute-force search for Names of God.

The Archangel Uriel tries to prevent people from crashing the system.

Significant Digits

by Alexander D

A continuation fanfiction of HPMOR.

Worm

by Wildbow

Worm is long, (~1,750,000 words), dark, and very violent. However, despite its many flaws, I do not regret expending the time to reading it.

To The Stars

by Hieronym

A hard SF fanfiction of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, a deconstruction of the Mahō Shōjo genre.

The Mahō Shōjo genre is a very tightly defined genre. Urobuchi Gen added elements of Lovecraftian existential horror, and utilitarian ethics, to create Madoka, while preserving the essential elements of the earlier genre. Now Hieronym adds transhumanist military and social history, while again preserving most essential elements of the earlier work.

In a largely post scarcity society, governance forces humans to remain properly human. It is permitted for rock climbers to have graft gecko setae grafted to the hands, and for hair to clean and arrange itself, but fully immersive VR gaming is highly restricted.

The plot and character development is moderately good, but it is the worldbuilding that is truly excellent.

Ra

by Sam Hughes

Some additional laws of physics are discovered. People exploit these new laws. The sysadmins panic.

Big scale trolley car problems.

Luminosity

by Alicorn

Three Worlds Colide

by Eliezer Yudkowsky

Which is better: to blow up the solar system killing 95% of all humans, or for all humans to finally be truly happy?

Very big troll car problems.

Kim

by Rudyard Kipling

Friendship is Optimal

by Iceman

A transhumanist My Little Ponies fanfiction in a similar, but (arguably) somewhat happier vein then Three Worlds Collide. Instead of empathetic aliens wanting to making human happy, you will voluntarily choose to allow Princess Celeste to satisfy your values. Through friendship and ponies.

And its (some say better written), fanfiction Friendship is Optimal: Caelum Est Conterrens

This is the first and only effective horror novel I have ever read, since unlike Lovecraft, it contains things I actually find scary.

Eliezer Yudkowsky

Story of Your Life

Some aliens want to help humans consistently cooperate in the prisoner’s dilemma. The original of the film Arrival. Unlike Arrival, it does not feel the Hollywood compunction to add pointless guns and explosions.

Film

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Commentary on utilitarian ethics. 12 episodes long, however you will likely need to watch it at latest twice to understand what happens.

Fate/Zero

~14 characters argue about what is the good, have difficultly understanding each others ethics systems, and try to kill each other when there values are incompatible.

Nicely done trolley car problems.

25 episodes long.

Non-fiction

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind:

by Yuval Noah Harari

How humans got here.

The importance of shared imagined realities.

The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life when Robots Rule the Earth:

Assuming that we get full brain emulation before we understand ‘intelligence’ enough to make full AGI, what will the future be like?

Are Wireheads Happy?

Wanting != liking. See also Wirehead Gods on Lotus Thrones, Just another day in utopia, and Ra.

Last updated on: Wed, Nov 23, 2016