Welcome to the Future Nauseous by Venkat Rao - “We live in a continuous state of manufactured normalcy. There are mechanisms that operate — a mix of natural, emergent and designed — that work to prevent us from realizing that the future is actually happening as we speak.”
Pretty Much Irrefutable Proof That There Is A God by Jim Behrl - “I understand a lot of things. I’ve read a few books. And I almost got 1200 on my SATs. One time I did a whole one of them sudokus. So I ain’t no slouch, OK? And yet I’ve spent hours staring at the ceiling, trying to figure out why shit stinks.”
Paintballing with Hezbollah by Mitchell Prothero - “Yes, I remind myself, this is really happening: Four Western journalists, plus one former Army Ranger-turned-counterinsurgency expert, are playing paintball with members of the Shiite militant group frequently described by US national security experts as the “A-Team of terrorism.”
Where Is Cuba Going? by John Jeremiah Sullivan - “Now and then one of them would rub my arm and smile warmly at me, gestures that I took to mean, “Words aren’t necessary to express the mutual understanding of familial connection that we now possess,” but that when I think about it now, would have been identical to those signaling, “You, simpleton.”
The Behavioral Sink by Will Wiles (This is from 2011, but we never get tired of recommending it.) - “To its members, the mouse civilization of Universe 25 must have seemed prosperous indeed. But its downfall was already certain—not just stagnation, but total and inevitable destruction.”
And as a VERY SPECIAL BONUS - our favourite reading list of 2012, The Electric Typewriter’s ‘150 essential articles and essays’. Admittedly, we did put this together ourselves, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the best.