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My favorite stuff

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What is art?

I believe artforms improve over time. The more art that came before, the more you can assess what worked and what didn't—and iterate on it. Movies, music—all of it—is often better than it was.

I know that's controversial. I know nostalgia and wanting to signal your refined taste blind us to this.

Granted, all new art isn't consistently better than all prior art. In part, economics and culture pressure new art into optimizing for vanity metrics.

But the best art of each era trends to being better than the best art of the prior era.

And so I present to you my favorite media, without shame that there isn't a greater representation of older art.





  1. Wild Beasts
  2. The National
  3. SZA
  4. Death Cab for Cutie
  5. Frank Ocean
  6. Radiohead
  7. dvsn
  8. Brand New
  9. Hippo Campus
  10. The Weeknd
  11. Bon Iver
  12. John Mayer
  13. Ben Howard
  14. Geographer
  15. Kendrick Lamar
  16. RY X
  17. Zero 7
  18. Fink
  19. Bonobo
  20. Majid Jordan
  21. Post Malone

People with consistently great output


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Who's Julian Shapiro?

I try to simplify complex topics.

Writing WellBuilding MuscleGrowth Marketing

All my blog posts

Mental models

Navigating life strategically

What to work on

Choosing your big projects

Fearing competitors

How to handle the stress

Not being annoyed

The power to stay rational

My favorite stuff

Shows, films, artists, podcasts

Running an agency

Strategies for efficiency

How to punctuate

Writing clear sentences

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