The impossible cool of Cowboy Bebop

The 1998 hit is making a comeback. Stop what you're doing and watch the original.

Credit: Cowboy Bebop / Public domain
  • Cowboy Bebop is a genre-busting Japanese anime series.
  • The stories, music, and science fiction are among the best I've ever experienced.
  • The show is being rebooted on Netflix.
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13 films everyone should watch and why—as voted by you

A curated watchlist from Big Think readers.

Credit: Columbia Pictures / Walt Disney Studios
  • We asked Big Think's readers and staff for their recommendations on films everyone should watch.
  • A collection of fiction and non-fiction works from around the world, these movies will entertain and expand your horizons.
  • The films cover various topics, explore numerous themes, and shed light on several controversial historical events.
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How sci-fi helps humanity avoid species-level mistakes

Technology of the future is shaped by the questions we ask and the ethical decisions we make today.

  • Robots (from the Czech word for laborer) began appearing in science fiction in the early 1900s as metaphors for real world ideas and issues surrounding class struggles, labor, and intelligence. Author Ken MacLeod says that the idea that robots would one day rebel was baked into the narrative from the start. As technologies have advanced, so too have our fears.
  • "Science fiction can help us to look at the social consequences, to understand the technologies that are beginning to change our lives," says MacLeod. He argues that while robots in science fiction are a reflection of humanity, they have little to do with our actual machines and are "very little help at all in understanding what the real problems and the real opportunities actually are."
  • AI has made the threat of "autonomous killer robots" much more of a possibility today than when Asimov wrote his three laws, but it's the decisions we make now that will determine the future. "None of these developments are inevitable," says MacLeod. "They're all the consequences of human actions, and we can always step back and say, 'Do we really want to do this?'"

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Best. Science. Fiction. Show. Ever.

"The Expanse" is the best vision I've ever seen of a space-faring future that may be just a few generations away.

Credit: "The Expanse" / Syfy
  • Want three reasons why that headline is justified? Characters and acting, universe building, and science.
  • For those who don't know, "The Expanse" is a series that's run on SyFy and Amazon Prime set about 200 years in the future in a mostly settled solar system with three waring factions: Earth, Mars, and Belters.
  • No other show I know of manages to use real science so adeptly in the service of its story and its grand universe building.
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13 books everyone should read and why—as voted by you

Add these great titles to your wish list or secure copies for yourself.

Credit: Iryna / Adobe Stock
  • We asked BigThink's readers and staff for their recommendations on books everyone should read.
  • A collection of fiction and non-fiction works from around the world spanning millennia, these books will expand your horizons.
  • Many of these books are long out of copyright, and can be read for free.
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