I like Larry Brown's columns. If we all flew like this all the time, GA would be as safe as military flying, which (notwithstanding the reputation of fighter pilots for living dangerously) is really quite safe. So go fly like you have three fighters trying to stay on your wing in night IMC. (Be predictable. Be smooth. Communicate your intentions clearly.)
Rick Durden has a great technique for teaching risk management (the most boring topic ever). He treats pilots as intelligent people capable of making informed decisions if given the relevant information. The Federal Aviation Regulations are generally worth following both because following the rules can help avoid prosecution by the FAA and also because they're a practical guide to not killing yourself. But there are a lot of pilots who hate rules just because the government made them. These pilots need to be walked through the risk calculus themselves.
In this piece, Rick walks the reader through why people like flying low and fast, and what would be required do it safely without jamming it down your throat. Sneaky...
Obviously, manual flying skills are essential for all pilots, but this reminded me of an interesting relationship between aircraft sophistication and the flying skills needed. A Piper Cub is manual in every way, all the time. The closest thing you've got to an automatic system in elevator trim. In an advanced jet, you've got it all: three axis autopilot with auto-throttles. And the more whiz-bang stuff you've got, the further you have to fall when it starts failing.
Modern aviation systems are extremely robust, which doesn't mean that they don't fail. It means that when they fail it will be for totally unanticipated reasons. E.g., AHRS in your G1000 isn't going to break from turbulence. You're going to loose the whole panel because a rat decided to make a nest between the panel and the firewall. (Or in the case of the author's friend, because the potable water tank started leaking into the avionics bay.)