May 2020 Favorites
We are what we repeatedly do, therefore, excellence is not an act but a habit
- Joe Rogan did a second interview with Elon Musk which was very interesting to watch. Also, he announced a 100 Million Dollar USD deal with Spotify. His show will move to Spotify on September 1st, being exclusively available later this year (still as a free Podcast).
- One of my favorite channels, What I’ve Learned, created the video Why are you Uncertain, Unfocused, and Anxious? What should we do about it?. It’s of unbelievable high quality, scientifically researched as usual, with a lot of self-shot content, and also makes uses the new YouTube section feature, to name sections of the video.
- I finished one of the best lectures on Personality by Jordan B Peterson: 2017 Personality and Its Transformations, filmed at the University of Toronto. The ~30 hours of lectures are extremely interesting. The last nine lectures dedicate the topic of the Big 5 personality traits and their implications for life. I watched Openness/Intelligence/Creativity 1 and 2, Orderliness/Disgust/Conscientiousness, Performance Prediction and the Conclusion. And then I started the next lecture: The Alternative to Left and Right-Wing Ideological Possession and watched the first part Reality and the Sacred.
- The channel Half as Interesting had four really interesting short films: Why There’s a Single, Tiny Wire Encircling Manhattan, explaining the most expensive Eruv in the world (and what an Eruv is). The history of forbidden coins in Why This Coin is Illegal to Own. The \$22 Million Most Expensive Party Ever is the story of the party which destroyed (probably) the empire of the last Iranian Shah. And The Island That Keeps Appearing and Disappearing explains the story behind a Mediterranean island that appears and disappears.
- Vox did the short video How coronavirus charts can mislead us, explaining different kinds of charts visualizing the growth of the Coronavirus and the important things to know when looking at these charts.
- TED-Ed did a short animated video about the causes of opioid addiction.
- Kurzgesagt explained in a beautiful animated video: Why Are You Alive and also animated a story from the Podcast of The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green.
- BrainCraft explained 5 Ways to Get Better Sleep.
- After Skool, a nice channel doing animated recordings of talks and speeches celebrated 1 million subscribers but summarising the Best Insights from Alan Watts, Jordan Peterson, Elon Musk, Aristotle, Eckhart Tolle, Joe Rogan & More and one of Joe Rogan & Duncan Trussell’s talk about The Benefit of a Mental Breakdown.
- Marie Kondo shows in three short videos how to fold with the KonMari folding method: Basics, Intimates and Menswear.
- Bruce Pipton, Ph.D. talked on the channel FightMediocritiy about How the Media Destroys Your Immune System.
- The German channel Simplicissimus created an interesting video about Angry German Kid 🇩🇪 and how a Meme destroyed the boys’ life. He pointed to another English production, explaining the story: Angry German Kid: How Memes Nearly Ruined His Life.
- The channel Melodysheep created another stunning documentary with fantastic music and visuals in 4K about The Secret History of the Moon.
- Tim Ferriss answers Should You Specialize or Be a Generalist? and explains ”The Art of Dealmaking” or How to Negotiate
- Thomas Frank shows Roam Research, a new note-taking tool on the block. It looks promising, but as I explained in my last article, Zettelkasten Note-Taking Method With DEVONthink, it’s not for me. He also made a video about 3 habits for better work-life balance and explains how he takes notes from books which had good tips I’ll take over.
- Matt D’Avella made the video This Completely Changed How I Use Social Media about how his one-year-long habit challenges changed his relationship with Social Media.
- The Minimalists also made a short video about our addiction with phones.
- I rewatched a fantastic video by Will Schoder on How To Remember Everything You Learn when I researched my last article.
- Ali Abdaal made a fantastic summary of the book Atomic Habits by James Clear: How Atomic Habits can Change our Lives.
- CGP Grey explains with the typical funny stick figures how to stay productive during the Lockdown.
- Jocko Willink, a retired Navy SEAL officer talks on his Podcast about the topic of calling out poor performance.
- My favorite channel, Like Stories of Old, released the second episode of its series Stories vs. Reality: Your Life is Not a Hero’s Journey.
- Einzelgänger explains in his video the concept of the Stoic Fortitude.
- Kevin Kelly gives 68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice (via SwissMiss), also available as a written article.
- The Cinema Cartography explains the idea behind the tilted angle in which the movie The Third Man (1949) was shot.
- The channel The Beauty Of created another beautiful collage of the film The Handmaiden (Ah-ga-ssi). Now I need to see the movie. It’s not the first time I tried a film or game after watching one of these beautiful pieces of art.
- The Film Theorists solved finally the mystery of the But Crack Bandit in the TV show Community. In another video they explained the dilemma of the writers of Rick and Morty and how they created an episode about it. Finally, they explore in Hey Fallon, You’re Doing it Wrong! how good of a job the late show hosts are doing during the pandemic, how good their performance as YouTubers is and what this might mean for the future.
- CineFix made a video about the Top 5 Historical Epics of All Time.
- The new Unreal Engine 5 was revealed in a demo running on PlayStation 5. Shut up and take my money! 🤩
- The channel Choreographic Objects shows an art installation by William Forsythe: Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time, No. 2 (via SwissMiss).
- Toshio Suzuki from Studio Ghibli shows how to draw Totoro.
- Kevin Powell shows min(), max(), and clamp() are CSS magic!. I’m thankful for this video and used the technique on my upcoming relaunch of this website.
- If you want to learn Git and GitHub you can do this in this ad-free beginner crash course by freeCodeCamp.
- Affinity released in their series Lockdown 2020: Affinity Creative Sessions on every day of the month a new video by talented artists, illustrators, designers, and photographers.
- VisualPolitik EN released a video about China and the WHO and how China uses its power and influence to bring Pseudoscience into medicine. This will not help the already questionable reputation of the WHO.
- Obama takes on “woke” call-out culture (via SwissMiss).
- This was a good month for everybody interested in history. Voices of the Past released two interesting videos: Reading of the Florentine Codex showing the perspective on the conquest of Mexico by an Aztec. It was fascinating listening to the story of the conquest from another perspective, including the story of La Noche Triste. In another video, they read a letter from Will Adams, the Englishman who became a Samurai, describing his life in the service of the shogun. His story inspired the novel Shōgun by James Clavell.
- I found another fantastic channel about history: Kings and Generals. They explain big battles with fantastic visuals. I watched the Battle of Sekigahara 1600 - Sengoku Jidai, Imjin War – Beginning of the Japanese Invasion of Korea and Yasuke: Story of the African Samurai in Japan.
- Abroad in Japan explained why you shouldn’t get fat in Japan.
- AwakenWithJP released four funny videos this month: What It’s Like to Believe Everything the Media Tells You, How to Be More of an Idiot, How to Get Rich During the Quarantine and What a Silent Meditation Retreat is Like.
- We The Internet TV created a funny, short animated video about The Worst People in a Pandemic. Funny because true.
- Jimmy Fallon loses badly against Jennifer Lopez in a TikTok Watch It Once dance challenge.
- Samara Ginsberg played the theme song of Knight Rider arranged for 8 cellos. She also did one for the Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme) and Inspector Gadget (via Kottke).
- By accident, I discovered the FMF 2018, a Video Games Music Gala in Krakóv, while searching for the game Journey. I found the incredible good interpretation of the song Apotheosis from Journey 🤩, played by Tina Guo and the Beethoven Academy Orchestra. This is the best performance I’ve ever seen of this song! There were a lot more known songs from games played at this concert.
- Tina Guo, an unbelievable talented Chinese-American cellist, has a lot of fantastic performances on her own channel. I liked, in particular, her performance of another beautiful song: Oogway Ascends, a song from Kung Fu Panda and also her “practice” of a cover of Lindsey Stirling’s Crystallize.
- Beastars 1 – This is a really good Japanese animation TV show about a world where herbivores and carnivores coexist with each other. The main characters are a wolf and a rabbit. N
- Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness 1 – After this show was recommended by multiple people on multiple occasions I started watching it. And it’s that good. Crazy, bizarre, but good. N
- Community, 4 5 6 – I finished watching this show a second time and it was not one bit less funny than the first time. I think it might be the funniest TV show ever produced. N
- The Hollow 2 – I didn’t think this show would have a second season. Not because it’s not good—quite the opposite—but the story looked like a concluded story arc. But the managed to deliver another fantastic season. N
- Scissor Seven 2 – This extremely funny, animated, Chinese TV show about a quite unsuccessful assassin and barber with memory loss is one of my highlights of this year. The animation style is fabulous. It changes during an episode all the time. Sometimes characters look cute, then ugly, or powerful, while always keeping the characteristics of a character. Some people probably don’t even notice the change of style. N
- Final Space 2 – Don’t be fooled by the cute animation style. This space saga is dark. You can get scared of the space watching it. N
- After Life 2 – Ricky Gervais is really a master combining comedy and tragedy in this TV show filled with whimsical characters. N
- Abstract: The Art of Design 2 – I finally finished this fantastic TV show. I tried to not do it because now I probably have to wait another two years for the next season. At least the last episode ended strong with Jonathan Hoefler. It’s the best documentaries about Designers I’ve ever seen. N
- Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj 6N
- La Casa de Papel 2 – Damn, I seldom had some much fun watching a money heist TV show. And it’s also good to learn some Spanish. N
- Suits 7 – It’s always entertaining to watch this TV show, even though I usually don’t understand the legal stunts the characters perform. 😬 Sad they had to remove two characters from the show because of Meghan Markle marrying into the Royals. N
- Extraction – Don’t expect too much story, but it’s a quite nice Action and was fun to watch. N
- Rams – A nice documentary by Gary Hustwit about the famous industrial designer Dieter Rams. Hustwit made the movie this month a few days for free.
- Radio Headspace – A new short, daily podcast about meditation moderated by Andy Puddicombe.
- indubio 🇩🇪 – I found this new German political podcast by Die Achse des Guten (The Axis of Good) which has really good and broad discussions about current politics. It encourages your thinking by touching controversial topics. One episode talked about the topic of obedience of people to orders of the government regarding COVID-19, Die Obrigkeit droht uns. Another one had an interesting interview with a lawyer who just won a lawsuit against a censorship agency of Facebook labeling opinions as “false” in Zensoren haben verloren.
- Fest & Flauschig 🇩🇪 – I hadn’t listened to this Podcast by Olli Schulz and Jan Böhmermann for a few years and listened to the Pentecost special Schweineschwarten im Supermarkt. It’s so funny that I’ll probably start to listen regularly to this Podcast.
- My Tamako, My Sookee
- Thomas Bergersen: Avalanche (Female Vocals)
- Thomas Bergersen: My Addiction
- Tina Guo: Journey
- Tina Guo: Oogway Ascends (From “Kung Fu Panda”)
- Tina Guo: Now We Are Free (From “Gladiator”)
- Melodysheep (The Secret History of the Moon)
- Austin Wintory: Apotheosis
- Austin Wintory: I Was Born for This
I didn’t make a lot of progress in my current books this month, because I used the time to transfer my previous read books into my new Zettelkasten system and properly digest the books before continuing reading new books.
- I read quite a lot of articles about the Zettelkasten method as a note-taking system. The website of the Zettelkasten Method has a nice overview of a lot of articles. I particularly liked two articles: Zettelkasten — How One German Scholar Was So Freakishly Productive by David B. Clear and Living with a Zettelkasten by Magnus Eriksson. I even wrote my own article on how I implemented the method in my daily workflow with DEVONthink.
- Joe Rogan Got Ripped Off – Some valid points about Joe Rogans deal with Spotify.
- Common mistakes with React Testing Library – Now I need to rewrite all my tests. 😆
- How To Remain Calm When The Rest Of The World Is Freaking Out: 9 Tips From The Stoics
- Why does writing matter in remote work?
- COVID-19 and the Normalization of Mass Surveillance – Something to think about. An event that frightens a lot of people is a slippery-slope into Totalitarianism. The War on Terror already brought us secret torture camps, overruled due process, mass surveillance, and Drone war. We need to be vigilant the State doesn’t use the Pandemic to try to cut rights.
- The ingredients for a longer life
- How to Throw Bruce Lee’s 1-Inch Punch
- These Comics Perfectly Capture What It Means to Be an Introvert
- The Power of Habits: What The Ancients Knew About Making Good Ones & Breaking Bad Ones
- 68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice – The written version of Kevin Kellys’ video. Really useful tips!
- It’s Time to Get Back Into RSS – In these times where big corporations try to control what you see and when it’s even more important to go back to technologies cutting them out as a middleman. RSS is still my favorite technology to consume information. Here is my RSS feed.
- Zen Japanese Rock Garden Toast – A nice idea for my next bread with butter.
- Kati Forner – Beautiful typography and a minimalistic layout.
- studiofour’s Latest Design Utilizes a Dramatic Slope to Enhance Privacy – A minimalistic home in Australia.
- StudioChevojon – Beautiful colors, layout, typography, and photography.
- Artist Brilliantly Draws Famous Celebrities in Nine Different Cartoon Styles
- Le Cantiche 1320 – A really beautiful website for the 700-year celebration of The Divine Comedy by Dante.
- Moooi – A colorful and interactive website for really special furniture.
- Slackmojis – An unofficial directory of the best custom slack emojis.
- Good Books | Books recommended by successful people
- Obsidian – Still in beta, but this note-taking Markdown app has already some nice features like to see linked notes.
- Notion Personal – Notion introduces a free personal plan with unlimited pages & blocks, up to 5 guests, and 5 MB file upload limit.
- Unsplash Wallpapers
- Unsplash Book Club
- GitHub Theme – Visual Studio Marketplace – GitHub released a nice theme for Visual Studio Code.
- Noctis – Visual Studio Marketplace – Still … my favorite theme is Noctis Minimal. I like the color combination and how every important thing has the right color.
- 1Password command-line tool – 1Password released a command-line version to access and edit entries in your vault from the Terminal.
Tantalus: The highest power is— Thyestes: No power, if you desire nothing.
Some really true words in this Tweet by David Perell. Some service in the cloud is just other peoples computers. If you want to own your publication and creative work, have your own website, and use open technologies. This tweet made me thinking about starting a monthly newsletter:
Own your distribution. If you write online, focus on these two platforms:
Remember AOL? Remember MySpace? Remember Yahoo? Companies come and go but your email list and personal website will still be valuable in 10 years. Invest in the long-term.
You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.
The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of our identity.
Time magnifies the margin between success & failure. It will multiply whatever you feed it. Good habits make time you ally. Bad habits make time your enemy.
Dieter Rams about the danger to lose control over the digital world:
Wir müssen achtgeben, jetzt, dass wir die digitale Welt beherrschen und nicht von ihr beherrscht werden.
We have to be careful now, that we rule over the digital world, and are not ruled by it.
Jordan B Peterson explains why Zebras have stripes: Not to camouflage against the environment but the herd. Lions are not able to target individual Zebras when they stay with the herd. He uses this as an analogy to explain similar human behavior:
The rule for human beings is: Keep your damn stripes on, so the lions don’t get you. […] If you want to remember one thing from my class about human motivation that’s a good thing to learn: People camouflage themselves against the herd. And they like to be in the middle of the herd […] That’s what people are trying to do all the time.
Jordan B Peterson about the fact that persistency is more important than success for habit change:
You come, you have a problem, your life isn’t what it could be. Fine, let’s see what it could be like if we changed it. Well, figure out how to change it, that’s gonna be a negotiated dialogue. […] I can help you figure it out maybe, we can talk about it, but you are the person who has to decide if the things that you’re aiming for get you out of bed in the morning. […] And you have to understand that you gonna be bad at it, but it doesn’t matter, because bad is fine. Persistent is what you need to be. If you persist with tiny improvements, you win.
Jordan B Peterson about Totalitarianism and ideology and that a system usually fails on all levels at the same time:
That happens if you are an ideologue. You identify really hard with that plan. The problem is, if something comes up to confront it, well how do you act? You can’t let go of the plan, because you drown. Then you cling to it rigidly. Well, that’s no good, because then you can’t learn anything. If that’s you, you are a totalitarian. You are not gonna learn anything. You are gonna end up in something that is close enough to hell so that you won’t know the difference. And you might drag anyone along with you. That happened plenty of times, it’s the whole story of the 20th century. It happened over and over and over, and it happens in peoples states, it happens in their business organizations, it happens in their cities, it happens in their provinces, it happens in their states and it happens in their psyches. All at the same time. You can’t blame the manifestation of that sort of thing on any of those levels. When a society goes down that way it goes down everywhere at the same time. It’s not the totalitarians at the top and all the happy people striving to be free at the bottom. Not at all. It’s Totalitarianism on every single level of the hierarchy.
Jordan B Peterson about obstacles as an opportunity:
Then you think exactly what are you? You are not the chaos, you are not the plan. Maybe you’re the thing that confronts the obstacle. And I would say, that’s the categorical lesson of psychology in so far as it has to do with personal transformation. That’s what you always teach in psychotherapy. […] You are the thing, that can confront the obstacle to the plan. […] The obstacle is not only an obstacle but opportunity itself. Well, then your whole view of the world can change. Well you might think, I got this plan, and something came up to object to it. It’s possible that that thing that is objecting has something to teach you that will take you to the place where you develop an even better plan. That’s a nice framework to use. Are you so sure this is a problem? Is that the only way you can look at it? Or is it an opportunity?
He continues that even a hard fate like the death of a loved ones offers an opportunity to be a role model and take over responsibility:
You want to be the useful person at a funeral. […] You want to be the person on who’s shoulder people cry. […] It is really something to be the reliable person at a funeral.
Jordan B Peterson explains the Oedipal mother from Sigmund Freud’s theory: A person in co-dependence trying to keep others dependent:
I love my child, I love my mother, so much that I couldn’t survive should anything happen to them.It’s like you … have some serious thinking to do about that! You really want to curse someone with that kind of love?I couldn’t live without you. My god, get away from me! Really, it’s terrible!
He continues how important it is for a person to let others reach independence. Keeping a person dependent is toxic, oedipal behavior:
That’s the oedipal mother.I forgive you no matter what you do. Really? No matter what I do? You are not my friend. That’s for sure. Not at all. It’s a horrible thing to do to someone. […] That’s the oedipal mother, that’s one of Freud’s major discoveries. […] The devouring force of love. You want the person to be able to stand on their own and the price you pay for that is that you stand on your own.